I’m big on alternative medicine. I do yoga, go for cupping sessions, and dabble in naturopathy. I once went for an Ayurvedic retreat in India and also underwent hypnotherapy for a year. But these are just some of the types that work for me, and there are plenty that don’t. So I wouldn’t say everything alternative works — at least not for me.
One thing I’ve never tried though is Reiki, so when I was asked to give it a go I didn’t hesitate to say yes. Reiki is widely thought to be a healing technique and involves a practitioner delivering energy to a patient through touch. The energy is meant to bring them balance, which can in turn reduce stress and induce relaxation, among other benefits.
I got in touch with Elaine Yang from Reiki Glow Singapore for an hour-long Reiki healing session. Elaine first got into Reiki when she found herself in a difficult place in life. She felt that she always looked externally for help, and never inward, so after a bit of Googling she decided to give it a go. Although initially skeptical, she found that Reiki helped her feel more grounded and eased her insomnia.
Elaine has been a Reiki healer since 2011, so I reckoned that I would be in safe hands (ha ha, geddit?). Her sessions are usually conducted at One Heart along Tembeling Road, a centre where teachers of different types of alternative medicine hold classes and workshops.
She was warm and easy to talk to right off the bat, important traits of any sort of healer. But before we started on my healing, I had a few questions. In particular, if she’d be channelling her energy into me.
“No! I’m only the conduit for the ‘universal energy’ to come through. Our body has innate wisdom when it comes to healing itself,” she explained.
So basically, the practitioner is simply a “host”. They don’t transfer their own energy, but help energy “from the universe” flow into you. Practitioners believe that your body will then know how to use the energy to your benefit. In fact, if you learn how to, you can use Reiki on yourself. And according to Elaine, it’s first and foremost a self-healing tool.
Practitioners also believe that Reiki can treat the root cause of an ailment. However, the alleviation of the symptoms depends on whether or not there are other factors at play.
For example, a person suffering from a headache can experience pain relief during their first Reiki session. But if there are other causes for the headache, they might experience other changes (better sleep, less stress) before experiencing relief from the headache. This doesn’t mean that Reiki should replace medical advice, though.
“Reiki provides complementary therapy. We’d never tell you to use Reiki instead of going to a doctor, but it’s an additional source to help support the body with healing,” added Elaine.
We then got down to the healing. She had me lie down on a massage table, then wrapped me up pretty snugly with some towels (if you get cold easily, they’re a must-have). She then turned down the lights and put on some soothing music.
“I’ll be hovering my hands over you. Sometimes, I’ll touch you lightly in certain areas. You may or may not fall asleep, but 80 percent of my patients do,” said Elaine. “Just relax.”
Given my experience with hypnotherapy, I knew I would lose consciousness pretty fast. Sure, it had been a long day, but more significantly, I’m the sort who can just relax and trust the process. I “passed away” and fell into deep sleep within minutes.
I woke up maybe thrice during the course of the hour, and always found her hands placed lightly on certain areas of my body — shoulders, abdomen, feet etc. While some people can “feel” the energy flowing into their body—they experience warmth or a tingling sensation and sometimes even see colours—I felt nothing. But not everyone is as “sensitive”, and I was happy just feeling relaxed.
When it was time to get up, Elaine woke me gently and brought me a warm cup of water.
“How do you feel?” she asked.
I felt refreshed, but I did sleep pretty well. I didn’t feel particularly different, and I didn’t really feel lighter because I hadn’t walk through the door with many burdens that evening. I felt more calm and alert, but I wasn’t sure if that was also thanks to the nap.
“People come in with expectations. But I tell them, ‘I’m not the healer. You’re the healer. Your body will take in this energy and support you so it becomes easier for you to manage what needs to be managed.’ It could be on a physical or emotional level, and everyone has a different healing process,” explained Elaine.
According to her, deep sleep is very common during Reiki because Reiki is meditative and relaxing. And sleep is a good thing — because while our body can heal whether or not we’re asleep, it heals on a deeper level when we’re asleep.
And since the body also clears out the bad stuff during that time, you may suffer from some symptoms of detox if there is a need for your body to detox. You may find yourself fluish or needing to go to the toilet more. I didn’t experience any of that, but every body is different.
Elaine encourages independent healing, so she typically recommends that customers take up a package of three healing sessions, then attend her workshops to learn how to heal themselves.
“Over the three sessions, they’ll be able to see some shifts and notice some changes. If they’re quite stressed, they may see more noticeable differences,” she said.
I didn’t feel any different after the session and over the next few days, but there could be a variety of reasons for it. Maybe it was because it was just one session. Maybe I had expectations. Maybe I’m just not “sensitive” and aren’t aware of the shifts going on.
Or maybe Reiki just isn’t suited for me. After all, different folks, different strokes — and what’s most important is we find something that works for us. So I’d say whether or not all is well on your end, if you’re seeking some sort of rebalance in life, give Reiki a shot. It may or may not be your thing, but in the process you could discover something that might just switch things up for the better.
Elaine charges $150 per session and $390 for a package of three sessions. Her Level 1 Reiki Workshop is $450, and the next one will take place from 27th to 28th January next year.
Scroll the gallery to check out more pictures my experience.