Let's face it: Hair-removal is never enjoyable. But those of us who have chosen this path (props to those who haven't) continue to suffer through it. Oh, and I've tried my fair share of treatments on the quest to find a single one that doesn't hurt. I’ve waxed, shaved, zapped, plucked, and depilated nearly every inch of my body at least one time — each experience no less painful than the other. No lie, I once even kicked a technician mid-wax-strip-rip with a flailing leg. (Still sorry about that, Dianne.) So, when I caught wind of a buzzy new Eastern service that combines Reiki with laser hair-removal — we are truly living in 2016, eh? — I gladly offered up my bikini line. The idea being, of course, that the former will completely relax you to minimize any zapping pain. Let me be clear: I had never done any form of crystal treatment, ever. Prior to my appointment, I had never heard of Reiki (though I came to learn it is a holistic technique involving crystals that claims to activate the body’s natural healing processes). On the other hand, this definitely wasn’t my first rodeo with a laser — I’ve practically burned my underarm hair into submission using at-home devices. So I knew going in there was no way it'd hurt more.
“Reiki is all about redirecting your energy,” cofounder Jackie Itzkowitz said. “It’s intended to heal you from the inside out, and that's why I thought it would make an ideal practice before a typically painful experience, like laser.”
If anything, it'll be a nice distraction from the torture, I thought — and that's exactly what it was. As Itzkowitz dimmed the lights further, she placed a crystal on the center of my chest, gave me two to hold in my hands, and pressed lavender oils on the different pulse points of my feet, head, arms, and heart. I immediately felt myself drift off into a state of pure relaxation, and after 10 blissful minutes, she moved on to the laser portion. As we slipped on our LED sunglasses, I spread-eagled, and she swiftly got to work. And you know what? Each zap felt like a tiny nudge compared to the painful, claw-like pinches I had experienced before. Maybe it was my state of relaxation, maybe it was actually a physical reaction in my body, but in 15 short minutes, the entire area was finished — and I was, shockingly, sort of sad when the treatment came to an end. Did I just enjoy that? I thought. Itzkowitz claimed that Reiki would also help the skin heal faster by a few hours, and — while I wouldn't go so far as to say I noticed any truth in that — I will say this: It was the easiest, most relaxing experience I have ever had with hair-removal, ever. Of course, like any other laser hair treatment, I've still got five or six sessions left in me. But if it's anything like the first, you better believe I'll be running to my next appointment. Who knew that painlessly ripping out my body hairs came down to balancing my chakras? Waxing, fillers, you're next.