Gentle, general healing (vs specific blockages)

A client forwarded me a video by Abraham and Esther Hicks. I’ve some mixed feelings about what I know of their work. It was basically stolen from them and made into the best-selling book, ‘The Secret’, and while I think that setting an intent is a good idea, both ‘The Secret’ and the work of the Hicks seems to imply a much stronger link. Ask for what you want and you’ll get it. Like the very popular work of Louise Hay, who specifically links disease to emotions and past trauma, I think these writers and thinkers need to be challenged.

On the other hand, I found this video quite interesting and helpful.

It’s 15-minutes long so I think most people won’t have the specific interest and the time to watch it, so let me give you a summary: a reiki healer is worried when her clients ask her to clear specific blockages. She’s confused about the way that other healers talk about these blocks. She’s worried that she can’t feel them (I think this is what she is saying).

The answer from the Hicks really matches what I believe, and then goes further. They say that the energy that all energy healers work with is the same, it’s the ‘source’ energy. They say, as energy healers, we are not beaming energy from us into a client. We are creating a healing space, and allowing the energy of our clients to be in touch with our energy, which, through our practices and meditation, is closer to ‘the source’. The aim is not to feel blocks or diagnose, but create ‘a more allowing state’ for that energy to flow.

They said that when people feel they are out of balance or have blockages, they have already set the intention to feel better; they know what needs to be fixed; and are working on that practice on their own. The ‘source is on the case’. So, if they can’t solve the problem on their own, if ‘source’ can’t do it, then a healer won’t be able to either. They say that there is a possiblity that if the client is really correct about what needs fixing, and the healer focuses energy towards this, that this specific practice could work.

But the Hicks say being general is better. To provide gentle, general and genuine healing, it is not about projecting ‘blockages’ or focusing on them. It is better to say something like, ‘I don’t have absolute knowledge of the energy that is flowing, but I can feel it.’ We don’t have to figure out what that energy is, or what it is doing. The energy holds the intelligence to know what needs to be done. Our work is to allow the energy to flow as this energy always helps.

What the Hicks say in the video really does match what I’ve been taught my Frans Stiene, my teacher, and what I believe. I just don’t think it’s helpful to believe that we have blockages and imbalances, and especially for other healers to tell people their heart chakra or head chakra is blocked. We know when we’re feeling bad, and there are lots of reasons for it. Working too hard. A difficult relationship. Not eating right. An injury. Feeling lonely. All of these things we can work on, in different ways. But who knows how to ‘remove a block from a heart chakra’?

If you come to a reiki treatment for your chakras to be cleansed or for your energy to be balanced, isn’t it simply saying that you want to feel better, to be more closely in touch with yourself and your core energy? As I always tell clients, the more specific problem you have, the more difficult it might be to solve. But will a treatment generally make you feel better, and give you some space to relax and reflect? Yes, I think it will.

Discover the gifts and benefits of a session of Japanese reiki therapy, healing energy from an experienced practitioner. Visit my website or Facebook page for more information and SMS, email, call me or book online if you’d like to make an appointment.
Clients come from all over Sydney to see me, and I’ve also had clients who are visiting Sydney from Melbourne, Brisbane and the Gold Coast come and see me while they’re here for business, conferences or meeting families. While it’s easiest to get to me from the CBD, Darlinghurst, Paddington, Kings Cross, Redfern and Potts Point, I’m pretty easy to get to from anywhere in Sydney.

A reiki fan

Are you a fan of reiki? Well, this post might not be for you, as it’s actually about the fan in my reiki room? Why?

Well, it’s never failed to surprise me how many clients comment on the fan. After the lanterns in the hallway (which I should write about sometime too), clients always make mention of it.

I have a good story about it though. We knew we needed some fans for the apartment: Sydney gets so hot! The lower level of our apartment doesn’t have a lot of cross-ventilation either. I did a bit of online research and found the fan of my dreams. By the colourfully named company Big Ass Fans, I find the Haiku fans really, really beautiful. But the first price tag I saw on their website said, ‘starting at $2,000’, which is a lot of reiki treatments.

