New Age therapies are on the rise, but how much weight do they carry? I embark on a reiki healing experience with a local practitioner to find out.
I’ve never really been interested in New Age therapies, or anything along the lines of star signs, healing crystals, and tarot readings. Occasionally, I click on my weekly horoscope forecast. But it’s always been for the fun of it – like cracking open a fortune cookie during the Lunar New Year. I often relegate these things to self-fulfilling prophecies. But recently, I thought – hey, if there’s an inkling of truth in it, I want to experience it first-hand. So, I went for a reiki healing session in Singapore at De’Obsidian.
What is reiki healing?
If you don’t know what reiki is, let me break it down for you. The practice of reiki originated in Japan, with ‘rei’ meaning universe and ‘ki’ meaning energy. While it’s known as a New Age alternative healing technique, its roots actually go all the way back to the early 1920s. During a reiki healing session, practitioners transfer their energy into you by hovering their hands just above your body. This energy transference helps to remove energy blockages that might be causing stress and anxiety, and enhances your body’s natural healing abilities. It’s important to note, however, that this isn’t a replacement for medical treatment.
“Every reiki master has their preferred way of conducting the healing,” says Edwin Koh, 31, founder and reiki master at De’Obsidian. He tells me there’s no standard way or process for the healing to be carried out, and encourages me to have an open mind about the experience.
Gearing up for my healing session
Edwin’s shop at Wcega Plaza in Bukit Batok is pretty spacious, with shelves of sparkling crystals on the ground floor. “We conduct the reiki sessions right upstairs,” Edwin says. Immediately, I notice he’s a pretty cheerful guy with a calming presence. He also assures me that his wife helps to supervise each session, making sure female clients feel comfortable at all times.
If you love animals, you’re in for a treat because the shop is also home to his furry companions. I’m talking four dogs, two cats, and several other birds and bunnies – all adopted by Edwin and his wife. He tells me he’s an animal communicator, and I quip that his skills would’ve been useful when my dogs were alive.
“Oh, but I can also speak to pets that have passed,” he shares. “Let me know if you have any questions to ask them.” I smile at his suggestion, but shrug it off. I’d never heard of an animal communicator before – and truthfully, I was a little sceptical.
I’m not sure if he’s caught my hesitation, but he continues to explain the details of the reiki healing session. It involves a short consultation session inclusive of an aura reading before the actual healing takes place.
Getting down to business
We head upstairs and sit around a small table to begin the consultation. I’m treated to a warm cup of tea as Edwin sets up. He places a little device in my hand that’s connected to a tablet. I sit very still for a bit as it scans my energy, and then a chart pops up on the screen. I don’t register very much of what’s on it, but Edwin tells me briefly that it’s information on my seven chakras.
“You’re close to your dad, aren’t you,” he says as he flips through my report. I nod and think it’s odd that he knows but it seems like a lucky guess. He tells me my aura is pretty healthy overall. We go through each of the chakras and he continues to ask me questions about myself. This process helps him to find out where I’m dealing with energy blockages so he can expel them during the healing session. He also takes me through some confidence-building and visualisation exercises so I can understand myself better.
Next, we head over to the massage table. His wife gets me settled and heaps two blankets on top of me to make sure I’m not feeling cold. The reiki healing begins.
First, Edwin cleanses any excess energy around me by smudging through the burning of palo santo and sage. I close my eyes, relax and submit to my thoughts. Edwin hovers his hands above me and scans my body for discomfort or blockage in my chakra points. The energy transference takes place and lasts for about half an hour. I don’t feel very much, except for a moment where my fingertips begin to tingle for a little bit – an experience I’ve read is common in reiki healing.
When the session ends, Edwin carries out another round of smudging. His wife comes over to wake me up and offer me some water.
So, is reiki healing legit?
At the end of the session, I felt refreshed and clear-headed. Although I wasn’t quite sure if it was the reiki or the 30-minute-long nap I’d just taken on the massage table. Edwin, however, says one thing that catches me off guard. “By any chance, were you thinking of your dog?” he asks. I’m a little taken aback because I had been thinking about them both since he brought up his experience as an animal communicator. Specifically, my first dog Sky, who passed in 2017.
Edwin tells me that while his hands were hovering over my crown chakra, he saw a vivid image of a white, fluffy dog. He asks for a picture of Sky, and I hand him an old one. He holds my phone for a bit and says, “your dog wants you to know not to feel guilty that you didn’t take him to the vet in time.”
I’m startled. It’s something I’d been holding close to my heart for a long time. I was shocked that he’d know this detail considering I hadn’t told him the circumstances of my dog’s passing. Neither had I posted this anywhere on social media (in case you’re wondering if he did some stalking). Needless to say, I was reduced to tears and pondered on this long after I’d left the shop.
Truthfully, I’m not sure how legit reiki is. But I do feel it could be a good tool to help individuals look within themselves. Perhaps that’s the key to making the change they need to see in their lives.
I’d say I’m still not a believer. However, there’s no doubt I have no answers for some things that were said and done in the session. Maybe, like a magician’s act, that’s the draw of reiki healing and New Age therapies. It’s the not knowing that makes it all the more magical.