We talk a lot in wellness about good vibes, but taking it to the next level is intuitive energy healer Corie Chu. The Hong Kong-based healer is a Reiki Master Teacher, who spent decades working with A-list celebrities as a Hollywood publicist before she turned to a career in wellness as a way to deal with her own stress and help others. While Reiki has little support in the medical or science community, it’s grown in popularity in recent years as an alternative therapy. We chat to Corie about what exactly Reiki is, and find out more about how she became interested in the practice.
What is Reiki and what does it have to do with wellness? Reiki is one of the most popular energy healing modalities to date. Reiki is made up of two Japanese words, “Rei” means Universal, and “Ki” stands for energy (also known as “Prana” in Sanskrit or “Chi” or “Qi” in Chinese). You can drink juices to help you physically detox, meditate to clear your mind, get massages to release knots, but how do you take care of yourself on an energetic and spiritual level? Reiki actually heals on four levels, physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually, bringing you into complete balance.
When and why did you start using Reiki? What kind of training did you undergo? I’ve been practising energy healing for over a decade, but I moved into Reiki just a few years ago. The reason I decided to focus on Reiki is that I prefer “channelling” energy from rather than healing from my own personal energy. Imagine there is a tank full of pure, fresh energy in the Universe and a Reiki practitioner serves to connect you to it by pumping this pure energy to where it is most needed in your body, that’s what we mean by “channelling”. I was trained in all levels of traditional Usui Reiki including the teacher training module so that I could train other practitioners and teachers.
What has been the most surprising thing you’ve discovered about Reiki? That Reiki can go back in time to heal the past, the present and in the future! If you’ve had negative experiences in the past or any traumas, Reiki is super effective in healing the moment the incident happened. Future Reiki is super cool, it can be applied towards any upcoming and important events to help them run smoother such as job interviews, weddings, presentations, it’s such a great secret weapon!
What do you use Reiki for? Reiki is most commonly used to treat stress/tension relief, anxiety, depression, emotional, mental, physical or spiritual blockages, and healing from past traumas. It can be helpful for those with chronic pain or long-term illnesses/diseases in aiding recovery. I work with cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy to help their medical treatment go as smoothly as possible so that they feel minimal side effects. Reiki can also be applied towards personal development, self-discovery and empowerment by addressing and releasing fears. Reiki can be standalone treatment and it is also complementary with most holistic therapies.
What’s the biggest change you’ve seen in your life in your own experience of Reiki? In 2010 I was diagnosed with an autoimmune thyroid disease called Hashimoto’s and it took me a couple of years to treat it with naturopathic medicine. Earlier in April 2018, I started feeling symptoms of hypothyroidism and got it checked out and the diagnosis wasn’t in my favour. I made modifications on my diet and then started applying Reiki on my thyroid almost every day and then I realised that there was a deeper emotional story there that I had never addressed over the years, so I took this recurrence as an invitation for deeper healing in the area. After applying Reiki there for a few months, I started feeling really good and free so I had a checkup in September 2018 and my levels were normal again. It reminded me again of how powerful Reiki is towards alleviating underlying fears.
Talk us through a typical Reiki session. I usually facilitate sessions at wellness centres in Central and Sheung Wan such as Alive Wellness, Enhale Meditation Studio, or at my private space in Kennedy Town. A session typically ranges from 60-90 minutes. We start off with a conversation to get to the bottom of what needs to be addressed and then we move into the Reiki treatment. During that time, you would be invited to relax and enjoy receiving Reiki. You may notice some sensations such as tingling in your body, you might feel like you’re dreaming and notice some images popping up or some old memories but more than often, people fall asleep. At the end of the treatment, we will review your experience of Reiki and address anything that has come up.
I usually advise people to give it at least three to five sessions to focus on one specific concern and then they can have a session every one to three months for maintenance. Or if they are all sorted then there’s no need to come back at all unless they want to or to address another area of concern. If it’s a bigger issue that someone has been experiencing for decades, there’s likely a lot more layers to address which will obviously take more time. The goal is for healing in a particular area of concern to be effective on a long-term basis so that you can move forward freely in your life without needing to turn back.
All a person needs to bring is themselves. There’s isn’t any preparation before a treatment, but it is helpful if the client has an idea of what they want to work on or if there are any particular incidents they want to heal from. It’s ideal not to drink any caffeine, alcohol, smoke, eat red meat or be on any medication 24-48 hours post-treatment, however I know it’s not always possible so moderation is key. It’s important to note that Reiki is not recommended for anyone with psychiatric conditions.
How do you incorporate Reiki into your regular wellness habits? I love applying some self-Reiki after my morning meditation. It really grounds me and sets me up before I see my clients, or before I teach a class so that I can be of full service. I also love to Reiki food before my family, friends and I eat so that the food and beverages are as pure as they can be before entering our body. If I know I have a big day ahead, I practice some future Reiki so that the day can go as smoothly as can be. If I notice that a little fear kicks into my thoughts, I apply Reiki to address and release those fears so that I can move forward with a little more ease, grace and joy. After each practice, I dedicate Reiki healing energy to family, friends in need and wherever the world needs a little more love.
What is the biggest misconception about Reiki? The biggest misconception about Reiki is that it can be dangerous. Reiki is one of the purest light forms of energy healing. It’s gentle yet effective and cannot cause any harm. It’s like receiving all the benefits of sun rays without the UV exposure.
Can you use Reiki when you travel? Absolutely, especially because travelling can be so stressful sometimes. One of most common uses for Reiki is for stress relief and to alleviate anxiety. I like to apply Reiki before my flight takes off and send it all around the plane, to all the passengers and crew members so that we can all feel a little more relaxed. I also like to apply future Reiki so that we have a safe and smooth flight.
Which resources would you recommend for anyone wanting to know more about Reiki? Reiki Rays is the largest online Reiki community with tons of resources. They run an online Reiki summit twice a year that is free to listen in to, and you can also purchase the contents for a small fee. I’ve spoken at one of their online summits and I was surprised to see how active the community was. Unfortunately, there isn’t much a go-to Reiki platform in Hong Kong, but I’ve been running group classes on a weekly basis and there’s been a lot of regulars so we’ve formed a nice little local community in the city. My intention behind the group Reiki classes is educational: I hope that it serves as a way for people to dip their toes in Reiki at a small cost with their family, friends and colleagues so they can experience it themselves and be their own judge of it.
Learn more about Corie and her Reiki practice at coriechu.com.
Please always consult with your doctor or GP before pursuing alternative therapies. Reiki is not suitable for those with psychiatric disorders, and should be considered as a supplementary treatment for physical and mental health issues.