What we did instead was go to a local lighting and fan store, Beacon Lights, and looked up and managed to find one fan which looks pretty much like the Haiku. Not exactly the same, but pretty nice, as evidenced by all the praise I get from clients.

The designer, George Kovacs, called it the Artemis. He opened up a small store in Manhattan, focused on lights, and passed away in 2007. He mostly designed lights, but the design for the Artemis was recognised as significant enough to earn a place in the Chicago Museum of Architecture and Design.

If you’re ever in the market for a nice ceiling fan, you can find it here. As of April 2019, it seems to be on sale for $620 … which is a lot cheaper than ‘starting at $2000’.

It keeps us nice and cool during a treatment, and I believe that the more a client feels comfortable in a space, and happy to be there, because of the comfort, feeling or beauty of the space, the better the healing will be.

Discover the gifts and benefits of a session of Japanese reiki therapy, healing energy from an experienced practitioner. Visit my website or Facebook page for more information and SMS, email, call me or book online if you’d like to make an appointment.
Clients come from all over Sydney to see me, and I’ve also had clients who are visiting Sydney from Melbourne, Brisbane and the Gold Coast come and see me while they’re here for business, conferences or meeting families. While it’s easiest to get to me from the CBD, Darlinghurst, Paddington, Kings Cross, Redfern and Potts Point, I’m pretty easy to get to from anywhere in Sydney.

Why I’m not a Reiki Master

Sunset on trees, Nelson Bay

When I was first learning about reiki from my brother, I was surprised and disappointed to find out that reiki is like any other system or school or practice. After it started, people started created their own variations, and because conflict is part of human nature, people from the various systems of reiki can criticize each other and fight with each other, which is … not really the point of reiki. But those are humans for you.

In most Western systems of reiki, the teachings are divided into three levels: Level 1, Level 2 and Level 3 (in Japanese traditional teaching, these are called okuden, shoden and shinpiden). Generally, after doing Level 3 or shinpiden, reiki practitioners are considered able to teach others reiki, though some of us don’t teach, and just use our practice to treat others and ourselves (and as a personal spiritual practice).

It is also after this level that generally, around the world, people refer to themselves as reiki masters. I’ve always been uncomfortable with this term. I think the reason why is that the word is often said with a mocking tone by people who think reiki or the idea of a reiki master is a bit silly.

The thing is: I agree that the phrase sounds silly. The word ‘master’, in common usage, means that someone possesses particular skills or experiences that give them mastery in an area. But my problem, when this is applied to reiki, is that it is not that difficult to simply do the classes. While you should do one level at a time, with time for the teachings to settle in between, these days I’ve heard of people who do the levels very quickly, or all at the same time. There are no particular tests to prove that someone has absorbed the knowledge. As long as you have the money for the courses, and take the time to do them, you too can become a ‘reiki master’.

But what I’ve learned from my teacher, Frans Stiene, and from practising reiki for over twenty years, is that reiki is a spiritual practice and a daily practice that includes meditation and chanting and trying to live a life according to the reiki precepts, to ‘just for today, not to worry or be angry, to be compassionate to ourselves and others, and be true to our way and being.’

Some people who do reiki courses do not continue to practice reiki regularly, so in this case, I’m not sure that the title of ‘reiki master’ is very meaningful.

Most importantly, to me, the title ‘reiki master’ can interfere with a reiki treatment. Used in the wrong way, or said in the wrong way, the term implies a superiority, a wise guru and expert who has masterful powers. But my role as a reiki practitioner during a treatment is not to DO something to my client, and not to wield magical powers, but to open a healing space in which both practitioner and client work together. The aim is not for me to be superior to my client.

For these reasons, I prefer using the term ‘reiki practitioner’, which is kind of a mouthful to say, but it suits me best. I’ve heard people use the term ‘reiki therapist’ but to me, therapy is associated more closely with clinical treatments and counselling. The term ‘reiki healer’ is not too bad, but I read too many fantasy novels in my younger years and tend to think of ‘healers’ as wearing long white robes using an arsenal of potions and a magic wand. So, for now, reiki practitioner it is … and that’s why I’m not a reiki master!

