I Met With a Master Healer for Reiki, and the Experience Gave Me Goosebumps

Asian woman in natural light

CAILIN HILL ARAKI / Getty Images

When I received an email asking if I wanted to try a Reiki session with one of Sydney's most sought-after master healers, I thought why not? I wouldn't call myself spiritual, but at the same time, I'm not opposed to it (I mean, I've dabbled in meditation, and that counts, right?). My initial thoughts were that perhaps pieces of crystal would be balanced along the length of my spine, and I'd even receive a little light massage. But I was wrong. Admittedly, I didn't even Google "Reiki" beforehand, and I think I'm glad I didn't.

What Is Reiki?

A healing technique that dates back to ancient Japan in which a practitioner transmits energy through their hands — touch is often part of it but not required — to allow qi, or life force, to flow more naturally through the recipient's body.

To give a little context, I'm 23 and work in digital publishing (Captain Obvious, I know). I work long hours, but I love my job and receive so much enjoyment and fulfillment from it. I eat well, exercise regularly, have a wonderful family, and live in beautiful Australia. My life is really special; this I know. At the time of my appointment, I'd had a stressful week (bills and fines, to put it bluntly), but I didn't think I harbored any bad energy. It seems I was wrong—or burying it, so to speak. When I underwent a Reiki session, it wound being very personal, so much so that I second-guessed writing about it. But I think that a lot of people who have been curious about it will appreciate my first-hand account, so here we go. 

Keep scrolling to read about my experience with Reiki.

What Is Reiki?

Before getting started on my Reiki session, master healer Tania Dobbie explained to me that Reiki is an ancient Japanese healing practice that charges the body with positive energy, in turn clearing and healing our own energy pathways and allowing our "life force" to flow in a healthy, natural way. She explained that while our mind often blocks out certain emotions or experiences as a coping mechanism, the body remembers it all. I was told I may feel either very hot, freezing cold, like I'm unable to breathe, or experience memory flashes (among other things)—all the different ways your body can respond.

Benefits of Reiki

• Aids in relaxation

• Relieves stress

• Encourages mental and spiritual well-being

Like yoga, Reiki aids in centering you—allowing you time to focus on yourself and your emotions. In fact, a 2017 study found that Reiki worked better than a placebo in terms of managing health conditions and showed promise for use a post-operative therapy. (It's currently used by certain hospitals or for those in need of cancer support or drug and alcohol rehabilitation.) What's more, the study noted that Reiki "activates the parasympathetic nervous system to heal body and mind."

Other studies have found that Reiki also has an impact on mental health and pain, specifically among older adults suffering from depression. The participants of that study found the practice to be relaxing and calming (and who among us couldn't go for that?), with Reiki intervention "significantly [improving] measures of pain, depression, and anxiety when compared with those who did not receive the intervention."

What to Expect During a Reiki Session

My session was held at Face Plus Medispa in Bondi Beach near Sydney, and now that it's all said and done, I can't recommend master healer Tania Dobbie enough. To start, I walked into a dark room and laid on the bed. Aside from a few warm heat packs and Tania's hands placed lightly on my back, stomach, ears, and neck, not a whole lot is actually involved.

I focused on breathing and clearing my mind, and I found that after a while I zoned out to the point where I wasn't sure if Tania had her hands on me at all. I didn't have vivid flashes in my mind, but I did have some weird moments where I wasn't sure if I was awake or asleep or felt my heart rate speed up. 

Once we were finished, Tania told me to gently open my eyes before she began to explain everything she felt. One of the first questions she asked me was if I was close to my grandfather. I answered that I was close to both sides, but my mom's dad had passed within the last few years. She proceeded to tell me that she felt him by my right ear (she described it as a warm feeling). I thought this a little bizarre as my grandfather had a stroke in the left side of his body, so only had use of the right side. My "guide" was the word she used to explain it. Tania also added that I was holding onto a lot of grief, anxiety, and negative energy relating to something traumatic that happened to me as a child.

This struck me as I've only ever visited a psychic once before, who also told me I had endured something very traumatic as a child. I've always thought it was BS (I had a happy childhood, as far as I'm concerned), but just this morning a friend of mine (after I debriefed her about my Reiki experience) suggested I ask my mom about my birth, as often a traumatic birth will stay with you for life. I didn't even need to call my mom—I knew that I was yanked out with forceps, resulting in back problems that have plagued me for the greater part of my life. I'd like to note that Tania also made a point of calling out that physical issues with my back were causing me not to breathe deeply. This really made a lot of sense and was kind of a light bulb moment for me. 

Tania told me the rest of her reading—a lot relating back to stress, too much screen time, and a need to ground myself, and passed on some areas for me to focus on in order to shift some of the negative energy and emotions. Apparently, salt lamps and crystals on your desk are supposed to be great at preventing screen radiation from tampering with your energy.

I left feeling a little heavy and very affected, if that makes sense. Plus, I carried everything she said with me for the rest of the day (and even now as I write this story).  

The Final Takeaway

Overall, I think it was incredible and I'll definitely be going back (maybe after I work on my "focus" areas to see if Tania notices anything different). I do think it's best to go in with an open mind, which I did, but it was amazing to have one person so dedicated and in tune with I was feeling internally—both consciously and subconsciously. Tania brought to light a lot of issues I didn't even know I was dealing with. If you're feeling low, stressed, defeated, or generally down, I really can't recommend it enough. Likewise, if you're looking for an overall detoxing experience, it's 100 percent worth booking. Tania says it's actually more detoxifying than some massages.

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