We all remember that scene in The Karate Kid when Mr. Miyagi claps his hands, rubs his palms together and magically take Daniel’s pain away. Mr Miyagi was doing Reiki … albeit, the Hollywood version. My Dad tried it on me a few times to great effect. Imagination is key.
The alternative medicine, developed in 1922 by Japanese Buddhist Mikao Usui, has since been adapted into various cultural traditions across the world and is now proving quite the wellness trend du jour…
Tuesday, 1pm. I’m on route to my first grown up Reiki appointment. Agitated, caffeine deprived and not exactly in the mood to have my chakras meddled with.
Energy healing, as opposed to say, spinning, doesn’t feature high on my priority list right now but I’m being flung by a mild curiosity to the outskirts of Dalston to see what all the fuss is about.
On arrival at a modern gated development where this energy master resides, I wander through a maze of passages, take a lift up to the fourth floor and hurriedly knock on the door of Unit 69.
It opens a few suspense-filled moments later with a waft of incense, revealing an angelic blonde draped in a yellow shawl. So this is what they mean by a beautiful aura.
Josie (for that is her name), greets me with a warm, nurturing hug and knowing eyes like she’s already peering into my soul.
She leads me inside her mystical apartment that’s adorned with healing paraphernalia including Alchemy Crystal Bowls, Tuning Forks, bundles of Sage, Palo Santo and Chakra Balancing Mists.
She tells me she has been practising energy healing since she had an awakening to her abilities in 2011 that completely changed her life: “It took a couple of painful years of growth and transformation, which led me to eventually sacrifice everything in order to follow my calling in 2014 when Eleven Healing was born.
Even from a very young age I could sense things beyond the physical realm but I shut it all off when things felt too much. I never lost interest though. It was always a part of me so as a young teenager I began to visit tarot readers and mediums.
I will never forget coming across an old tarot reading a couple of years ago, which I had recorded and written down when I was 15. In the reading I was told that I had an emotional gift to give to others but I was not ready to work with it just yet.”
Josie says she can tune into the energy field of a person with her hands, sensing blockages and imbalances where there may be illness or suppressed emotions. She even works with people with all kinds of physical ailments from tinnitus, stomach issues, back pain, sciatica to eczema, and believes that physical issues can manifest from an emotional blockage. One person even came to her with a lost voice. When other therapies had failed, energy healing taught her to talk again.
While she stresses that every case is different, she ask me to consider, very simply: ‘What do I want to come of this? What is it for?’. “The clarification of the goal belongs at the beginning for it is this which will determine the outcome.”
I think to myself that I could probably benefit from better work/life balance, resisting the urge to tap on my laptop or iPhone at any given opportunity.
Eyes closed, I assume a standing position and prepare myself for the energy clearing, to cast off any interfering pollution from my trek across London.
Josie circles me meditatively, clanging tuning forks at different frequencies. The vibrations hang in the air for a few moments in a reassuring, meditative hum… a bit like the sound of a lightsaber. Next I lie down face up on the treatment bed for the healing. Josie plays soothing, cosmic sounding music and uses her hands both on and off to intuitively address any imbalances and blockages.
As she glides by, I feel all the hairs on my body stand up in a Mexican wave, as if someone has just opened a window and let a rush of cold air into the room. My whole body is now covered in goosebumps. What a scientist would call frisson otherwise known as “the chills”.
My body remains in this state for the entire 90 minute session, while my mind starts flying quite literally through space. I’m seeing galaxies of stars at hyper speed, like something out of Star Trek. At the end of the session Josie attributes this to a “higher state of consciousness”, also referred to as ‘Alpha’ state. The result of my Third Eye opening, leading to an awakening as I connect with myself on a soul level.
Josie plays deeply spiritual and holy sounding Crystal Alchemy Bowls and wafts the room with Palo Santo. The ritual ends with a tinkling playful instrument that sounds like a glockenspiel. That or she’s sprinkling me with fairy dust.
As I open my eyes I feel spaced, sleepy and calm. When I stand, I even feel lighter on my feet. It’s crazy to think she has another three sessions back to back after this. Especially when she feels the energy quite so tangibly.
“I feel it with my hands so blockages can feel extremely heavy, dense or full of movement almost like electricity and then sometimes it can feel so tangible as if it is an object that I can pull with my hands. After I work through a blockage the energy feels light and spacious. I use various techniques with my hands around the entire field and body until all areas feel clear”.
She urges me to drink lots of water and to take it as easy as possible for the next 24 hours. The energy in my system is in a process of rebalancing as we’ve triggered a powerful cleansing process. I am to avoid drinking alcohol if possible and be aware of any thoughts and feelings, behaviour, reactions or any other issues that come up.
“This can really help the healing process even more in the long run, as it helps you to gain a deeper understanding of any issues that may have been contributing or causing the blockages.”
As for my diagnoses… an imbalance between my feminine and masculine energies. My feminine (left side of body) felt tense. Then again, that could’ve been the shoulder injury, perhaps I should’ve mentioned that. She urges me to slow down and connect with my inner self and says there needs to be more stillness.
The call to action here is “boundaries”, in whichever way I need them in my life. Be it at work or with certain people or with myself and I need to rediscover hobbies I may have left behind.
On the way home I feel as if i’ve been hit by a double decker bus. Spaced out and a little overwhelmed, like Josie has magically removed an invisible protective barrier and churned up a load of emotion. It feels a little uncomfortable but helps to put some things into perspective.
I am only at the start of my journey with Reiki but from my experience so far, I can only liken it to a de-cluttering of the mind and Spring cleaning for the soul. That’s got to beat a spin class any day.
Josie currently practises from The Refinery in East London but occasionally takes home visits.
60 Minute Session £70
90 Minute Session £90
60 Minute Distant Healing Session £60
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.