(As an addendum, which is somewhat related but I don’t want to do a separate blog on, a LOT of people seem to find my website while searching for ‘spiritual healing‘ or a ‘spiritual healer‘. While reiki works at an energetic level that is tied to a particular philosophy and sense of spirituality, I don’t define what I do as spiritual healing. A quick search on Google and I’m still confused. I know there are spiritualist churches (where people talk to the dead) and I have heard the expression before, ‘spiritual healing’, but I’m not sure, when someone calls themselves a spiritual healer in Sydney, what they actually do or offer.)

Discover the gifts and benefits of a session of Japanese reiki therapy, healing energy from an experienced practitioner. Visit my website or Facebook page for more information and SMS, email, call me or book online if you’d like to make an appointment.
Clients come from all over Sydney to see me, and I’ve also had clients who are visiting Sydney from Melbourne, Brisbane and the Gold Coast come and see me while they’re here for business, conferences or meeting families. While it’s easiest to get to me from the CBD, Darlinghurst, Paddington, Kings Cross, Redfern and Potts Point, I’m pretty easy to get to from anywhere in Sydney.

Reiki Surry Hills newsletters

Since starting Reiki Surry Hills, I’ve tried to keep in touch with clients. A newsletter seemed to be a good way to try to do this, and the rather amazing program Mailchimp allows individuals and businesses to easily create and send out newsletters and to maintain a list of contacts.

Of course, one doesn’t always meet one’s own expectations, so while I hoped to get out three or four newsletters a year, I managed to do two in 2016, two in 2017, and have now done a third (and last one for 2018).

Maybe this is good. I am bombarded with spam and junk mail every day, multiple newsletters from stores and businesses that I’ve used, and worst are constant entreaties to Reiki Surry Hills as a business. Most of them say, ‘I must say – your website is very impressive’ and then go onto to tell me I need them to get to the top of google rankings (or use them to create videos, or buy a doormat with my logo). So, I don’t want to ever come across as one of THOSE people.

So, I hope 3 or 4 newsletters a year is not too much. In the meantime, my latest newsletter is available. If you didn’t receive it directly and would like to read it, it’s here. I believe from that page, you can also subscribe to the newsletter if you haven’t already… or if you want to unsubscribe, please do so! I don’t want to annoy you by sending you information you don’t want, but I hope you keep in touch!

Discover the gifts and benefits of a session of Japanese reiki therapy, healing energy from an experienced practitioner. Visit my website or Facebook page for more information and SMS, email, call me or book online if you’d like to make an appointment.
Clients come from all over Sydney to see me, and I’ve also had clients who are visiting Sydney from Melbourne, Brisbane and the Gold Coast come and see me while they’re here for business, conferences or meeting families. While it’s easiest to get to me from the CBD, Darlinghurst, Paddington, Kings Cross, Redfern and Potts Point, I’m pretty easy to get to from anywhere in Sydney.

Before your reiki treatment

A lot more than you might think goes into preparing for your reiki treatment.

When I first get an enquiry, I’ll work out with a client what’s the best time for them to come. Or if they book online through Bookwell, then I need to check my calendar to make sure that time is free and confirm the appointment through Bookwell.

Then, for all clients who are coming, I send an SMS with some instructions about how to find me (as it’s a bit tricky to find the entrance in the small alley in Surry Hills) which also reminds them of the time of their appointment and the cost. It also means they have my phone number in case they get lost, want to ask further questions or need to cancel or rebook.

I’ve also learned that if someone doesn’t respond to that SMS, there’s a chance that they didn’t receive the message, and I should SMS again closer to the time and date of the appointment. Also, if someone books over a week in advance, it’s useful for me to try to remember to send a reminder, as clients do sometimes forget about a treatment if they book too far in advance (and don’t put it in their calendar).

Before the treatment, I need to make sure that the room is ready. Is the speaker charged so I can play music during the treatment? Is my Square charged for taking credit card payments? Do I also have change for those who pay in cash? Is the room tidy, and have I set up the reiki table with towels and pillows?

