Reiki master Julie Heskins conducting a reiki treatment in Cairns

Enjoying a reiki holiday in Cairns

If you’re curious about the healing power of reiki why not integrate a reiki course (or relaxing reiki treatments) into your next holiday?

What is reiki?

Reiki is a Japanese energy practice that focuses on self-healing and awareness. Through the reiki system of precepts, meditations, and mantras, practitioners discover their true nature and come to realise that each human is the keeper of all the knowledge they require.

It is a beautiful practice that promotes relaxation, mindfulness, physical healing, and spiritual transformation.

Julie Heskins from Rainfores Reiki in Cairns demonstrates reiki to a student
Why not consider a reiki holiday with Reiki Master Julie Heskins in Cairns?

What is a reiki holiday?

Julie’s reiki holidays are flexible and you can experience a reiki treatment, or take the full Reiki Shoden course. Experienced reiki practitioners can choose reiki mentoring sessions with Julie to deepen their practice.

4 Day/3 Nights Reef and Reiki Package
  • 3 nights accommodation (private room with shared bathroom)
  • Continental breakfast each morning (with delicious smoothie) featuring local fruits and vegetables)
  • Reiki treatment (1 hour reiki treatment with Julie)
  • Island Reef trip (day trip snorkelling the Great Barrier Reef)
  • Wifi (fast fibre-optic WIFI during your stay)
  • Cost: $499 (per person)
4 Day/3 Nights Learn Reiki Package
  • 3 nights accommodation (private room with shared bathroom)
  • Continental breakfast each morning with delicious local fruits
  • Reiki 1 Shoden Course (full 2-day course including manuals and certificate of completion)
  • Wifi (fast fibre-optic WIFI during your stay)
  • Cost: $699 (per person)

The property

Your accommodation in Cairns is at Julie’s Rainforest Reiki Studio, a beautiful timber home set amongst the trees and songbirds of tropical Far-north Queensland. You can stay in a single room, or book the whole house with your friends.

The possibilities

Your reiki holiday is completely personalised, so aside from your reiki course and/or treatments you can also add side-trips, nutritious meals, and yoga classes. Just ask for add-on pricing at the time of booking.


Julie spent many years working as a travel agent and tour guide, so she can arrange day trips around Cairns, the Atherton Tablelands, and Cape Tribulation.


Why not treat yourself to a delicious raw food and vegan menu during your holiday? Ask Julie for the full menu and pricing while booking.


Begin your yoga practice in a safe space under the guidance of a trained yoga teacher. Julie can tailor a gentle yoga program that suits you body type and personal needs.

Julie Heskins from Cairns teaches Yoga Classes

Book your reiki holiday today

For pricing and booking enquiries, please contact Julie Heskins on or phone 0438 537365.

What our guests say

Rainforest Reiki Retreat is a tranquil, home away from home with great facilities and a host who makes you feel welcome and gives great directions.
I found Julie was very welcoming and friendly. We had a good chat and giggles. Her place is super clean and relaxing. You can have reiki and yoga too. We enjoyed to stay in her place.
I had a beautiful stay at Julie's place. The garden is probably the stand out of all Airbnb's I've stayed in, just stunningly beautiful especially in morning light. Being a reiki venue it has such positive vibes, and Julie was such a kind and friendly host. Definitely highly recommend, and I hope to stay again! 🙂
We had really beautiful time there with my partner! Julie is really Amazing, very kind woman! I highly recommend this place! 💖
A wonderful host, lovely surroundings and a clean home. Would suggest staying here to all those looking for an experience not just a place to stay. Especially the rainforest lovers!
A gorgeous space to retreat... coupled with a Reiki course and beautiful hospitality, Julie’s place is a special piece of paradise with a vibrant atmosphere, well worth a visit! The view of the rainforest canopy while doing my morning yoga was extraordinary.
I highly recommend Julie as she was a amazing host very helpful, welcoming, good laughs and positive vibes. Julie is very knowledgeable when it comes to reiki, yoga and meditation and would recommend it to anyone who is looking for more out of life.
Well worth the stay combined with a reiki session in a perfect setting and location. A great place to reconnect with nature and embark on a healing journey
Had an awesome two nights at Julie her place, she is an absolutely beautiful person and me and my mothef feld really at home^^ we even had a meditation in the evening and in the morning was enough space to do my morning yoga. Aswell the breakfast was perfect. Definitly recommend the place 🙂
Gorgeous space full of positive energy, waking up to the singing of birds and feeling refreshed was a great experience. So too was seeing the wildlife, right in Julie's very own backyard paradise.
meditating at the edge of the ocean

