Image and candles via The Astral Boutique
Spring is here and it’s time to clear stagnant energy out your home! If you’re thinking you could probably do the same for your self, reiki can help with that. If you’ve never had a reiki treatment before, but are curious to try, here’s a 101: Reiki is a form of energy healing that originated in Japan in the early 1900s. During a session, a practitioner will put their hands over / on your body and send reiki (which translates to ‘pure life force energy’) to each of your energy centers, or chakras. The reiki will work to balance out each chakra and get them spinning like they’re supposed to, so you can feel good physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Basically, reiki activates your natural ability to heal.
So, it’s not exactly the marketable spa treatment you’ll see in Vogue (though you will in Goop!) but reiki can be transformative for people who feel called to energy work. If that’s you, spring is a fab time to dive in. To get the most of your reiki treatment, it helps to be discerning about how you go into it – from choosing a practitioner to work with to setting an intention for your session.
Here are 7 things to keep in mind when seeking reiki healing:
Start by trying reiki on yourself.
Here’s the thing: We all have access to reiki. Try this: Rub your hands together really fast for a few seconds and then hold them close together and feel the buzzing sensation. Bring them together and move them apart, and feel your energy as if it was a ball between your hands. This is reiki energy. You can do body scans on yourself and experiment with healing touch just the next time you lay in shavasana.
All this to say: A reiki practitioner has no ‘super power’ that you don’t. What they do have is a certain method, philosophy, and overall reason that they work with this tool. I say, get to know your own energy body first, then go to a practitioner with some questions or things you’ve noticed. That can help make your work together that much more deep.
Check out a reiki restorative yoga class first
(if you just want to dip a toe in)
Most one on one reiki treatments with a practitioner will last 45 minutes – an hour can run anywhere from $50 to $300+. Some practitioners incorporate crystals, sound, or even components of therapy or movement with their sessions, so if you’re up for experiencing reiki as part an overarching personal / spiritual development-type program, you can definitely find that in the city.
If any of that feels like a bit too much of a commitment, try a reiki restorative yoga class first. How these go is you hold restorative postures and a practitioner moves around the room sending reiki to each person for a few minutes each. You’ll be able to get a sense of if you respond to it / like it, or not. They do reiki restore classes at most yoga studios downtown (check out Kula and Studio Blue).
Inside Hoame in Toronto
When it comes to energy work, the space matters!
The surroundings will really impact the experience when it comes to energy work like reiki. Do you feel most relaxed and open when you’re in a spa-type setting, or in a meditation studio? Or do you want to work with a practitioner in their home, or even yours? Being in a space conducive to your being at peace will help you receive the reiki. My first reiki treatment I ever got was in a spa (Sweetgrass spa), and that really helped me respond to the treatment. Growing up, my mom, who is a hairdresser, worked in spas where massage therapists knew about / did reiki, which is how I first learned about it, so I automatically felt comfy and in good hands in a spa.
When looking for a practitioner, look for a human.
That is: Look for someone who recognizes their human limitations. The role of an energy worker is to help facilitate your own ability to heal, not to cure you. A reiki practitioner acts as a channel for reiki energy. Don’t work with someone who tries to make you believe that there’s something wrong with you, and that they have the solution. (It’s still a wild world out there, at the intersection of ‘wellness’ and spirituality!)
Go with someone you like!
It seems obvious and maybe redundant to say, but rather than choose someone who has impressive qualifications or a crazy insta feed, go with your gut. If you really vibe with a practitioner, it’s a good sign you’ll work well with them. Energy work is personal. Being in a room alone with someone and laying there while they place their hands on your bod is really intimate. You want to feel totally comfortable, and not have to try and convince yourself that this person you feel kind of off about is going to work some magic.
It’s important to be in a space you feel comfy in and with someone you feel good around, because ultimately, the way to get the most out of a reiki session is to just be totally open. Let the practitioner do their thing. Letting go is really key in a reiki session. Ask any questions you need to put your mind at ease before you get into it (i.e. – ‘how long will I be lying here?’ ‘Can I have an eye pillow?’ etc., etc.) And if there’s anything you’re nervous about, get it off your chest. They’ve probably heard it all.
Have an overarching intention for your session.
How do you ideally want your reiki session to help you? Go in with an intention. Maybe yours is something simple, like I want to feel good in my body. Or maybe you want to make your session part of an overarching self-care mission, like a goal to have a sober month, or as a support on a weight loss journey. When we receive reiki, our mental, emotional, and physical bodies can come back into a state of balance. Your clarity around what’s being brought back into balance can help you arrange your activities around your session accordingly.
Looking for reiki in Toronto?
Here are our top recommendations:
Ayah Norris (Queen West) Remote and in-person services start at 1 hour / $125
Timea at The Urban Healer (Downtown) 1 hour / $120
Elmwood spa (18 Elm St.) 50 mins / $135
Sweetgrass spa (111e Queen Street E.) 60 mins / $135
Yoga Star (15 Roncesvalles Ave.) 60 mins / $85
(Story by Contributing Editor, Kait Fowlie)