Alex Koop

Spiritual Healing/ Reiki Massage - combining bodywork and energy work

Posted by Alex Koop Over 1 Year Ago

Spiritual Healing/ Reiki Massage is just that – a combination of Spiritual Healing/ Reiki and whole body massage. How did I come to combine the two, and what are the potential benefits - let me elaborate....

2006 - I had been doing healing work for near a decade, and had made it ‘official’, by taking the Healing Trust healer training program, and becoming a Reiki Master too. When trying to become a self-employed full time healer, I soon found though, that apparently, unless one has written a few well-subscribed esoteric books, miraculously healed a couple of cancer cases, within a session or two, or done a few TV interviews, there is not many people actually booking a no-name spiritual healer for a healing session. At least in London that seemed to be the case for my practice. I could not blame my non-existing clients though, on one had there is plenty of healing centres London-wide, where one can get a Healing Trust Spiritual Healing on donation basis only, plus it is a bit of a funny therapy... Basically a Spiritual Healer or Reiki Master will just stand next to you and often do most his/ her work with his/ her hands off your body. The real work happens inside the healer, invisible to the healer’s eyes , so unless you are more energy sensitive already, it could be hard to distinguish between a charlatan and a genuine healer. Furthermore, even though there is plenty of research which appears to confirm that energy healing therapies have statistically significant positive healing effects, it still is not too widely known and accepted.

 I did not let the initial scarce number of clients dampen my spirit, and started to consider other complementary therapies, which might be more renowned, and have greater client pulling potential. I had always enjoyed massaging partners on a layman basis, plus I was quite confident that I have good, strong and relatively intuitive massage-hands (having played the piano for 20 years might have helped develop to those?). I decided to take some massage courses.  The first whole body massage technique I learned was Hawaiian Massage. I really liked the sound of it, and it turned out to be half spiritual too. The therapist creates a safe, spiritual space for himself and the client, before commencing the actual bodywork. Hawaiian Massage is very beautiful! The soothing Hawaiian chants playing in the background, help induce incredible flow. The energy created is very beautiful, soothing and refreshingly innocent. It is a bit like the therapists’ hands performing a Hula dance on your body.

I started to experiment with it though, I added chakra work, such as I had learned with my healer training to my massages. I also added deeper and more localized work, something that Hawaiian Massage did not teach as much, but which most my clients seemed to be looking for. It turned out to be a winning combination.` My Spiritual Healing-/ Reiki Massage was born.

I have had plenty of clients commending me on my technique, and many returning clients attest to them not just sweet talking me. Some of the benefits and validity of combining energy work and bodywork have only become overt to me in retrospect. Over the course of the last year I have trained as an NVQ Level5 Sports Masseur.  – It is always good to keep on learning, and Sports Massage taught me more about anatomy, some common sports injuries, postural imbalances etc. What is really interesting though is, that over the years I have intuitively, bit by bit, added some changes to my massage technique, such as vibrating on the spot, shaking limbs, using traction on joints, or poking into tight muscles. It turned out that much of what I had intuitively added over the years, are genuine massage techniques, taught in more advanced massage courses. With Sports Massage, we learned to apply deep punctual pressure – NMT (Neuromuscular Technique), but we were advised to go in very slowly, as to not create undue pain. Obviously it is something which is hard to quantify, and I could be deluding myself, but I very strongly feel, that when I do a Spiritual Healing/ Reiki Massage, my clients are faster and deeper relaxed than when performing a Sports Massage without healing. In 7 years of Spiritual Healing/ Reiki Massage, I have never had a client complain about me going too deep or being too rough on them. I imagine that being for a potential number of reasons – for one I feel that spiritual energies are somewhat analgesic. - Spiritual energies help dislodge and ‘take away’ energies contributing to muscle tightness or pain. - Being ‘switched-on’ I am more intuitive and just ‘know’ how deep I can go, plus it naturally slows me down (slow, deep work is seldom painful).  - Furthermore clients are more relaxed, they feel safer and due to that, what might be felt as uncomfortable pain with a regular massage, is rather felt as a healing relief. Having created an energetic, connected 'safe space' clients, consciously or subconsciously, might also feel more safe to actually release pent up emotions, etc. They feel that such energies will be taken away and looked after in a safe manner.  - As of yet, no client has complained about post-massage muscle achiness either, something which can happen with regular, deep massage work, when therapists ‘over-work’ an area.

Besides all that, I am confident too, that whereas most regular massages have primarily physical benefits only, by adding Spiritual Healing/ Reiki, these energies can help my clients heal on all levels, i.e. physical, emotional, mental and spiritual. I like to think that my clients might just be even more de-stressed, energy-balanced and re-charged, when they leave me, than after a regular, non-energetic massage. For many of my clients it is their first experience of Healing energies, but I very rarely get any clients, who do not want me to add any Spiritual Healing/ Reiki. Perhaps knowing, that they’ll get a ‘proper’ massage too, they do not have to worry about their mates laughing at them down the pub later. With a Reiki only session -their friends might tell them, that even If they felt more relaxed after, it would be nothing more than a placebo effect… But even if Reiki were make believe only, with me they get a proper massage too, which is undeniable – they get something for their cash.

