Reiki healer Jackie Mason: we all get setbacks - the way we deal with them determines our futureJackie Mason (62) is a reiki healer, reiki master teacher and a natural nutritionist. She has her own business and sees clients by appointment. She used to work in retail. From Churchtown, she lives in Citywest, Dublin. She has two daughters - Eve and Amy
Most mornings, I get up at 7.30am. I live with my daughter Amy - so she is my alarm. Then we have breakfast together before she leaves for work. I start my day with lemon and hot water, and then I'll have some porridge. Because I work by appointment, some people say that I should stay in bed a little longer. But I like to be up to begin my day. I'm not a morning person, but I became one. I wanted to see what I was missing out on early in the morning. I like to enjoy as much of the day as I can.
In my work as a reiki healer, I tell people to make some small changes in their life; to introduce new things. Then I decided that I had better practise what I preach. Now I listen to a meditation tape while I make the beds, throw on a wash and empty the dishwasher. I organise the dinner at that time, too. I can't do a trolley dash in the supermarket at the end of my working day, as some nights I'm not finished until 9pm. When people think of meditation, they assume that it has to be this perfect set-up with candles, but I listen to the CD while doing my little jobs around the house. I know it works, because when it is playing, Amy's dog conks out on the bed, flat on his back. If anyone came in, they'd think that I'd batted him on the head with a hammer. I sit down for a couple of minutes. It just takes the mind down into the place where it should be.
Then I go to work, which is in Creative Academy and Spa in Ballymount. The owners - Karen and Marina - are very supportive. I'm a reiki master teacher, and a natural nutritionist as well. Reiki is an immune boost, and it works on people mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually. People don't have to be sick to come for reiki. When they have finished a session, they often tell me that they feel very relaxed and that it was a lovely massage. But, in fact, I haven't touched them at all.
Most people who come to me don't know why they are there. They were either given the session as a present, or they are there out of curiosity. I explain it, and then I ask them to take off their shoes and lie down. They remain fully clothed, and I don't touch them. I tell them that I want them to put out anything that they think needs to go; stuff that is coming in and presenting itself physically. It might be a shoulder ache or stress. I tell them that they may be relaxed, but they are going to be doing a lot of work on a subconscious level. Then I start with a succession of hand movements over the body. I am drawn to certain areas of the body. Reiki goes where it is needed. Generally, I work with my eyes closed. During that time, I see a range of colours, which represent different areas in the body.
I have all sorts of people coming to me, many with very serious problems. Some self-harm, some have addictions, and I have so many clients with anxiety disorders. In this country, anxiety is huge. People feel that their get-up-and-go has gone, and they don't know any way out. It's very easy for people to be judgmental and say, 'I don't know why he can't do this', but when you are not in your right frame of mind, things go in different directions. Normally, people who come for reiki have tried other approaches. I have insomniacs coming, and within minutes they're snoring. Some GPs send their patients to me. They are open to reiki.
When I meet a client, we talk briefly. I like to put them at their ease. Straight away, I pick up on stuff. People don't have to say anything to me, and if they do, it's completely confidential. It's fine if they sleep through the 45-minute session. Sometimes people see colours, or they might cry, but it is short-lived. Often I pick up on this sadness. I tell them that it's perfectly normal to cry. It's self-cleansing and shedding the load.
It's very important to listen. You could have somebody coming to you who is 20 stone and you think, 'They are here for weight loss'. Then you realise the problem is that they are living with an alcoholic husband.
I first came across reiki in 2004. It intrigued me. After my first session, I was quite emotional, but I knew that it was doing me good. I felt better. I was at a crossroads in my life, and it helped me clear stuff. Then I decided to do a reiki course in self-healing. Day-by-day, I started to feel better. I was able to work on myself and my family. Now I train people to become reiki teachers. This is a big change from my previous career in retail. During the day, I space my appointments and I usually go home for lunch. I need to mind my energy levels. I love what I do and I enjoy seeing the changes in my clients, all the improvements. I like helping people, but I tell them that they have done the work. They have just placed themselves in front of me.
When I go home, I have a shower to cleanse the energy. Then I have something to eat with my daughter, and we watch TV. I'd watch anything; a fly walking across the screen. I love Dancing With The Stars and I'd love to do it myself. My mum was a Royalette [dancer at the old Theatre Royal], so it's in the genes. If I'm out for a night, and there is music, I don't need to be asked up to dance. I love to get up, and I enjoy socialising with a glass of wine.
I like to be in bed for 10.30pm. When I look back on my day, I'm thankful for everything in it and all the clients who have come to see me. An attitude of gratitude is so important. I wasn't always like this. When there were hard knocks, I'd think, 'Why did that happen to me?' But we all get setbacks. The way we deal with them determines our future. When you're in a muddle, you don't see clearly, but reiki calmed my mind. Thanks to it, I'm a different person.
Reiki Academy, 43B Fashion City, Ballymount, D24. Tel: (01) 429-5122, or (087) 633-8734, or see reikiacademy.ie
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