I was just heading home, the bus stop in sight, when I decided at the last moment to stop into this coffee shop. It wasn’t the smell dark, roasting coffee beans wafting out the door that drew me in—in fact, the outside of this particular establishment smelled more like cigarettes and something sour—something that I didn’t want to put my finger on, literally or figuratively.

No, it was the need to sit down and write about the experience I just had, before even a moment of it faded from memory. So here I am, sipping a hot chocolate that tastes more like milk and playdough than anything else, simply buzzing with energy, trying not to bounce around in my seat as I type away.


You see, about two hours ago I finished my very first Reiki treatment.


I went to a place called SF Reiki Center in the Mission. It’s on 18th street tucked away in a complex of offices, stacked together like mismatched building blocks. In one cube-like office space I saw a salon; in the next, an art gallery; and two over, a room filled with cats, some playing and some merely peering out the glass window to the street—I don’t know what this one was, but I like to think it was just an office space for a bunch of businesscats.

One floor up and toward the back, past yet more interesting little businesses, I found the delightful owner of SF Reiki waiting for me outside. It was all very calming and surreal—this whimsical, open-air complex of shops and businesses dotted here and there with tall bamboo and lush greens.

He welcomed me and showed me to his little cube-like office, where a cushy table, a chair, several framed photos, warm, relaxing lighting, and his assistant for the evening waited.

I told them why I was there in the first place, because, aside from my devotion to writing for you, dear readers, I have wanted to try Reiki for quite a while. After I filled them in on me, they filled me in on Reiki.



Reiki means “Universal Life Energy,” and basically it is a gentle transfer of said Energy through a sort of “conduit” (the Reiki master) into the person seeking treatment (me.) It was first formed in the early 1900s by Dr. Mikao Usui, a monk and educator from Japan, and has actually been passed along, generation to generation, Master to Master, to today. So the two folks who worked on me today were actually trained by a
Reiki master linked to Dr. Usui over a century ago. Pretty cool, huh?

Much like acupuncture, Reiki uses your body’s meridian, or energy lines—but unlike acupuncture, you don’t have to get stuck with needles over and over. If you’ve read my post on acupuncture, you know that I love it—it immediately puts me into a state of the deepest relaxation. Well, Reiki actually felt very similar to that. I drifted off into a sort of trance, somewhere in between sleep and consciousness. When they moved their hands over the different chakras, I was only vaguely aware of the images that came to mind; then they flitted away, like leaves on a sidewalk.

It was just delightful.