Twenty minutes before a treatment is when I’ve learned to be ready. Usually new clients are between 5 and 10 minutes early. Repeat clients, because they know the location, usually time their visit more closely to the appointment time, but often, understandably, clients give themselves a good amount of time to find the place, or they leave work early (who doesn’t want to do that?). If a client is five minutes late, I’ll send an SMS to ask if they need help finding me!

Being ready for the treatment means that I’ve made tea to offer when the client comes and sits down. Even if someone doesn’t want tea, I think it’s a nice thing to offer, and a nice way to sit down and feel like they’ve arrived somewhere. I also light the five tea light candles that I have in the room. Whether it’s sunny or dark, I’ve always liked candles, and the feeling of warmth they bring to a space. One of the candles is in my tea warmer, which I’ve discovered can keep the tea warm for the whole treatment!

To make sure we’re not disturbed during the treatment, I switch my fitness device to silent (if I don’t do this, it will buzz and tell me to “MOVE” during the treatment) but I don’t turn my phone to airplane mode until I’m sure the client has arrived. I also turn on my speaker, open the Spotify app on my iPhone and connect them, to play music during the treatment which I hope is relaxing and gentle and can also help block out any background noise from the street and neighbourhood.

When a client arrives, I buzz them in, greet them at the door, and welcome them to the apartment. I’ll ask them to remove their shoes at the door and offer them the use of the bathroom before we start (when I started proactively offering this, I was surprised how many clients took me up on the offer, which makes me wonder how many clients before that were uncomfortably realising during a treatment that they needed to go to the bathroom!). Then, I’ll ask the client to take a seat, introduce them to Thor, the reiki cat, if he’s decided to grace us with his presence, offer tea, and ask a client what brings them to reiki that day.

And finally, we’re ready to begin!

Discover the gifts and benefits of a session of Japanese reiki therapy, healing energy from an experienced practitioner. Visit my website or Facebook page for more information and SMS, email, call me or book online if you’d like to make an appointment.

Clients come from all over Sydney to see me, and I’ve also had clients who are visiting Sydney from Melbourne, Brisbane and the Gold Coast come and see me while they’re here for business, conferences or meeting families. While it’s easiest to get to me from the CBD, Darlinghurst, Paddington, Kings Cross, Redfern and Potts Point, I’m pretty easy to get to from anywhere in Sydney.

What if anxiety is our friend?

The most common reason clients come for a reiki treatment is for anxiety. So I found this recent New York Times article by Alicia Clarke interesting: how can we harness anxiety and see it as something that is useful?

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/16/well/mind/how-to-harness-your-anxiety.html

The article says that too much anxiety isn’t healthy, but no anxiety at all is not good (sociopaths for example).

She recommends that we think of anxiety as a signal, a useful one, to pay attention to what is causing us stress, and look for a solution.

We can also relabel ‘anxiety’ to think of it in a more positive way. If you’re nervous about something, you could think of it as nerves about how WELL it might go, rather than how badly.

Finally, she advises to aim for the ‘sweet spot’ where we use our anxiety as a friend (for example, to meet a deadline, or do something we’ve been putting off) rather than letting it overwhelm you.

I think it’s all good advice, and an invitation to look at the big picture. If a client comes for anxiety, and the cause is, say, a bad boss at work, or having to move apartments, then reiki alone isn’t going to help.

Still, I have had clients report back that a reiki treatment may help them be more relaxed, or deal with the anxiety better, or even have some inspiration about how to deal with it.

If you do have problems with anxiety, I encourage you: Ask if anxiety can be your friend. Try to allow some anxiety be useful for your life. And then for the anxiety that is uncomfortable and painful and not useful: explore different options so that you can find the set of solutions that will help you feel more calm and capable of dealing with life’s regular pressures and stress.

Discover the gifts and benefits of a session of Japanese reiki therapy, healing energy from an experienced practitioner. Visit my website or Facebook page for more information and SMS, email, call me or book online if you’d like to make an appointment.

