"Anxiety, anger, heartbreak," says reiki master Gianantonio Corna. "These are the top reasons New Yorkers come to me."
As New York’s leading reiki master at his Reiki Vitae studio, Gianantonio taps into what he calls "the universal wifi" – that vital energy around us – transferring this energy to his 100+ clients with the slight touch of his hands. The technique: reiki, a 90-year-old Japanese practice known to cure such physical ailments as headaches, back pain, and digestive problems with its supposed ability to detoxify the body and mind.
"Imagine your desktop screen, full of all these folders you don’t look at anymore," Gianantonio says. "Through reiki, the energy scans your body and mind: clearing it, cleansing it, and releasing it from its usual patterns."
Known for his 5-star reviews and ebullient spirit, Gianantonio – who began his practice 13 years ago in his hometown of Italy – has watched reiki transform his NY clients in three sessions, and even as immediate as their first. Since seeing him, many of his clients have stopped taking Advil and other painkillers, and Gianantonio himself hasn’t taken any medication in over 10 years.
The practice is simple: through meditation, the reiki master channels energy through him, transferring it via the light placement of his hands on various stress points of the client’s body, and the client experiencing the results.
And results are what we’re after: actual physical healing, and that sense of peace and lightning of spirit that usually accompanies a far-too-expensive vacation away or a spa massage at its best.
So when I walked into the Vitae studio to meet with Gianantonio, I entered with high expectations – and high skepticism too. Where does this energy come from? Can it even be transferred? How can my ailments be lessened by simply energy and not high doses of medication?
Within minutes, I found myself on the massage bed, being asked to "bring my attention to to the tip of the nose," all while sinking into the music of waves and seagulls overhead.
And then slowly, after placing his hands lightly on the tip of my head, I felt a warm prickling sensation, like currents, across my body. Like someone had attached a charger to my back (very Matrix) and simply plugged me in.
The feeling stopped and started – mostly depending on my concentration: if I was focusing on my body, or my lunch order of either spicy tuna or miso soup. After the 60-minute session, I sat up and looked at Giantanonio in a nearly-cataonic state: completely blissed out in my world of seashells and sailboats and electric.
And that’s when the best part came: post-session, the reiki master sits down with you and tells you what he felt – what kind of energy he sensed upon your body (mine was "wind"), and the fairly-specific circumstances that could have caused the ailments, and how you can set out to cure them.
I walked out with a customized list of foods to avoid or devour, and the simple instructions to spend time with good friends more and stay active outside. Simple, right? It sounds even simpler and jollier in Gianantonio’s Italian accent.
And believe it or not – I really did feel a difference. After a good week of living this way, I actually went back and did another session, and since then the turnaround in my attitude and ailments keeps getting better – to the point where I’ve nearly forgotten what hurt at all.
Sure, sure, it could have been the effects of all the consecutive happy hours and taco dinners with my work buddies – or simply pure, clean energy at work. You decide.