Maintaining self care in challenging times

Things are tough right now and we are all feeling it. This quick blog post is a gentle reminder to take care of yourself along with a few tips for maintaining your own self care in challenging times.

1. Mindfulness

The pressures of our world are part of our human existence, and a consistent mindfulness meditation practice will help you face the stressors in your life, while taking a step back from any negativity and drama.

Mindfulness is about focusing your attention on the here and now, regulating your breathing, observing your feelings and the sensations in your body without judgment. Rather than responding or reacting to negative thoughts or feelings, you merely note them and let them go. The object is to create awareness and take it into our daily lives, appreciating the remarkable gifts that life provides throughout each day

mindfulness written on a note in the window

2. Hydration

When bills and financial stressors are coming at you, don’t forget to keep up your hydration levels. And if you find yourself drinking more coffee and alcohol than usual, make sure you balance this out with clean water, fresh juices, green tea, and herbal infusions.

man on beach with stainless steel water bottle

“You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn to surf.”

Jon Kabat-Zinn

3. Movement

It’s great to keep your body mobile and moving. Apart from the proven benefits to cardio-respiratory health and fitness, exercise improves the quality of your sleep while decreasing the symptoms of depression and anxiety. With age our bodies loose flexibility and strength so yoga, walking and regular gym work can all make a huge difference to our mobility and daily wellbeing.

Julie Heskins from Cairns teaches Yoga Classes
Julie recommends gentle stretching and yoga to keep your body active and supple.

4. Nutrition

A balanced diet that includes plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables can increase your energy levels and and improve your focus throughout the day. Try to avoid processed foods and anything that makes you feel heavy and tired. Your body knows best, just ask before you eat.

raw food prepared by Julie Heskins
Julie was once a big fan of pasta and pastries but began slowly eating raw vegan food and fruit-based treats instead of biscuits and cakes. She even learned to make them herself and now includes these delicious meals and desserts at her meditation retreats and reiki courses.

5. Retreat

If you can, take some time out for retreat. If you don’t have the time or resources for a lengthy detox or getaway, you could try a meditation retreat day, an overnight staycation somewhere close to home, or just taking a weekly mindfulness class.

bench seat with a painted sign behind that says 'self love'
Your spiritual practice is the ultimate act of self-love. Rather than letting it fall away when things get tough, lean into your practice.

Reiki Practice in Daily Life

The wonderful thing about the system of reiki is how much it supports us through each day. When we are in a good state of mind, not overwhelmed, anxious or afraid, then we can support others in a loving, kind and positive way.
I moved to Australia 30 years ago. My parents initially had reservations about me travelling the world. They changed their minds when they visited me to celebrate my 21st birthday. As they enjoyed the warm climate, the beautiful vistas of Kakadu and the Whitsunday islands, they understood why their only daughter had fallen in love with this incredible country!
Travel and adventure they realised was fun. After that initial taste of what travelling offered they met me in New Zealand, Thailand and other far flung places.

I settled in Cairns eventually and they came to visit a number of times. They loved it. Gorgeous places to visit like Cape Tribulation, the Tablelands, the reef and Fitzroy Island. Staying at Rainforest Reiki was a treat too and they came to a reiki share night and mum had treatments.

