If you mention Yukie’s name to anyone that knows her you will hear only positive things. At Willow Spa, she is known for her uplifting energy, strong work ethic and amazing bodywork. She is also an expert diver, artist, nature lover and amazing cook! Well, as you can guess, she is just as much of a pleasure to be around when not working too.
Most of Yukie’s clients know her for her deep tissue and zentastic massages, but she also practices Reiki. Recently we sat down with Yukie to talk about Reiki, and her outlook on life.
Y: I have been a massage therapist for more than ten years and I’ve been practicing Reiki for ten years. Currently I am a Level Two Reiki Practitioner.
WS: What is Reiki?
Y: Reiki is “Universal life energy”. This is a spiritual practice for both the practitioner and for the person that they are working on. Unlike in western massage, with Reiki, the receiver usually keeps their clothes on and the practitioner uses hand positions to act as a medium. Energy comes from space and passes through the practitioner to the receiver.
WS: How many Reiki levels are there?
Y: There are 3 levels. Level 1 is just meditation and hand positioning. Level 2 incorporates the use of symbols with more focus on each chakra. There are three symbols that are confidential; power, energy and healing. Finally, Level 3 or the Master level you are able to scan and understand which chakras are weak or blocked. This is taught in every level, but in level 3 the practitioner has mastered it.
WS: What influenced you to learn Reiki?
Y: Someone practiced Reiki on me and that made me interested in learning Reiki. At the time, I wanted to learn to control my emotions and make myself more comfortable with things that happened. After practicing Reiki, I’m more grounded and calmer and I feel more appreciative about space and the world around me.
WS: What is the greatest reassurance to you that Reiki is effective?
Y: In all Reiki sessions, I begin and end by scanning the body. The scan helps me to figure out what areas have weak or blocked energy. When I do the final scan, these areas should have improved.
WS: Do you perform Reiki in all of your massage sessions?
Y: No, for the most part, I only perform Reiki if I’m asked to do so. However, I usually incorporate Reiki during a pregnancy massage session for the benefit of the baby and the pregnant woman.
WS: How often would you recommend getting a Reiki session?
Y: Once a month, but if they get tired or emotional or lack of energy, then they should come back sooner. Reiki can be done in as little as ten minutes. This would involve scanning the body and just focusing on one point. However, thirty minutes is usually the minimum amount of time for an (effective) Reiki session. There is also group Reiki, with 1 person as receiver and 7-10 practitioners giving ten minute Reiki sessions at the same time.
WS: What did you do prior to becoming a massage therapist?
Y: I used to be a scuba diving instructor. It is extremely important to regulate your breathing when diving and breathing through a tank. In fact I started studying yoga because it was a natural way to learn and practice controlled breathing.
WS: Do you still scuba dive?
Y: Not as much. I no longer dive in California because the water is so cold. I like to dive in Hawaii, Guam and warmer waters.
WS: Willow Spa is a place where people often come to relax and find balance. How do you find balance?
Y: I find balance through Yoga and Reiki, but especially Yoga. Through yoga, I find how much my body is imbalanced and I can learn what areas of my body are weak. I have been practicing yoga for ten years also and I would like to become an Ashtanga yoga instructor one day.
WS: What do you like to do when you aren’t practicing massage/working at Willow?
Y: When I’m not working at Willow, I like to practice yoga, take walks near the ocean, exercise and lie on the sand. I love cooking and eating good food and drinking wine and Japanese vodka Shochu and sake, but good quality only!
5 fun questions to answer:
Q: Japan or US?
Y: For food Japan…but for my life, US.
Q: Morning or Night?
Q: Your dream vacation?
Y: Food trip traveling through another country or going to Tahiti for scuba diving.
Q: Favorite meal.
Y: Japanese and Italian.
Q: If you weren’t working as a massage therapist, what would you be doing?
Y: I would be a yoga instructor.