all my heroes are weirdos

We're All Mad Here

Touch me

Thirty quid for somebody to hover their hands over you for an hour without touching you? No ta.

Up until a couple of years ago I was ignorantly not even entertaining the idea of Reiki.

Since then I’ve read up on it and watched a YouTube video or two, but I’d much rather part with my pennies for the pleasure of somebody rubbing their oiled up hands all over me, kneading out the knots like I’m a slab of dough.

That was, until, Zelena got involved.

Zelena has been Tier One since we were sixteen years old. She’s the prettiest little thing you’ve ever seen.

A shaved head accentuates her flawlessly chiselled cheekbones and her large emerald green, feline eyes contrast against her incredible olive skin. She’s beauty-full on the inside too. A weird and wonderful being who wears her heart on her sleeve and really cares about other people.

Once a Tier One, always a Tier One.

While I was off floating around the European continent in my mid-20s, she was raising two little mini humans – but whenever we meet up it’s like the months have been days and the weeks have been hours, and the cackles are louder than ever. What’s that cheesy saying by Eleanor Rosevelt? Many people will walk in and out of our lives, but only true friends will leave footprints in your heart.

Get your hand off my tail, you’ll make it dirty

I discovered pampering when I was sixteen years old and I went for my first ever bikini wax. A painfully embarrassing scenario all round because I was so nervous that I asked the girl for a Hawaiian. Obviously I meant Hollywood – I wanted a wax not a pizza topping.

Since then I’ve had all sorts of interesting, unusual and violating experiences when it comes to salons.

There was the Polish Tit Massage of 2011. It was my birthday and I was having a spa day with my friend. The lady who was massaging me was Polish, and unlike us prude Brits, they think a nice little circular massage of the breasts is perfectly acceptable before moving onto the stomach. Both total no-go zones on this prim and proper isle. But what a birthday treat.

I’ve also had an incredibly uncomfortable wax in a backstreet parlour in London during which the lady grabbed my ankles with both hands like she was changing a baby’s nappy. She then proceeded to try and give me some sort of a back, crack and sack – all of this took place under a fluorescent strobe light and in front of a floor length mirror. I couldn’t get out of there quick enough.

And last but not least, there was The Great Ugandan Anal Probation of 2014, where an exceedingly large lady named Helga took me inside a hut by the poolside and gave me a very intrusive bum massage. And to be quite frank, I’m not sure I’ll ever recover from that one.

Hippie Heaven

It’s safe to say I’ve had my fair share of massages, hundreds of them in fact, and I’m not just saying this but Zelena’s are by far the best I’ve ever had.

Not only does she not touch me inappropriately, she knows exactly where the tension is. I’ve never had anybody press on a knot behind my shoulder blades or in my neck in a way that I can physically feel the stress juices being released.

Her salon is a little homemade hippie heaven above Practical Magic on Aigburth Road in Liverpool, ran by an equally warm and whacky soul called James.

When I first met James he gave me a hug, sat me down amongst his fur coats and chintz and rapped to me about sitting on the back of a bus and having a third eye experience. His hugs are real and his energy is alive. I just love this kind of human.

After a perfectly unconventional welcome, you head upstairs to fill your nostrils with incense. The vibe up there is much more zen, it’s like stepping into a another realm. Colourful printed fabrics hang from the ceiling, just like in a Moroccan bazaar. There are candles everywhere and the sound of the city is drowned out by soft meditation music.

Hands On

I didn’t ask for Reiki, she offered it up at the end of a massage…and it absolutely blew my mind.

I think if I’d tried it even just six months earlier, my mindset, my mood or my ignorance would have blocked it from taking effect. But I’d been reading up on energy, the subtle body and the power of the mind so I was totally open to its magic. I even meditated on it in the moment, to make sure I was fully involved.

She wasn’t touching me but I could feel intense heat from her hands as she hovered either side of my head. I could feel the vibrations. We were sharing emotions, sharing energy and sharing thoughts. It felt like a strong wind but without the breeze. What i could feel shifting was lighter than air and I could see behind my eyelids the colourful energy flowing up from the floor, through me, through her and back again.

As she hovered over my heart chakra and my chest, she took a deep breath and I could hear her body make a sudden move.

After the session had finished, it took me a good few minutes to wake from her hypnotic trance.

When I did, she told me she’d felt bad energy around the left side of my chest, so she grabbed it and threw it out of the window. Little did she know, I’d been feeling a lump sensation in my throat and chest for a over a year and been worrying about it in secret without doing anything about it. But I was booked in for a neck ultrasound and a chest x-ray that week….

I don’t know if the sensation was just in my head and it was the negative thoughts she got rid of, but either way the results were (fortunately) clear and I am not against thinking she might have had something to do with it.

Let your faith roar so loud that you can’t hear what doubt is saying

I’ve recommended her to friends and family and they’ve all had equally intense experiences.

One person, who is much more in touch with his spiritual self than anybody I know, went to her not long after coming back from the most life-changing retreat I’ve ever heard of.

He’d just spent a long weekend unearthing memories and unlocking emotions, so when she did the reiki on him, she really felt it. In fact, she felt is so much that she left the room with a quivering voice.

As she was hovering over his heart chakra, she’d gasped loudly with fright and jumped back. They were both overwhelmed by how intensely emotional the whole experience had been and he asked why she sounded scared. She’d seen a lion jump out of his chest.

……. earlier that day, he’d been to a tattoo parlour…… talking about getting a certain king if the jungle tattooed over his heart.

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