Clients come from all over Sydney to see me, and I’ve also had clients who are visiting Sydney from Melbourne, Brisbane and the Gold Coast come and see me while they’re here for business, conferences or meeting families. While it’s easiest to get to me from the CBD, Darlinghurst, Paddington, Kings Cross, Redfern and Potts Point, I’m pretty easy to get to from anywhere in Sydney.

Note to self: keep doing your thing.

My teacher, Frans Stiene, from the International House of Reiki, posted this on Facebook a while ago, and it struck me how perfect it was for what I was feeling at the time.

It seems to be attributed on Pinterest and elsewhere to Nanea Hoffman who has a website called Sweatpants and Coffee (though I can’t find this post on her website).

There are many components that make a good reiki practitioner. Studying with a good teacher will help. A regular practice of meditation and reiki is essential. And I also think that we need to learn to have the right attitude and philosophy.

Even if I have good intentions, and want something specific for a person (say, to heal their broken heart when they’ve told me their heart is broken), me trying to control the energy and treatment gets in the way of the healing.

Similarly, if someone has specific expectations for a treatment, that they will feel a certain way, or that it will be exactly the same as a previous treatment, then that gets in the way of a treatment too. What if you are expecting a treatment to feel hot or for you to cry, and think that the treatment is only effective that way? Perhaps you would miss a different kind of healing that happens, that might be more subtle, or might feel different than what you expected.

For me, as a note to self, I can’t control what a client feels, and taking on disappointment if someone doesn’t get what they expect, or even have what they think is a bad experience, well, that’s not so helpful to me. It is something to be learned though, and a lesson that I think is a pretty good one for everyone, not only reiki practitioners.

The people around us are going through their own stuff, with their own reactions and expectations. We can’t control it. Just keeping on doing what we are doing, with as much love as we can do it with… that seems like a pretty good path forward.

The International House of Reiki’s Facebook page is here.

And if you haven’t visited lately, my Facebook page is here.

Discover the gifts and benefits of a session of Japanese reiki therapy, healing energy from an experienced practitioner. Visit my website or Facebook page for more information and SMS, email, call me or book online if you’d like to make an appointment.

Clients come from all over Sydney to see me, and I’ve also had clients who are visiting Sydney from Melbourne, Brisbane and the Gold Coast come and see me while they’re here for business, conferences or meeting families. While it’s easiest to get to me from the CBD, Darlinghurst, Paddington, Kings Cross, Redfern and Potts Point, I’m pretty easy to get to from anywhere in Sydney.

The most treatments EVER

I’m not sure whether it was because of the article in the Mail Online, or the universe, or the weather, but last month, October, I gave the most reiki treatments that I’ve ever given: 51!

That’s almost two a day, every day, including the weekends. In reality, I had quite a few days where I gave three treatments, and a few days where I did none.

None of my clients mentioned the article itself, but I do think that it would have boosted my Google listing and just made it easier on the internet to find me. I also wondered, with all the rain (it was a really unusually rainy month in Sydney), whether clients were thinking of things they could do inside… and if the rain didn’t make some people a bit more melancholy or stressed out than usual.

It was a happy month for me! I kept to my limit of three treatments a day, and I found that I was able to balance the treatments with my other work as a freelance editor. Sometimes it did feel a little busy, getting bookings and enquiries throughout a day, and then making sure I’d put them into my calendar and my online booking calendar. I had two no-shows, which is unusual, and a few last minute cancellations.

My regular clients didn’t mind that this was the month I put my rates up from $75 to $80, and as usual, I met lots of nice and interesting people. Even though sometimes clients come in a bit of a state of distress or anxiety, I often get the sense of what nice people they are regardless. And I feel grateful for the opportunity to have a practice where I can bring people relief from some suffering and give them a helping hand, and I get the chance to meditate, and be still during the treatment. How lucky I am!

Discover the gifts and benefits of a session of Japanese reiki therapy, healing energy from an experienced practitioner. Visit my website or Facebook page for more information and SMS, email, call me or book online if you’d like to make an appointment.

