As we continue to learn more about the impact of stress and the importance of slowing down, more people are turning to alternative healing therapies than ever before. But two kinds that have piqued peoples' interest more than others are reiki and gong baths.
Anne Fong-Braillard, a registered reiki practitioner and sound healer, recently came to Hong Kong where she had a residency at The Mandarin Spa at Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong. Following an extremely meditative session with her, she talked more about the history and philosophy behind these practices, and why it's much more than just "woo-woo" stuff.
What, to you, is mindfulness?
Mindfulness is being in the present moment, observing your experience in the now.
For those who don’t know, what is reiki?
Reiki is an ancient form of energetic healing, where practitioners act as a channel for the loving universal energy to flow to the receiver. In the form of a therapy, reiki is a hands-on healing, with placement of hands on specific parts of your body with the intention to promote relaxation and healing of the body, mind and spirit.
What are some of the benefits of Reiki?
Reiki is an art of relaxation of mind and body, helps to remove stress and emotional blockages(which today we know can be the root cause of many illness and diseases) which could result in clarity and better quality of life.
How does sound—particularly that from gongs—have the power to heal?
Gong therapy is an effective and powerful form of sound healing that helps stop the chatter in our mind to aid in total relaxation, as the holistic resonance of the gong sounds lower the brain waves from its active state into a more relaxed state.
Gong therapy encourages us to switch off our fight or flight instinct into rest and digest mode, which is much needed in today's fast-paced world. It has also been proven effective in promoting restful sleep, and total rejuvenation.
Why do you think that there is a global shift towards more conscious and mindful living?
Mainly because we currently live in an over-stimulated world of instant gratification that we no longer have the patience to be keen observers to ourselves and those around us. Being mindful of our thoughts, actions and emotions helps us to lead life from our compassionate heart, for a mindful living.
What do you think is the biggest misconception people have about your profession as a reiki healer?
That it is "woo-woo" stuff. My only answer to that is—don't judge it until you have tried it. Reiki is not a religion, and is widely accepted by all ages, professions and cultures. There is a difference between religion and spirituality.
What are some simple ways for people to practice mindfulness in their daily lives?
Spend more time listening to nature. Tune in to your breath. Practise gratitude. Just for today.
See also: Inside The World’s First Thai Hammam