I’m a pretty conventional kind of soul. Pretty much the epitome of a home counties child. Born and raised in the beautiful county of Buckinghamshire by wonderful parents as the youngest of four children. My first school was about 10 metres from my parents front door. I biked my bike around the village with friends. Ate sweets on the village green. Made up dances to Backstreet Boys songs, genuinely believing I could become a backing dancer (it was only recently that I realised I have NO RHYTHM). Went to senior school not far from Reading. Decided for a short period aged 14 to become and emo and wear ridiculously baggy jeans and chunky trainers in an effort to ‘be different’ forgetting that to be different you most definitely shouldn’t be doing exactly the same as everyone else. Drank Bacardi Breezers under a bridge in Henley-on-Thames. Did painfully well in exams despite perpetually telling the whole world that I was going to fail (closet nerd). Headed off to Bristol for Uni. Studied Chemistry (no longer so much of a closet nerd, just a nerd). Jumped straight into the ‘city’ on graduation. Spent 8 years in Investment Banking. You know, all the standard stuff which is to be expected of a over privileged, white, middle class British woman.
So how on earth did the conventional, logical, maybe a little bit over achieving & control freakish, home counties science nerd come to decide that energy healing was actually a legitimate thing, to the extent that she decided to dedicate valuable travel time to training in it whilst in South America? Odd, right? You’d think my logical brain would have jumped in way before I paid the deposit & said ‘no, no, lady…. you’ve gone bat shit cray & need to take a step back towards normality before you become some kind of crazy hippy lady with cats & crystals and get rejected by society’. Well if I’m honest, my logical brain kind of did say that, but there was some other voice inside me which told me there has to be something in this. Some kind of truth in it for it to have existed for so long… surely?
My first foray into energy medicine came in the form of a tapping exercise which I did with a lady on a yoga retreat in Italy a couple of years ago. I went into it because I was intrigued, figured it probably wouldn’t do any harm and was in one of my phases of wanting to do interesting things so figured it would tick that box. The lady who did it for me told me that it might be an emotional experience, it might release blockages (say what?) in me and to be ready to accept whatever happened. Sure. I’m ready. Hit me with it.
30 minutes later, I was balling my eyes out, I mean sobbing, crying more than I’d cried in my entire life when all she had done was tap me in a couple of places on my shoulders and asked me to visualise myself as a child sitting on a stair. To help you visualise it, I was sitting by the side of a pool in Italy whilst this was going on, just finished my nice retreat breakfast, done 2 hours of yoga in the morning, life was chill, everything was good. So, what on earth happened? Once the session was over, she told me that I’d managed to let go of my inner child who had been holding me back for years. I have no idea what she did that day, but something in my shifted enough to switch off my logical brain for long enough to believe that maybe, just maybe there was something in this.
My next experience came in the form of breathwork. A year or so after the tapping experience I found myself, once again in Italy, on a retreat where they offered a number of different ‘alternative therapies’. This time, having just graduated from my yoga teacher training (sparked by the retreat with the tapping), I thought I was probably ‘alternative’ enough (as if) to try a bit of breathwork. The theory of breathwork is that it can help to release trauma which is stored in muscles and cells in your body from years and years earlier (sound spacey, I know)
Side note: I have to say I don’t fully subscribe to the word ‘trauma’ because for me it brings up images of some kind of enormous physical trauma like being run over by a bus aged 5 or being held at gun point whilst in Tesco or some other equally awful experience. In energy medicine (& psychology) terms, trauma can be as small as being lost in a supermarket as a child or losing your teddybear in a hotel or having one of those horrible arguments with friends in early teens when everyone decides to stop talking to you for a few days (just me?). It can even, according to some psychologists, be passed down through generations. Anyway, my point being, don’t be put off by the word trauma, it doesn’t mean what likely comes to mind when you hear the word if your brain works anything like mine.
Back to the breathwork, I walked into the room with very little expectation of the session, outside of perhaps being extra oxygenated after an hour of breathing really deeply. Yep, you read that write, breathing really deeply. All I did for an hour was breathe, really really deeply, into my belly. What can that do? Well, here’s where it gets really spacey… the one hour session resulted in me, again, crying non stop (what is wrong with me?), having the most incredible cramps in my hands and jaw to the point where I couldn’t move them at all & shaking uncontrollably. No, she didn’t drug me. No, I wasn’t dreaming. Yes, all I did was breathe. It was the most incredibly intense experience & one which I’ve since repeated a couple more times, each time finding new insights, releasing more things & generally feeling so much lighter. It sounds insane, I get it, but genuinely.. something happens in those sessions which is hard to explain until you try it for yourself.
