This week I went, for the first time, to a Reiki practitioner. Getting Reiki treatment has been on my long list of “must-dos” for years, but life and priorities chopped and changed, so it got pushed further down the list. Over the past few months my already hectic life has taken an exceptionally tumultuous turn and I have felt completely disconnected from myself, who I really am, what I love doing and where I want to be. Reiki healing is all about energy flow and Reiki practitioners use palm or hands-on healing. The energy, also called “qi” (chi) is, through the therapy, transferred from the therapist to the patient which, in turn, encourages a healing process. As with most alternative medicine or practice, there has been a lot of scepticism and negative press around Reiki, suggesting that in scientific experiments no such energy could be detected. Whilst I personally understand this and believe in science, I also believe that certain things cannot be explained by it. Science can’t detect hope. Yet everyone experiences it. Science can’t detect faith. Yet everyone believes in something, even if their belief is that they don’t believe in anything. Science will, eventually, always reach a point where it can’t explain, and that doesn’t make those unexplainable things less real. So, armed with this little knowledge and a lot of negative energy inside me, I embarked, with a lot of anticipation, onto my first Reiki experience. I did not know what to expect or how my body and mind would react. With this amount of negativity stored up, I figured, I may have been better off attending an exorcism?
My Reiki practitioner Jackie, an experienced midwife and holistic therapist, had been recommended by a friend and greeted me with a warm smile. The quaint little room near a cottage in the countryside was beautifully decorated, birds-on-branches-wallpaper, soft meditative music in the background and a little basket full of semi-precious stones in the corner. It reminded me of that time when I believed in the healing power of those stones. Jackie explained to me that our body contains seven main chakras in Hinduism tradition and that energy flows in and out of them. She was going to work her way from the top to the bottom of my body, from my crown chakra, just above my head (also the way to the enlightenment) down to the root chakra (which is keeping us grounded). She pre-warned me that I could be feeling warm or cool sensations, pins and needles as well as getting emotional. Once I was on the treatment table and had a blanket covering my body and arms, I closed my eyes. A gentle touch on the crown of my head started the Reiki. Nearly instantly, colours started to dance behind my closed eye lids. First a spot of yellow that grew lighter and lighter until it turned white. Then, suddenly, shades of blue moved around in patches, swishing gently from side to side, then turning into a dark pink that rotated around itself. I was so mesmerised by my own personal kaleidoscope, that it took me minutes to realise that, for the first time in months, I wasn’t thinking about anything. I just watched the colours dance, and I was calm, so calm. A touch around the sides of my head turned my attention to a different sensation. Gradually I could feel heat building up around my head, so strong that I realised it was impossible to come from Jackie’s hands. Unless she had put her palms into hot coals, that heat was coming from me, my energy. Yet again, it consumed my whole focus, I could not think of anything else. The heat remained long after the hands had moved to my upper body and my hips, and I felt gentle winding movements making their way upwards. Jackie’s hands rested for a long time on my knees. It occurred to me that my knees had been aching the previous day, something that, as an avid runner, unnerved me. This time, however, I knew they would be fine. Eventually, Jackie turned to my feet, which had been cold for the entirety of the therapy. They remained frozen, so Jackie moved back to my knees. Then, she touched my feet again, still icy. My thoughts had wandered, to days, weeks, months and years gone by, calmly evaluating the relationships I had formed, lost and re-built. I wondered how I had allowed so much pain and negativity into my life, thinking I was selfless. I realised I had been selfish, thinking I was cut out to handle it all. I knew I had to take better care of myself. Finally, a gentle touch brought me back; Jackie told me I should take my time and she would wait in her cottage for me. Before I even opened my eyes, I smiled: My feet were warm.
I sat up, swinging my legs around. Getting up, I felt light, nimble, free, as if someone had taken chains and weights off me. I had imagined how I would feel after Reiki but I didn’t think it would have been like this: so subtle and barely noticeable, yet so empowering at the same time. I met Jackie in her kitchen where she was scribbling something on a piece of paper. Her smile greeted me, and she asked me how I felt. She then told me: “There is so much going on in your head, you need to be careful it doesn’t take over. However, your third eye is beautiful. You have wonderful intuition, you need to learn to listen to it!” I get less points for my root chakra. “It took me a while to get you grounded”, Jackie explains. “You spend so much time in your head, you mustn’t lose touch with your grounding.” It all made sense. The cold feet. My feelings of feeling uprooted and restless. I mentioned my knees to her. “Your knees carry your emotions”, Jackie said. I told her that I had felt internal turmoil the day before. She nodded. Suddenly I understood. There was no way Jackie could have known so accurately what went on inside me. Surely, a good guess and some intuition of her own. But even so – I believe there was more to it.
As I left to walk back to my car I noticed not only a spring in my step but also that my shoulders were pushed back, and I was walking tall, my chest open and my head held high. Reiki has been more than I could have ever imagined. And I will be back for more balancing of my energy, soon.
Jackie is an experienced holistic therapist and, according to her, a “sorter-outer of most issues”. You can find her online at http://www.downtoearthjackie.com or you can follow her on jackie_downtoearth on Instagram.