Expert of the month: Justine Nolan
Each month we speak with an authoritative voice within the conscious community, to provide you insight in their practices and how it may be beneficial to your wellness. This month, we speak with Justine Nolan, Reiki Master, Sound Healer and founder of East London Reiki.
What exactly is a Reiki Master and how does one become one?
A Reiki Master, literally speaking, is somebody who has trained and received attunements through all three levels of training – from Reiki 1 (Shoden) up to Reiki Master level (Shinpiden). They are then able to pass an attunement, which is a sacred energetic ritual to others, ultimately awakening their connection to and awareness of Reiki.
Reiki is essentially soul energy – our True Self and the highest and purest part of Us. All we need do is rediscover and reconnect to that part of ourselves. It is why, when Mikao Usui - the founder of the system, was asked whether Reiki was just for the spiritually gifted or if everyone could practice, he replied: “Everyone who has received the breath of life can practice Reiki.”
In this way Reiki is truly Universal and open to us all.
Looking further beyond training, a Reiki Master is one who has made a commitment to use the practice of Reiki to master their energy on all levels – mind, emotions and form. To ultimately become Reiki, and live from a place of greater balance, harmony and love for themselves and all other beings from moment to moment.
How do you work with clients? Why do people reach out and what’s generally at stake?
I work with each client on an intuitive and individual basis, understanding that two people coming to Reiki with the same issue on the surface may have different underlying root causes. I see my role as both a guide and a space holder. I guide clients to deeply connect to their own energy using meditation, breath-work or sound healing whilst holding a space for Reiki to flow through to them. Together we explore their experience across all of their vibrational levels – physical, emotional, mental and spiritual and I share any insights that may assist them on their healing journey.
People reach out for so many different reasons - they be may working through mental health issues such as anxiety and depression, physical issues ranging from chronic fatigue, to fertility challenges to cancer, or they may seek support following a bereavement, relationship breakdown or major life transition. Sometimes people are simply curious to experience Reiki, but mostly people are feeling stuck, out of balance or disconnected to their energy, their bodies or their lives in general.
What is wonderful with Reiki is that it can be used for any health condition, any situation, at any stage of life and it will only facilitate positive change - which is aligned with the highest good of the soul rather than with our human will. There are absolutely no contraindications with Reiki. You can share with others and trust that they will only benefit from the experience – something I have witnessed time and time again in my years of practice.
What is everyone hoping to achieve in a session?
That is a big question and varies from person to person. It can also change as people progress on their healing journey.
For example, somebody may initially come to Reiki hoping to resolve a skin condition and their resulting low mood. Through the session, they may become more aware of the quality of their energy and their thoughts. They may feel irritation rise and realise that they are holding onto a lot of anger from the past or become aware that there is a constant stream of harsh, critical thoughts running through their minds.
As they begin to connect more deeply to their unseen energy (emotions, thoughts and spirit) they may feel guided to transform their anger to forgiveness and their criticism to kindness. They may then notice how the quality of their seen energy (physical body/skin) responds and improves. Through this process they may gain a deeper understanding of the transformative power of forgiveness and kindness – both of which are ultimately love. Their primary aim may then shift from simply improving their skin condition to cultivating deeper love for both themselves and others.
What generally happens in a session?
During a session I aim to help people feel as comfortable, safe and as held as possible. Lying down on a massage table underneath a warm blanket, Reiki flows from Source, through my being into yours – a continuous stream of loving vibrations direct from the Universe. This enables you to enter a deep meditative state where you may see visions, symbols or colours in your minds eye. The energy guides you to release anything you are holding which is of a lower vibration, anything blocking you from experiencing your True Self shining through.
You may experience an emotional release in the form of tears, a muscle spasm as stagnant energy shifts through your body or take a deep exhale as energy clears with your breath. You may experience Reiki as pulsating waves, warmth which envelopes you, a tingling sensation or even a cool breeze. Your experience of both Reiki and your own energy will change as the session unfolds and from one session to another too.
At the close of our time together you will be grounded and rooted back into your body and the earth. There is space for us to exchange feedback and for you to ask any questions. The overwhelming response to Reiki for most people is a greater feeling of peace, lightness and connection to their essence.
How does Reiki recharge or heal a person?
From my understanding and experience, Reiki heals us by raising the quality of our energy or the level of our consciousness. For the most part, in everyday, modern life we are very disconnected from our soul or spiritual energy. The practice of Reiki plugs us back into our own soul and into Source (the soul energy of the Universe). We are literally recharged at the mains - tuned into the spiritual power that underlies and flows through all of creation. As more spiritual power flows through our being, our energetic centres open further and we feel a greater sense of space within ourselves and across our lives. This increased spaciousness can revolutionise our thinking and belief systems, which impacts the energy from which our actions spring forth. We begin to live more from the space of our soul rather than from the habitual patterns of our mind, emotions and conditioning.
Any tips on how someone can heal themselves if they feel overwhelmed or are struggling with a difficult situation?
Through my own healing I have found the two pillars of communion and community that are cultivated within the system of Reiki to be helpful in working through life’s challenges.
It’s essential that we create time and space to come into communion with our own energy in solitude – whether that is through Reiki self-practice, meditation, walks in nature, prayer or simply relaxing by ourselves without distraction. Our deepest fears and desires, our lowest thoughts and feelings are often revealed to us in these spaces and it can sometimes be an overwhelming and uncomfortable place to be. But awareness – seeing what is really there within us and allowing ourselves to sit and feel all that rises up, understanding that it is not us, rather just energy that wants to move through us is so crucial to our healing.
In addition to our internal practice, reaching out to a supportive, spiritual community in difficult times is also hugely beneficial. Sharing our thoughts and feelings with others working in a similar way to us can help us to feel less isolated and more understood. We can gain strength from the realisation that underneath the surface differences of our individual challenges many of the underlying lessons are the same. Through connecting with others in this way we might realise that life is happening for us rather than to us. That life is always serving us - helping us to grow, evolve and hopefully respond with more kindness, grace and courage no matter what comes our way.