Seiki is the rock and roll of natural therapy. The ‘anything goes’ treatment isn’t hung up on stringent diets or exercise regimes and wouldn’t dream of asking you to give up anything – except your stress and pain (and even then, only if you are ready to let it go).
‘People already put so much pressure on themselves,’ says practitioner Margot Gordon, who has treated a host of Hollywood stars. ‘The last thing you need is a therapy that puts on even more pressure and causes more stress, yet so many treatments are all about giving up this or not doing that.’ Seiki, frankly, doesn’t give a toss. If you want to neck a bottle of Beaujolais a night that’s cool (though people often find that, after a series of treatments, their senses become so acute that they automatically eat and drink well).
All my body wanted to do was collapse in a heap. ‘That’s fine,’ said Margot, settling me, fully-clothed, on a padded mat. People often find their bodies automatically seek to shift or stretch, twitch or turn. Mine however stayed parked, totally inert, throughout the session.
It’s hard to describe seiki – sometimes it feels similar to shiatsu or acupressure; at other times more akin to energy healing techniques like reiki. Within minutes I found my breathing start to slow down. In this deeply relaxed state we can, apparently, eliminate stress, tension and emotional toxicity, leaving the body freer and the mind clearer. I lost track of time completely: when Margot gently said she had finished I could have been on the floor for half an hour or half a day.
‘It’s really body meditation,’ she says. ‘Everything affects us – from traffic jams to unpaid bills; from unemployment to difficult relationships. All those feelings and irritations become lodged in us and they aren’t easy to resolve. We can analyse them mentally but unless we bodily process and eliminate those feelings they won’t go away.’
Seiki doesn’t make extravagant claims; in fact it doesn’t make any claims at all. It’s all very Zen yet not in a precious irritating way. People however report a host of benefits, from relieving stress and easing insomnia, to fixing allergies and beating back ache. Unlike most forms of bodywork there are no contraindications. ‘We can treat absolutely anyone,’ says Margot. ‘Because we are not forcing the body; we merely do what it wants and needs. Seiki doesn’t always cure because sometimes that is not what the body wants. But it does make people feel good.’
Darn right it does. Despite not having a clue exactly how it worked, I left feeling as if a huge weight had been lifted off my chest. My chronic neck and back tension had vanished and friends even asked if I’d had some ‘work’ as I looked about ten years’ younger. Seiki may be short on rules and regulations, but it is pretty impressive on results.
My verdict? Fabulous, just fabulous. Though I suppose it could depend on who you get to work on you. Margot Gordon is in London for a few months and then flies back to Australia. Catch her while you can.
Sessions cost £75.
Margot in London: 07984 386063; www.seikiway.org
Akinobu Kishi holds workshops in the UK and elsewhere from time to time. For details of this phone 44 (0)1444 413429.