Unlike other relaxing holistic therapies such as massage and acupuncture, Reiki can be practised virtually (we were surprised to find out!) Lucy tried a virtual Reiki session via Zoom, here’s how it went…
I Tried a Virtual Reiki Session
Lying on a bed in my parents house in Brighton (where I’d retreated to over lockdown) the first sensation I noticed straight away was a warm tingling up my arms and heat rising through my body and into my cheeks. I was gobsmacked that my body was physically reacting to a Reiki session being performed on me all the way from another bedroom in London.
My practitioner, Carlotta Artuso has been practising Reiki for two years, but saw her business massively take off over lockdown. She now sees clients from all over the world from her home in Hackney. She explains that Reiki is a form of energy healing and is fairly new to the UK having only been around a couple of years, originating from Japanese culture. There are three levels to learning Reiki. Level one is practising on yourself (which she does every night). Level two, you learn to practise on other people, and three you gain the accolade of ‘Reiki Master’.
Virtual Reiki for anxiety
I asked Carlotta if you can use Reiki for fixing a particular problem like anxiety. She explains that it’s not that simple and the practise is more about making sure all of your chakras are balanced together. For example you might think that a broken heart can be fixed with the heart chakra, but it might actually be your root or throat chakra that needs healing.
She says: “During lockdown, there has been a rise of stress and anxiety levels and mental health has been at the core of this uncertain period. Facing an uncertain future and lots of fear, people have lost control of their lives, which has been brought back to basics. As a result, I think people started to look more into wellness and healing techniques, as they realised that health is eventually the most important thing we have in life.”
The Virtual Reiki session
The 45 minute session was a blissful swim through my mind as I easily sunk into a blissful state of meditation, going deeper and deeper into a relaxed state. At first I saw a dragonfly beat its wings across the sky of my eyes. I occasionally surfaced while a few unrelated thoughts ambled through my mind, but mostly I sat back and watched as my mind created different visions maybe inspired by the peaceful rainforest music Carlotta was playing. One was looking up from the perspective of a small creature in a lush rainforest ground, another was floating on a lily pad under a canopy of lush green reeds. Pretty sure I was a frog. Normally when meditating I see a lot of purple visions behind my eyes, but this time there was a lot of green. Carlotta tells me that this is the colour of the heart chakra. She says: “Most of us have energetic blocks and imbalances as well as energy-sabotaging habits that prevent us from accessing our full vitality, which leads us to feel exhausted, scattered, dull… even ill. Regular sessions of Reiki can fix this”.
Whilst studying for Reiki level 2, Carlotta says that she learnt and received three symbols, one of which is the Connection Symbol, which allows us to send healing energy beyond time and space limitations.
Before the session, she “e-connects” with the client and confirms their name and location, which is needed in order to tune in. “I use a pillow as a prop to represent the person, with one end of the pillow representing the client’s head and the other end representing their feet”, she says. “The prop helps focus my attention and intention, but is not necessary in distant healing. Some practitioners simply perform the session “in their head” in a meditative state, or using a picture.
“Once the session starts, I draw the Connection symbol on the pillow or in my mind, repeat the mantra and set the intention to direct Reiki to the client. I always play some relaxing music and invite clients to lay down as with a face-to-face session, to relax and and observe the sensation in the body during the session. The session ends with a short meditation, where I invite the client to focus on their breath and thank their body, bringing them back to the room.”
Carlotta first encountered Reiki whilst looking for some inspirational reads in her parents’ library in Italy. In the summer of 2018, she says she was drawn to a book named ‘Reiki: Universal Life Energy’ by B.J. Baginski and S. Sharamon.
“I started to read it and I immediately loved it”, she says. In the autumn of 2018, she moved into a new share house in East London, and the same evening that she moved in, she bumped into a guy in the house who turned out to be a massage therapist and Reiki Master and healer.
“I had never met a Reiki Master before, I initially thought that the book and him were simply a coincidence, but I found it really hard to believe and so I decided to book the Reiki 1 course in December 2018 with East London Reiki.
‘The Reiki 1 course is focused on self healing. Over one weekend, you learn the technique and a mix of theory and history of Reiki. You also receive four attunements from the teacher, alongside lots of meditation. After the course, I felt the need to be more connected within my mind, body and my inner self, and the urge to incorporate self Reiki practice within my daily routine. I was extremely relaxed and present in the moment – a really deep sensation which I’d never felt before. In May 2019, I decided to take the next step as I wanted to share Reiki. I signed up for the Reiki 2 course which allows you to practice on people. I learnt the Reiki symbols as well as distant healing. It’s extremely time-saving for the clients as well, as they don’t need to travel to me. In Summer 2019, Carlotta Reiki was born and I started practising on clients, friends and family.
How I felt afterwards
Once my session with Carlotta ended, I felt intensely relaxed as if I had just woken up from the best sleep of my life, but I didn’t feel any huge difference within myself. It was a few days later that my partner commented on how I seemed closer to her and much more happy and affectionate. I realised I’d let my guard down fully with her and this feeling really resonated with the colours of the heart chakra that I saw. Just one Reiki session might not change your life, but I’m definitely excited to continue with virtual sessions and see where they take me.
Main image – Shuttershock
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Hettie is the editor and co-founder of DOSE. A keen runner, she’s also partial to a blast of high-intensity and hot yoga. A country girl at heart, she divides her time between London and the lush rolling hills of North Devon. When she’s not jetting off on her next adventure, Hettie can be found in a candle-lit alcove with a laptop, a spaniel and a full bodied Malbec.