Spa Junkie on… Susie Anthony, Reiki master

Our reporter looks for an alternative way to de-stress

Image: Jay Yeo

“The Force is what gives a Jedi his power,” says Star Wars’ Obi-Wan Kenobi. “It’s an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us and penetrates us. It binds the galaxy together.” It’s this sense of connectedness that Susie Anthony, one of the world’s pre-eminent Reiki masters, sees as chiming with her craft: “It’s an instant reconnection to the power that pervades everything in our world,” she says.

Sound a little out of this world? Let’s bring things back to earth, and to Battersea Bridge, over which I am strolling towards a fabulous waterfront penthouse, where Anthony is to demonstrate the virtues of Reiki.

Popular with high-flyers from pro-golfers toHollywood A-listers, the ultra-relaxing Japanese technique introduces positive energy into the body, removes energy blockages and reduces stress – boy, could I do with some of that.

More than 20 years ago, Anthony left the world of big business – where for 25 years she had worked for some of the world’s most influential power players, including Harunori Takahashi, Japan’s “king of resort development” – to seek a higher purpose and embark on a quest to find meaning in life. After studying with Native Americans she went on to work with African shamans, Chinese Shaolin and Tibetan Buddhist monks, and Japanese Shinto priests. But it was with Reiki masters that she found her calling. Today, Anthony is an internationally acclaimed speaker and award-winning personal development author and Reiki healer.

She is not at all what I expect a Reiki master to look like, with her platinum bob, red lipstick and coloured necklaces and bracelets. “Reiki is a Japanese word,” she explains as we chat over a beetroot juice. “Rei means ‘the invisible force of all essence’, and ki means ‘that which creates, sustains and nurtures all living things’”.

I lie down on the treatment bed, fully clothed, and Anthony takes two tuning forks and taps them on the soles of my feet. She says the sound vibrations last for quite some time, meaning my energy is very good – the quicker the sound stops, the more depleted the energy reserves.

She then moves her hands around my body, placing them in a number of healing “postures”, working slowly from my head to my toes. I feel a deep heat emanating every time she touches me. It’s calming, comforting and relaxing. My mind clears pretty effortlessly, and I feel a weight lifting.

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“What you experience will be unique to you, and may vary from session to session,” says Anthony. “Most people experience heat coming from my hands, others experience pleasant tingling sensations and see colours, while some feel nothing more than a profound sense of calm.”

All too swiftly, 90 minutes pass. At the end, I stand up, almost unsure of what has happened – but with a true sense of serenity.

The Bottom Line

I left feeling like I was walking on air. After the session, I noticed an increased vitality, focus and clarity of thinking, and felt significantly less stressed. I’d absolutely recommend a treatment with Susie Anthony, but you’ve got to approach it with an open mind. Cynics may not find they have the same results, as your body needs to be open to positive energy.

Spa Junkie is the founder of FaceGym. She pays for all her own travel, accommodation and therapies.

For other de-stressing treatments, try a trip to Bodhimaya or spend some time in a sun meadow.

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