A couple of months after the breath work, I’ve found myself living in Cusco for a month. The city sits within the Sacred Valley situated in the middle of the Andres mountains and is well known for its spirituality. There is an energy here which is hard to express unless you’ve visited — some sense of the whole city being charged up or vibrating which slowly seeps into your body the longer you stay here..weird eh. Again, in one of my periods of wanting to experience new things, I booked myself in to see a well known Peruvian healer for a session of Reiki & Chakra balancing. Both practices aim to rebalance energy across the body, releasing any blockages you might have across your energy centres (niche).
In Yoga (& Reiki) theory, the 7 chakras are situated from the crown of the head down the spine all the way to the tail bone. Each chakra represents different emotional experiences (sacral chakra is linked to sexuality, reproduction & a number of other things for e.g), organs (sacral chakra is linked to kidney, bladder, sexual organs etc.) and physical dysfunctions (sacral would be chronic lower back pain, urinary problems etc.). According to this theory, any imbalance in energy across these chakras can be linked back to these attributes and show themselves as physical symptoms.
Lost you? It’s pretty out there, I feel you but stick with me.
I turned up to see the healer in his 2nd floor treatment room who then proceeded over the period of an hour to place his hands over various spots of my (fully clothed, I add) body, starting at the head and slowly moving down the body to the feet. This is where it gets weird. You see, I love a massage — when I was marathon training I’d get one pretty much weekly — nothing good than a good muscle pummel, but this was a completely different experience. For one, there is no massage, it’s literally just hands placed very lightly (or hovering in some cases) over the body. I was fully clothed. There was no oil. No spa music. None of the typical things that make things feel like a massage. That said, all I can tell you is that whatever he did was completely magic. When he had his hands placed on my head it felt as if there was an electric current passing from his hands into my brain and all the way through my body. Even once he removed his hands, I was convinced they were still there. At one point I am pretty sure I had some kind of out of body experience. You know that feeling when you lie in the sun it feels like somehow you are being recharged by the sun? Like you can feel all the energy of the UV rays seeping into your skin? Well it felt like that, but without the sun burn and premature ageing. As if I was somehow being filled up with energy, that the parts of me which were a bit low on energy (heart & throat chakras apparently) were being rebooted. I left the session that day feeling super relaxed, so spaced out & as if something inside me had shifted. The next morning, it felt like I could communicate more clearly than I had been able to for months. As if everything I felt deep inside me just flowed naturally out of me without having to go through the usual ‘Lucy communication prism’. I have no idea what happened that evening, but something felt better, more in line, more in flow.
That session really stuck with me, the next day I still felt more in flow, more myself, more able to communicate feelings, more able to feel depth of emotion, like a supercharged version of myself. When the opportunity to do my Reiki Level 1 training popped up a couple of days later to learn to practice both on myself and others, I took it as a sign from the universe that it had to happen. I completed my Level 1 last week and am just in the process of working through my Level 2 & all I can tell you is my entire world has shifted. I am more conscious. More awake. More aware of my intuition. My 200g chocolate addiction has somehow disappeared. I don’t crave sugar anymore. It feels like I’m living on another planet (a marginally better one I may add). I still am seriously skeptical about what on earth it actually does. How it works, how I can become a channel for energy & how on earth that energy transmits to other people both in person as well as across time and space (mind blown). Our Reiki master, Nikki, told us that all we need is a pin prick of belief and the Reiki will flown through us — we could doubt as much as we wanted but as long as there is a tiny tiny tiny part of us which thought, maybe, just maybe, this could work — it would. Well, I had the chance to do my first full body healing with someone (a marginal skeptic I’d add) yesterday — they too felt the electric current, the hands that stayed in place even after I’d moved, the feeling that something had shifted. I’m still the conventional soul I’ve always been, but this conventional soul has got maybe even more than a pin prick of belief that there is something in all of this energy medicine stuff (even if it’s just placebo) & that it’s only a matter of time before all the other conventional souls follow suit. When they do, I’ll be here, ready, with my electric charged Reiki hands.
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