Chakras, auras and pressure points are words that once belonged in the realms of new age and those generally considered different, but are now heard as casual asides over designer coffees and dinner tables alike. Cairo is awash with practitioners offering a baffling array of alternative methods to promote wellness and Reiki is one of the forms of energy healing that has become a household name.
Finding the form of therapy of interest is not the issue these days – making the distinction between a fad- following charlatan and a real practitioner can be much harder.
‘Lady’ Colleen Heller, [no she does not own large estates – it is a nickname that stuck], has been practicing Reiki since 1991. “It was something I used to do naturally, but it made me tired because I used my own energy. During the training I learned how to use the universal energy and I have been practicing ever since,” she told The Daily News Egypt.
Heller is a master of many forms of alternative healing but “Reiki is at the base of everything else that I do. The beauty of Reiki is that the practitioner is only a conduit; it allows you the freedom to draw energy and pass it along without it having any influence on you, or you on it. It protects the one who is giving Reiki, since it does not drain you, as well as the one receiving – whatever the emotional state of the practitioner is, it will not affect the energy offered.”
Reiki [literal translation rei-divine and ki-vital energy] started in Japan in the 1920’s and has since then become one of the better known forms of energy healing. Reiki is based on the theory that any imbalance of energy in a person can heal itself once additional energy is offered to them. “Unfortunately some people will not admit that the talent of a practitioner lies in knowing the knowledge of how to become such a conduit – ego does not exist in the practice.”
Having worked in the field of alternative healing for many years and having seen many people claiming to be ‘healers’ of one kind or another, Heller decided it was time to design a structured approach to teaching. “I founded Sinai Energetics Education of Distinction [S.E.E.D.] in 2011 and developed a comprehensive course to teach, amongst other things, Reiki. The first group graduated on 24 January and the next day the revolution started. All of them have been working ever since,” she smiles. “ The fun of Reiki is that everyone can learn it and at any age – my youngest graduate was 15 years old and the oldest 60.”
Since the revolution more and more Egyptian women have joined Heller’s courses “It seems they are less afraid to express their interest in different approaches to healing and wellness.” Interest is high, a new class of level one Reiki will start on 28 June.
Reiki courses through S.E.E.D. are divided in three levels. The first level consists of six days of classes, spread out over the course of two weeks to give the students time to do the homework. The first level teaches a student to do self-healing as well as how to offer basic healing to others. “Most of the students continue to the next level, where they learn to provide distance and mental and emotional healing. The second level also includes six days of classes but over the course of three weeks, since there is more homework to do,” explains Heller. “I am a hard teacher, but I teach my students properly. The whole reason to develop a structured method of teaching is to ensure people are well trained.”
S.E.E.D. has spread to Holland and the US, where Reiki masters are using the programme developed by Heller to teach. “We keep in close contact and I visit them to make sure the standards are properly adhered to. I hope that in the years to come I will be able to grow this network and that the S.E.E.D. certifications will become a standard that is trusted and respected,” Heller concludes.