In 2015, I stumbled across an ASMR video as a recommendation in my YouTube feed, and from there I’ve always found ASMR content to be a form of relaxation for me. If you’re not aware of what ASMR is, it stands for Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response and is what defines the tingling feeling some people experience when something triggers it.
Now, from that explanation, it all sounds a little odd, if not a little sensual. But that’s not what it is at all. The best way for me to explain it to some is, when someone plays with your hair or draws on your back and you perhaps experience a slight tingling sensation in your scalp and down your spine – you know the kind that gives you goosebumps and makes you feel all calm and relaxed? – that’s what is called ASMR. If you experience that, then someone playing with your hair or drawing on your back is what could be classed as a trigger for you.
For me, my triggers are: someone drawing on my back, playing with my hair, tapping on my face or scalp (like in massages), and the sound/smell/look of my oil diffuser. If I ever experience these or hear the sounds, I find my eyes become very sleepy and I could drift into a deep sleep within minutes.
Now, a part of ASMR is a healing session called Reiki. This is a Japanese technique used to reduce stress and promote relaxation. I’ve always watched these types of sessions out of interest, but never thought I could book myself in for one. But after trying reflexology and a variety of other holistic treatments, I found a local therapist who offers Reiki and decided it was finally time to try it.
Would I book in again? Absolutely.
My Reiki Experience
The session began with the therapist talking me through how she’ll perform a Reiki treatment before asking me to lie back on a massage bed. I was then covered with a blanket and asked to close my eyes before they started the treatment.
The treatment was hands-on: they would place their hands on various areas of your body for 3-5 minutes per area. I believe this is all down to the individual therapist, as the Reiki videos I’ve watched online are a mix of hands-on like I experienced, and completely touch-free. I’d be curious what I’d feel with a hands-free session, but I still felt all the benefits of a hands-on session.
Below are a few questions you may have about the treatment, which I thought I’d answer based on my experience.
What does it do?
Does it hurt?
No. Reiki is literally a spiritual healing treatment which involves either no touching or very light touch. In my experience you’ll find the person performing the session will place their hands on your head, chest and limbs for a couple minutes each time. If it was a hands-free session, which I believe you can request if that’s what you’re most comfortable with, then it’s all about free-flowing energy where they move their hands above your body.
Do you have to undress for reiki?
No, you don’t have to undress for reiki. This isn’t a massage where you’d be required to remove items of clothing. Instead, this is a spiritual treatment and therefore doesn’t require you to remove any clothing. You can of course remove your shoes and outerwear so you’re comfortable when lying down.
Do they use any products on you?
No. No oils or lotions etc. are used like they would be in a massage. The only items which may be placed on you are an eye mask, which is dependent on the person performing the Reiki, or crystals on your chakras, which the person would also talk you through.
Where can you book a session?
I’ve had three sessions: one at a beauty salon called Pretty & Pampered in Crewe, Cheshire, another at a holistic therapy centre called Navitas in Shavington, Cheshire and a third with the lovely Debbie at Mystical Harmony HT in Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent. However, if you simply search for terms such as ‘holistic treatments’ or ‘reiki treatment’ and your location, you’ll probably be surprised by the results. You may find it’ll be within a beauty salon that offers massages and facials, unless there is a specialist holistic salon in your area – mainly larger cities would offer this, like London.