How Holistic Therapy Helped My Chronic Fatigue & Depression – Jen’s Story
28th Jun 21
JEN HARLE INTERVIEW – FOUNDER OF REAL LIFE REIKI
Welcome to Wellbeing Umbrella’s ‘Walked A Mile In Your Shoes’ interview with Jen
Harle from Real Life Reiki.
Currently, Jen carries out Reiki treatments, teaches all levels of Reiki, and incorporates crystal healing and holistic life coaching into her therapies. She works on her business part-time, around her two young sons.
In June 2018 Jen jumped ship from an unfulfilling legal career as a personal injury solicitor to set up her own business, Real Life Reiki.
Today Jen shares with us how she recovered from CFS/ME (Chronic Fatigue & Myalgic Encephalomyelitis) along with severe chronic depression using Reiki and other holistic techniques and created a new work life balance for herself.
What Kind Of Life Were You Leading Before Setting Up Your Business?
Before I discovered Reiki, my life was incredibly unfulfilling.
I was a perfectionist, constantly driven to over-achieve and bending over backwards to help everyone else out
I was so incredibly worried about what everyone thought of me. Looking back now, it was only a matter of time before this caught up with me physically and mentally.
I was diagnosed with severe depression at 19 and i had suffered CFS/ME since the age of 17, although it took me 9 years to get a proper diagnosis.
In 2011, a few years into my career as a solicitor, I suffered a period of CFS/ME relapse which was triggered by complete burnout.
I was struggling to keep up wit my volume of work, which was exhausting me physically and mentally. In March 2011 I was signed off work for a month as my CFS/ME had relapsed to the point I was pretty much housebound.
How Did This Have An Impact On You And What Was Your Main Concern?
I felt like my life was over, my employer couldn’t cover my work for a month, so all my files were reallocated to other lawyers, I felt like I’d let everybody down.
I spent most of my days in bed, either sleeping, or drifting in and out of a meaningless semi-sleep state. On my worst days, I could barely get myself to the toilet and back to bed.
On a better day, I might be able to sit on the sofa and watch some TV (although following any sort of plotline was difficult due to the brain fog!).
My immediate concern was how to get myself well enough to go back to work and get myself back to some sort of normality.
And How Well Was CFS/ME Understood During Your Wellness Challenge?
I was frequently misunderstood, or people thought I was lying about my health conditions, as it was difficult for people to understand the changeable nature of my CFS/ME and my depression.
One day I might be well enough to walk to the shops or have a conversation, but the next I might not be able to leave the bedroom.
Several times work colleagues accused me of ‘faking it’ or ‘skiving off’ work because they just didn’t understand my conditions.
What Was Your Turning Point?
As I got further into the month’s absence from work, I realised I wasn’t Getting any better.
I needed to try something drastic to turn my situation around, so i booked myself onto a detox retreat, where I did a juice fast for 5 days, twice-daily colon hydrotherapy, and loads of holistic therapies – it wasn’t for the faint-hearted!
This was where I first tried a Reiki treatment, and I had a really strong reaction to it.
Did You Continue With Any Of The Wellbeing Therapies Afterwards?
When I got home, my health was much improved and I was able to return to work. I found a Reiki therapist in my local area and had regular treatments.
I responded to the treatments so well, I asked my therapist to introduce me to her Reiki teacher, and over the course of the next few years i qualified as a Master Teacher of Usui and Karuna Reiki.
Being able to self-treat with Reiki is the main part of my self-care routine, and an essential part of my day. I still have fluctuations in my mood and energy, but I don’t have the prolonged periods of burnout anymore.
What Would You Say To Someone Going Through A Similar Experience?
The best advice I can give someone in a similar situation is to be kind to yourself and remember ‘this too shall pass’.
I wish I had known years ago about the link between physical and mental health. I probably inadvertently worsened my relapses by spiralling into negative thinking and fear.
So, Your Wellness Challenge Initiated A New Business, When Did That Start?
In June 2018 I quit the legal profession for good, and set up my business, Real Life Reiki.
I’d been a fully qualified Reiki Master Teacher since 2014, and had wanted to do it earlier, but didn’t quite have the bravery to jump ship! By 2018 it didn’t feel like a choice, it was absolutely imperative, I knew it was what I was meant to be doing.
And How Do You Help People Through Your Wellness Business?
I am best placed to help people with chronic health conditions, especially where these involve low mood (such as depression) and low energy (such as CFS/ME and fibromyalgia).
I help people to take control of their own physical and mental wellbeing, and to overcome any blocked or stagnant energy which may be present as a result of unmet childhood needs, abuse or trauma.
It is so important to me that people feel empowered to look after themselves as I spent so long feeling powerless and I know how hard that is.
I empower people to heal themselves on an energetic level so that this boosts their health on all levels – physically, mentally emotionally and spiritually.
I do this by teaching all levels of Usui and Karuna Reiki, offering Reiki treatments, crystal healing, chakra balancing, psychic surgery and holistic life coaching.
My holistic life coaching is aimed at helping people who feel stuck in a rut and trapped by their circumstances. I help empower them so they can see their choices and start to make positive changes.
How Has Running Your Wellness Business Changed Your Life?
I now work on my business part-time around my two young sons. I have designed my business and my life in a way that helps me and my boys to be happy and healthy, it allows me to give my best self to help my clients and students. This is my measure of success.
I find it immensely fulfilling to treat and teach others, and it’s a privilege to work with the Reiki energy every day, it has completely turned my life around. It’s added more meaning and brought me into contact with some wonderful souls who are more on my wavelength.
That’s Quite A Turnaround, What Message Or Tip Would You Like To Share With Others From Your Own Wellness Journey.
The main message I want to give to people is how important it is to look after themselves and take responsibility for their own health in an empowered way.
Looking back at my lowest points, and how Reiki has helped me overcome serious health conditions, I’m now a strong advocate for self-care, as this is the basis of mental and physical wellbeing in today’s busy society.
Thank You For Sharing Your Journey Jen, On A Final Note Where Can We All Find Out More About You And Your Business?
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