‘Bringing healing to Manchester’s high street’: Reiki master treats MM to tranquil taster session at Urban Oasis

By Ben Ireland

As 2012 draws to a close, mankind is supposed to being following sit as the b’ak’tun period of the Mayan calendar ends.

December 21 is the end of the 26,000 year spell, and many fear an apocalypse.

But not Martha Brophy, a Manchester Reiki master, who instead sees the beginning of a new age, and is snatching the opportunity to bring ‘healing to the high street’.

The cynics amongst us would look at alternative healing treatments with disdain, and few would imagine such an outlandish therapy being made available in one of the high street’s most notable department stores.

Cue the introduction of Usui Reiki, a Japanese form of spiritual healing, to Debenhams on Manchester’s Market Street.

Reiki translates as ‘universal energy’ and is designed to regulate one’s body and help to balance our lives.

“People need to learn how to relax,” Martha Brophy told MM, the Reiki teacher behind the introduction of the ancient practice to the Urban Oasis spa.

“The pace of life is so fast these days, especially with the role of technology. Everyone’s forever on their phone updating their Facebook and Twitter.”

Her goal is to make this spiritual form of well-being available to everyone – without needing to change out of their work clothes.

“I want to encourage people to take the time to power down, and show them how anyone can do it anywhere,” added Martha, who also teaches Yoga.

“You can’t have a machine just going, going, going – it needs to be rested and tuned. Our bodies are the same.”

Capable of finding solitude in almost any situation, Martha often meditates on the train among other places, and is adamant anyone can mirror her ethos.

“I do have my favourite spots, and I am lucky enough to have a room at home set aside, but I want to show people that they can recharge their batteries in any environment,” she added.

“Everyone has their own preferences, I just want to give people the tools and basic knowledge to bring it out of themselves.”

She explained that as a ‘healer’, she is often misunderstood and people come to her with problems in expectation of a quick and definitive solution.

Instead, sports science graduate Martha insists that her role is simply to relieve stress and anxiety, thus allowing the body to naturally heal itself without the aid of prescriptive western medicine.

When MM was given an experimental taster session of Usui Reiki to see just how it works and sample the benefits of natural healing, it was with a sense of reserve that I volunteered.

Despite a champagne and cupcake reception, it must be said that I was more relaxed than when first walking through the doors, and was escorted to the tranquil spa area.

Therapist Jo Adamson made me feel at ease as soon as I lay back on the table. Therapeutic sounds flittered around the room and I was asked to breathe deep and relax each individual joint and muscle group.

I must admit, it was hard not to get caught up in the moment, and despite my initial cynicisms, I fell into a strange trance as my thoughts wandered and the day’s stresses slipped away.

Martha had said earlier that Reiki works in different ways for each individual – depending on their state of mind, and that she can even send healing from distance, so long as she can attune to someone.

She explained how a friend of hers had a horrific accident, wherein she lost part of her finger. The hospital dealt with the incident quite badly and impersonally, so up stepped Martha to help a friend in need.

“I was up all night sending her healing thoughts. She phoned me the next day to say how much better she was feeling,” she added.

After each individual treatment, you are told if your therapist feels anything spiritual that may be troubling you.

So what was my personal experience in my first foray into Reiki?

Jo informed me after my session that she felt I had something I wanted to say, but was holding back. A vague pondering perhaps, but since this was my first voyage into the world of alternative therapy, maybe I simply wanted to tell the world.

If you would say you are spiritual, or simply curious and open-minded then Reiki will, no doubt, be right up your street. For those who turn their nose up at green tea and meditation, maybe not.

Picture courtesy of Urban Oasis, with thanks

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