Obviously in an Spiritual healing or Reiki session only, I do not just stand over my clients with my hands off their body? They can be very hard work.  Holding a healing energy frequency, I, at times, tense my whole body. As I am standing still, you might not be able to tell easily, that I am doing anything though.

Another benefit of combining energy work with massage is, that I ground my clients (energetically) at the end of their session. Grounding pulls them back into their bodies. Most clients do not need more than a minute to get up after that, refreshed and alert. No feeling dizzy or somewhat disoriented.

Especially with less spiritual clients, I do not talk about spiritual topics much. I remember from my own, younger, more sceptical years, that when people tried to proselytize me, I would just block up completely. Pushing too much on a potential budding opening towards spirituality, can easily back-fire. I let the (healing) energies talk for themselves. And then, at times, you get some wonderful developments. I remember a stressed banker. In his first session he did not seem to respond at all. No signs of overall relaxation, such as deeper, calmer breathing. When he turned on his back, he lay there with his eyes wide open, staring at the ceiling. Most clients have their eyes closed and only potentially open them, when chatting with me. I cannot deny that there were plenty of insecurities in my head screaming – ‘He is not enjoying your massage at all. He is bored out of his mind!’. I was pretty surprised when he called again, a few weeks later, to book another session. He lay there again though, eyes wide open. And the next time too! Only with his next massage – Oh Joy! – deeper breathing and closed eyes. I asked him after that massage – “How is work, still so busy?” He said – “Yes, always. But I have had this epiphany, that if I get stressed, the workload does not diminish because of it. So I have decided to just not get stressed anymore. “

Working one-on-one with many clients, many of whom have become regulars, has helped me more and more to understand how energies work too. It was one of the last pieces of the puzzle to make sense of how energetic forces appear to function on this planet. It also gave me the last needed push to put my spiritual understandings and experiences, over the years, on paper. My first book – ‘Tours and Cures of a Lightsoldier’ (Alexander King) – O Books.  The book does not only deal with my experiences with my healing clients, but also other milestones on my spiritual journey – initially I ended up in a manipulative, destructive cult, when wanting to learn how to spiritually heal, and thereafter I was plagued for years, by what felt like Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. They are all experiences, which have helped me to be more confident and grounded in my believes though. Most of all, these experiences have given me the strength and brawn to not just take any guru’s words, or spiritual teachings, as given anymore. I have learned to question and test teachings myself first, before potentially subscribing to them. Many I have found to be at least lacking or incomplete, if not misleading or potentially even wrong. With ‘Tours and Cures of a Lightsoldier’ I attempt to take an honest look at and manifest much needed constructive criticism of the esoteric field. I do not just de-construct some teachings though, but I also append or fix them, as required. Hopefully my readers will have better and stronger tools for their spiritual journeys after reading my book.

Spiritual Healing/ Reiki Massage is a whole body, hot oil massage. In my Hawaiian Massage training we learned to treat clients with a loin-cloth-cover only, and for the ladies, a cover for her breasts, when lying on her back. Being able to work on the whole body and apply frequent whole body massage strokes, can be very soothing, and most of all it helps (re-)connect body parts to each other. With our modern lives often being very mind and head centred, many of us, it seems, unless doing plenty of exercise, can unlearn to be in our bodies and to feel ‘being in our bodies’. In that sense whole body strokes can potentially help a client feel more whole again, more in his/her body and more centred. The added energy work adds to that effect.  – All that said, as a professional therapist, I am obviously open to modify the treatment, when more modest clients might wish so. It can be performed with the client wearing shorts or underwear and theoretically even fully clothed too. With the latter the massage work is then obviously not going to include any flowing effleurage work, but more e.g. localized kneading and pressure work only, akin to maybe Thai massage.

Whereas Spiritual Healing/ Reiki Massage seems to generally be tolerated well and usually clients only report positive effects and after-effects (such as better sleep), common massage contraindications prevail. E.g. massage work is contraindicated fresh after surgery, or when you have a fever etc. Then there is localized contraindications, such as infectious skin diseases, open wounds, varicose veins etc. The beauty in performing Spiritual Healing/ Reiki Massage, and having a client with localized contraindications, is though, that often one can still massage the rest of the body and just perform hands-on or hands-off healing on the areas, which should not be massaged. For clients, who suffer from generalized massage contraindications, Spiritual Healing or Reiki (ex the massage) can obviously still be offered.

Spiritual Healing/ Reiki Massage, just as Spiritual Healing or Reiki, is a complementary therapy, and should not be seen as an alternative to medical advice and treatment. It is also non-denominational, and clients do not have to be spiritual or be religious to receive it. Whereas with clients who are more spiritual and e.g.  meditate,  the energies often feel , as if they are flowing more abundantly and intensely, more sceptical clients will often not ‘feel’ much in terms of energy, but usually they too will notice that they were more relaxed than usual, or they might have noticed that my hands became relatively hot at times.

Currently I do not teach Spiritual Healing/ Reiki Massage yet, but I am open to the idea. Teaching would likely be more of a sharing of experiences though. Students would already be qualified masseurs and energy workers, and it would be more about helping them abolish any potential resistance they might still experience about putting the two therapies together.