Healing Era
a woman meditating and clearing her energy with crystals and candles

I Got My Energy Cleansed To Help Me Heal From A Breakup

Could reiki and breathwork give me closure to move on?

Lindsay Hattrick/Elite Daily; Shutterstock; Stocksy

I have a hard time letting go of things, especially when it comes to dating. I tend to develop strong feelings quickly, and within minutes of meeting someone new, I will have mapped out our entire future together. Suffice it to say, I’ve spent a lot of my life in a perpetual state of yearning and heartbreak.

Most recently, things didn’t work out with someone I was excited about, and I’ve had a hard time coming to terms with how it all played out. I’ve spent a lot of time falling down a mental rabbit hole — was I reading the signs all wrong? Did I do something wrong? When will I be able to trust someone again?

I know that time (and therapy) can heal most wounds, but in the meantime, I’ve been seeking something that could accelerate that recovery process. That’s why I decided to try an integrative energy session at The Well, a wellness center I frequent in New York City that offers a range of healing practices. Its practitioners blend modern medicine with ancient healing techniques like acupuncture, reiki, and Chinese medicine. I felt a strong desire to cleanse the negative energy in my space (I had already tried palo santo), so I decided to book an appointment.

What Happens In An Integrated Energy Session?

During your session, a practitioner will intuitively customize an energy healing experience just for you. They’ll determine which modality, or combination of modalities, would best support your nervous system by asking you a few questions about what brings you in. These techniques could include tapping, reiki, craniosacral therapy, crystal healing, sound healing, or neuro-linguistic programming (NLP). At $515 for 90 minutes, the session doesn’t come cheap, but you can justify the cost by spending extra time in the locker room, which is equipped with a sauna, plush robes, healthy snacks, and steam showers. If you’re looking for alternatives, there are several options available. In New York, you can check out Sage+Sound, where a session costs $315. In Los Angeles, you can visit Aura Gods for a session priced at $175 or La Lune Healing for an in-person session at $145 or a virtual session at $80. If you’re in Chicago, Katie Bellamy offers in-person or virtual sessions for $125.

My session took place in a private room on a massage table. The practitioner, Lisa Caruso, an intuitive healer, reiki master, and breathwork facilitator, explained that we would start with 30 minutes of breathwork and then 30 minutes of reiki. She turned on some upbeat music and instructed me to breathe into my stomach for six seconds, then my heart for six seconds, and then to exhale for six seconds. The idea behind breathwork is that you are inhaling the good things you want in your life (positivity, joy, love) and exhaling what is blocking you and holding you back.

I was warned that a lot of emotions would come up, but I didn’t expect tears to stream down my face throughout the session. My mind surfaced a lot of old wounds, from never feeling pretty enough as a child to struggling with food as a teenager. I saw situations in my mind that reminded me of people I loved, especially those who didn’t reciprocate my feelings toward them. Although it was incredibly painful to relive these past experiences, it was also cathartic to see how things turned out.

It wasn’t the man who hurt me as much as the negative stories I told myself after he left.

After completing the breathwork, we moved on to the reiki portion of the session. Reiki is a Japanese practice in which a specialist transfers energy through their hands to the recipient’s body. The goal is to encourage relaxation, healing, and balance. While the benefits of reiki have not been scientifically proven, many claim it has helped them with everything from anxiety to pain management.

Caruso began by placing her hands on my temples and the sides of my face. Almost immediately, my thoughts faded away, and I felt as if I had entered a trance. I wasn’t asleep, but I wasn’t thinking about anything, either. As the session came to an end, Caruso removed her hands, and I slowly returned to my normal state of consciousness, feeling refreshed and renewed.

Then, My Practitioner Shared Her Takeaways

After the hourlong session, Caruso and I discussed her observations. She described seeing various images of me being afraid in different settings: falling into rushing water and getting attacked by animals. But she also saw images of me surrendering postpanic and trusting that the universe would guide me. The visions ended with Caruso seeing a lot of bright light and sunbursts.

While I understood broadly what the visions were saying — I have a hard time surrendering control — I wanted a little more information. Caruso explained energy work allows you to recognize patterns and respond differently to similar situations in the future. So, now you know not to go down the rabbit hole for as long or as deeply, and that these grounding tools like breathwork and meditation can help you center yourself. And while I loved my in-person session, the best thing about breathwork is that your breath is available at any time, and you can access guided breathwork sessions through an app like Aura or Othership.

The Session Helped Me See The Bigger Picture

My experience helped me recognize deeper issues that were triggered by the way my situationship ended. I was able to see past face value and accept that what this person did is a reflection of them, not me.

Caruso also helped me realize that my hyperfixation on past relationships is a distraction from the self-esteem work I’ve been avoiding. It wasn’t the man who hurt me as much as the negative stories I told myself after he left — for example, that I don’t deserve love or that everyone always leaves.

I also recognized that I have a lot of fear when it comes to trusting the universe and the timing of my life. Energy work helped me see the importance of being mindful of where I spend my time, and especially who I allow access to my precious energy. If someone isn’t clear about how they feel or helping me grow, I don’t want to give them space in my brain.

While I still have a lot of self-work to do, I no longer feel terrified about putting myself out there. I wouldn’t say I’m necessarily excited about hitting the apps again (who is?), but I no longer feel like a wounded, bitter shroud… and that’s progress.