Is reiki right for you?

Kate MacLennan, our Vancouver city editor, on how she used reiki to heal a bum shoulder

reiki woman healing japanese spa

Photo, iStock.

What is it?

Reiki is a spiritual healing practice developed by a Japanese Buddhist in which restorative energy is channelled from the palms of the practitioner to the recipient.

The backstory

I’d heard of reiki but was skeptical. I was particularly dubious about the abilities of a young practitioner at a luxury spa — surely to help treat a rotator cuff injury by mere touch, the treatment would have to be administered by a wizened Buddhist doctor? Nevertheless, I opened my mind and headed for the spa.

Price tag

A one-hour session is about $125. It’s not cheap, but I’d be willing to eat Kraft Dinner for a week to forget my pharmacist’s name.

Cool people who do it

Angelina Jolie, Sandra Bullock and Halle Barry are among the celebs who have praised the meditative and healing powers of the practice.

Level of undress

You don’t even have to remove your watch — it can be done over your clothes.

How it went down

My Jikiden Reiki (a traditional type of reiki) experience began like any other spa treatment. My therapist asked some basic questions (“Any chronic pain? Injuries?”), then explained that she was going to move around the table, putting her hands on my body (over the sheets) in places related to the ailment, or where she literally felt my energy needed to be brought into balance.

The unexpected

I was surprised by how heavy I felt on the bed as the treatment progressed, and by the small waves of . . . energy, I guess, that I felt rippling down my arms. This was completely normal, I was told.

The result

Afterwards, I felt as though I’d woken from a deep sleep to a day with no obligations. On my drive home I got an ache in the shoulder with the injury, but it lasted only about five minutes — and it hasn’t bothered me since.

Final verdict

As my experience proves, you don’t have to believe in reiki for it to help you feel better. I’d definitely recommend trying it for chronic pain or a lingering injury.