September 6, 2010
The Shakti Healing Circle is right opposite Japan Home Store on Wellington Street, slap bang in the middle of the bustle of Central, though as soon as you enter you feel as though you are worlds away from the busy streets outside. This holistic wellness centre is a little bastion of alternative health care and spirituality in a city otherwise obsessed with commercializing ancient practices like yoga, and of course the extreme rat race mentality which we all adopt here. The Shakti Healing Circle has a good-sized yoga/meditation studio where they hold regular classes and workshops, and also plenty of small consultation rooms where visiting and resident therapists work. I found when I first came in that I felt quite flustered by the sudden change in tempo from being outside, so it’s nice to take a few minutes to sit and decompress before your treatment.
I had been invited to try Reiki Healing with the Centre’s co-founder, Pervin Clasper. I’ve tried some alternative therapies before, like the Alexander Technique, and and so I think I would describe my attitude towards methods of healing and spiritual therapy as a kind of open scepticism – I know that I’ve experienced huge rushes of emotions and altered states through these therapies, but I harbour a little doubt as to the actual cause and effect of such results. I believe quite strongly in the power of touch, talking and compassion, but maybe don’t extend this belief to higher powers or spiritual planes.
Reiki is a Japanese technique for stress reduction and relaxation that also promotes healing. It is administered by “laying on hands” and is based on the idea that an unseen “life force energy” flows through us and is what causes us to be alive. If one’s “life force energy” is low, then we are more likely to get sick or feel stress, and if it is high, we are more capable of being happy and healthy.
Pervin comes across as warm and compassionate, and she began the treatment by explaining that as I had come for a trial rather than about a specific issue like most people, she would take a whole-body approach and deal with anything that came up when she attuned to me. She spent about 10 minutes sitting on a chair in front of me as I sat sideways on the treatment bed, with her hands on my knees, talking to me, but also listening to my body and what she picked up. She focused first on different time points of my life, telling me that something very momentous had happened to me two years ago (yes, spot on, I moved to Hong Kong and got married), as well as five or six years ago (meeting my husband, moving to Switzerland). She also mentioned that at the age of nine or ten I had possibly gone through some tumultuous period of my childhood, which didn’t ring a bell at all, but as I have the worst memory known to man, I’m not ruling out that she got this right too.
After this detour into my past, she told me about some health issues that she picked up, most notably a strain and wear and tear on my joints which she said is too much for someone of my age, and which she would only understand if I were a serious runner (which I’m not). Since being pregnant I have had quite a bit of hip and knee pain, which I put down to the extra weight bearing down on my joints, and she recommended adding some more oils to my diet, like fish oil.
After this she invited me to lie down and relax on the table, asking me to visualize everything I wanted from life. This is surprisingly hard to do on demand, and I found my thoughts drifting to quite frivolous things, which I then worried she would be able to psychically pick up! She moved around me, placing her hands with extreme softness on various parts of my head and body. I found the heat coming out of her hands startling, though when I mentioned this and she gave me her palm to touch with mine, it was cool. I drifted off into an extremely peaceful sleep, just vaguely aware of her moving around me.
Pervin woke me up very gently by ringing a tiny bell, and told me to keep relaxing and lying down while she talked to me about what she had done while I was sleeping. She told me that she had cleared out the remains of a virus that has been hanging around for weeks now, and also given me some “grounding” with the work she did on my feet and legs to increase my yang energy as I am more leaning to the yin side at present. She said this would give me more strength and confidence, and help me balance my “airy-fairy-ness”. I definitely could relate to this description of myself, and even more so when she told me that my emotional demands can be hard for those around me. As I move into my last phases of pregnancy I’m certainly not giving me husband an easy time of it! Finally, she told me to avoid red meat, wheat and rice, to drink spring water, and to concentrate on breathing and meditation. She said that after the session I would feel very calm, and possibly quite tired, and that the effects would last for several days.
I walked out of the Shakti Healing Circle definitely feeling more at peace and well-rested, and very calm, with that clean feeling in my mind that you get from a meditation practice. I definitely felt a strong motivation to make some changes to my life to focus more on taking care of myself mentally, and to take more time out to be quiet and still and to breathe, especially over the next couple of weeks before the baby arrives and life turns upside down. I would definitely highly recommend a session with Pervin if you’re in a fragile or overwrought state and need to connect again with some inner calm. She may just be the perfect antidote to Hong Kong life!