We caught up with Jo Lewins, our British-born, Reiki Master and traveller, for a talk about her Reiki journey - what it is, why she connects so deeply to this work, and how Reiki has completely transformed her life.
We are so excited and grateful to have Jo at three of our European summer retreats! Jo will be sharing Reiki as well as other nourishing and healing modalities at the Summerlovin' Retreats on Brac Island in Croatia this June, as well as during the Love Inspired retreat in Ibiza this September. We can't wait!
Supersoul.Yoga: What exactly is Reiki?
Jo Lewins: Reiki is an ancient form of energy work that originated in Japan. The word Reiki translates as "spiritually guided life-force energy". Practitioners use their intuition and placement of hands on the client to guide universal life-force energy from around and within; to promote self-healing, chakra alignment, relieve stress, and so much more.
SY: Why Reiki?
JL: For me, Reiki is as important as a consistent Yoga practice and as healing as receiving a great massage. The way I like to explain this somewhat intangible work is that when muscle fibres go through a lot of stress, over time they become contracted and turn into knots. Typically, a massage therapist works into those muscle fibres to stretch and separate them out and relieve the tension. The same thing happens with energy blockages in the body; in Indian philosophy, these imprints or impressions are referred to as samskara. When we go through emotional trauma, a lot of stress, anxiety, and we suppress these emotions, energetic blockages build up over time in the deeper, subtler layers of our body. If these blockages are left without any sort of release or clearing, they can turn into disease and illness. So, our biography literally becomes our biology. As physical beings we often direct ourselves straight to "fixing" a physical ailment in the body, without going into the emotional connection, to the core of the issue, which may actually alleviate a lot of the stress, pain and illness that's occurring in the body. This is why I chose Reiki, it speeds up the healing process, alleviates stress in the body, and allows the recipient to receive and go through their own self-healing journey.
SY: Describe your love story with Reiki?
JL: Honestly, I was pretty sceptical about Reiki the first time I came into contact with the practice. I was at a spiritual fair in London about 11 years ago, and someone was offering treatments at one of the stands. Even though I was a sceptic, I was curious, so I sat in the chair and the practitioner started with her hands on my shoulders. I assumed the distraction of everyone else around would be another reason for me to feel nothing, but I was wrong. The next thing I knew, she was calling my name, rubbing my back to wake me up, and my head was between my knees. I don't remember anything about the treatment and I think I was in such a daze that I just jumped up and walked off, not giving it much thought.
Fast forward to 2012, I was in emotional and physical turmoil. I had been dealing with chronic disease in my body for a few years, having had various tests, a couple of operations and despite them removing what they could, still experiencing agony most days. I'd come to a point of accepting that this would be my life, until the day I decided that it wouldn't be. I started looking for alternative therapies and Reiki was the first thing that popped up. As soon as I started reading more about it, my entire body resonated. The calling was so strong that I booked my level 1 and 2 certifications there and then.
What proceeded during those courses can only be describe as a volcanic eruption. Within a year, I had quit my job, come out of a long-term relationship, rid myself of half of my possessions, released a heap of emotional baggage, everything turned upside down and inside out and I questioned everything. In a sense, I went through a "spiritual awakening" of sorts. Everything that wasn't aligned with my highest self, had to change.
Through months of self-healing, along with other big changes in my life, I rid myself of pain in the body. It's definitely been a journey of ups and downs with the Reiki work, passing through times of uncertainty as well as great clarity. However, once I went through my master training in 2015, that propelled my practice and my teachings to a new level. I now feel so passionate about sharing this healing modality because I have not only witnessed the changes it brought forth in myself, I've seen some beautiful transformations with long-term clients of mine. Even clients I've had for one session can go through quite an awakening. Being able to hold space and assist others in their healing journeys, I feel humbled and privileged to work in this way with others.
I love to share this work through 1-1 sessions and also in my teachings. I think the more people that can work in this way, the better, as we can begin to heal more deeply, and not just on a superficial level, which is ultimately healing for all.