Clients come from all over Sydney to see me, and I’ve also had clients who are visiting Sydney from Melbourne, Brisbane and the Gold Coast come and see me while they’re here for business, conferences or meeting families. While it’s easiest to get to me from the CBD, Darlinghurst, Paddington, Kings Cross, Redfern and Potts Point, I’m pretty easy to get to from anywhere in Sydney.

Reiki Surry Hills in the news!

I’m very happy that Reiki Surry Hills has been featured in an article in the Femail section of the Australian edition of the MailOnline. The MailOnline is the online version of Britain’s Daily Mail, and is the most visited English-language newspaper website in the world! It has homepages for the UK, USA, India and Australia. Check out the article here:

Is natural energy healing the secret to relieving stress for good? I tried Reiki for the first time – with surprising results

It came about when a wonderful Irish journalist named Alice Murphy put out a request to come for three reiki treatments and then write about it. While originally the article was meant to be matched with another story about another form of energy healing, that one got delayed, so I get a whole feature article myself!

I think it’s great, clearly written and features Reiki Surry Hills nicely. I like that the article is just a straightforward look at her experiences. She sets out the possible problem, and how she felt before, and then, along with a useful overall explanation of reiki, she talks about how she felt after the treatment. Some of my reviews are included from the website, a photo of me, and my husband even sneaks into the article (posing as a client).

I’m curious how many more treatments this will translate into, though this week (the article was first posted in the wee hours of the morning on Sunday), I have had a lot of bookings and as of the Friday, the page says there have been 1,200 shares!

Discover the gifts and benefits of a session of Japanese reiki therapy, healing energy from an experienced practitioner. Visit my website or Facebook page for more information and SMS, email, call me or book online if you’d like to make an appointment.

Clients come from all over Sydney to see me, and I’ve also had clients who are visiting Sydney from Melbourne, Brisbane and the Gold Coast come and see me while they’re here for business, conferences or meeting families. While it’s easiest to get to me from the CBD, Darlinghurst, Paddington, Kings Cross, Redfern and Potts Point, I’m pretty easy to get to from anywhere in Sydney.

The price of a reiki treatment

The price of a reiki treatment at Reiki Surry Hills is going up from $75 to $80 for a 50-minute treatment.

From the start of my reiki practice in 2012 to September 2016, I charged $60 and then went up to $75 at that time. It’s been another two years now, and I hope that a small price increase will be manageable for my clients. In fact, many of you have commented how inexpensive my charges are compared to other places in Sydney, and one or two have suggested that I raise the price!

My costs have increased too, for the online booking service, for taking credit card payments, and for paying the Australian Taxation Office! So the price increase will help to cover those, and I’ll finally be able to stop hoarding five dollar notes to give out as change!

I just did some searching on the internet to see other rates. I can see it can be hard to compare, with the first person offering 45 minutes for $90, another 90 minutes for $150 and the next $140 for 60 minutes. Ouch, those are all pretty expensive. For mobile reiki (they come to you), it’s $100 for an hour (this seems a good rate, considering the convenience). Another place is $90 for an hour, and another place is $95. In Bondi, $100 an hour. Disturbingly, on a number of sites, it’s difficult to actually see how much the charge is!

The last time I checked a few years ago, I thought there was someone in Bondi at a similar price, but at the moment, it looks like I’ve not only got the best reviews in Sydney, but I’ll also the cheapest!
If you do want reiki but have troubles affording it, just let me know, and I offer a concession rate of $60 for students and those in a financial bind.

More payment news: I’m now taking credit card payments with a handy little “Square” device that hooks up to my phone. I still prefer to receive cash, but it’s an option for you (though some clients prefer to do on-the-spot bank transfers through their phones).

Discover the gifts and benefits of a session of Japanese reiki therapy, healing energy from an experienced practitioner. Visit my website or Facebook page for more information and SMS, email, call me or book online if you’d like to make an appointment.
Clients come from all over Sydney to see me, and I’ve also had clients who are visiting Sydney from Melbourne, Brisbane and the Gold Coast come and see me while they’re here for business, conferences or meeting families. While it’s easiest to get to me from the CBD, Darlinghurst, Paddington, Kings Cross, Redfern and Potts Point, I’m pretty easy to get to from anywhere in Sydney.