As they got older I asked them if they’d like to move to Australia. They always had great friends in UK and they didn’t want to. When dads health deteriorated and they could no longer travel I visited them in UK once a year.
At times when they were ill I facilitated distant reiki sessions. This is done by setting intent that the person receives whatever healing they need in that moment and then you sit in meditation holding that loving intent free of expectations and judgement. This can last 20-30 minutes.
On some level you always know when you live far from loved ones that eventually one parent will face a serious health issue. It’s how you deal with the challenges that arise that counts. The only certainty is that there’s always change in our lives.
The precepts of reiki are the backbone of the whole system. Students are taught different meditation techniques to work with these.
The precepts, or principles of Reiki are:
For Today Only:
Do not anger
Dot not worry
Be grateful
Practice diligently
To show compassion to yourself and others
By working with the meditations and other practices students create awareness. The goal is to take these practices into daily life and live from this place.
Of course it doesn’t mean we never get angry or worried! That would be in a perfect world ❤️. These precepts are the goal of the system to be less worried, less angry, more grateful and be kind and compassionate to ourselves and others. To rediscover our inner light which is always within us – we’ve just forgotten it.
Aged 87 and 85 my parents have maintained good health. Two months ago my dad rang with the news mum had had an a severe stroke and was in hospital. My reiki practice has always given me so much support with challenges and this time was no different . Taking one day at a time I’ve been able to get clear, be there for both mum and dad and support them both energetically and practically with phone calls and, more recently, visiting them in UK.
My dad has stayed positive throughout and feels loved and supported by friends and family.  He knows mum is in the best place and getting the care she needs.  Practicing reiki gives me trust that there is a flow to life and the object is to let go of outcomes and be as present as possible to what is each day.
Initially mum was unconscious and dad visited.  After 63 years of marriage they had never been apart except for a few days.
Six weeks into mum’s recovery it was clear to me I needed to go back and assess things and be there for them both.  I already had another trip planned to do Raw Chef training in Bali (creating delicious raw food for retreat days and courses is something I enjoy) and continued onto UK.   It was so good to see them both.  The staff at the hospital were lovely but mum was finding being in hospital challenging – the noise, lights and constant movement are hard on anyone, let along an old lady whose used to a peaceful life.  Facilitating reiki on the ward calmed mum and one of the nurses was enthralled!  She asked about having a session and learning – maybe in the future…
My dad has been doing well on his own. He appreciates the support he gets from friends and the retirement village community. He can cook, do laundry and manages with little help.  Mum will hopefully be able to keep improving and return home so they can be together again.  I am now back in Cairns and will continue to do distant reiki for us all.
The intent for the best possible outcome for them both is paramount. ❤️❤️🙏😀.

Reiki for Pets

Getting close to animals with reiki and meditation
Reiki with pets. The joys of petsitting

I love animals and am also a passionate traveller.  Pet sitting offers the opportunity to do both.
It’s a win win situation helping owners and having quality time with their pets.  It’s fun and has its challenges.  Pets have minds of their own and aren’t shy to show their true colours sometimes!
One of my favourite pet sits was for a white feisty terrier called Blossom (pictured above). On our first meeting Blossom growled and barked and her devoted mum and dad explained that she had a strong personality.  Her name, ‘Blossom’ suited her perfectly.  It’s always good to be direct with owners to see whether you’re going to be the right fit for their precious pet.
‘How did Blossom go with the previous pet sitter’ I asked.  They admitted Blossom barked aggressively at the poor woman for the first week!
Reiki has many benefits and I felt certain that Blossom would respond well to it.
Just as humans experience anxiety and stress when situations change so do sensitive animals.
The owners went off on a cruise and I moved in.   On arrival Blossom complained noisily that I was not her family.  I promptly sat on the sofa in meditation, set an intent she received whatever she needed at that moment and did a 20 minute reiki meditation session with her.  The barking quickly abated, Blossom calmed down and peace was restored.
I continued including Blossom in my meditation practice each day and Blossom accepted me, wagging her tail enthusiastically whenever I arrived home.  She was a special girl and I’d take her back to Rainforest Reiki some days.  She greeted clients with a few barks and then would quietly settle under the reiki table enjoying being in the reiki space.
Do pets reflect their owners?  I think they do.  Another of my favourite pets is Pappi.  Pappi is a medium sized dog of mixed lineage who was very well trained and super intelligent. Similar to her quiet, smart mum who also has a playful sense of humour :).
It’s always a gift to care for a well trained dog.  Walking her on the beach without a lead was a joy.  Trust is so important and, with Pappi, she would come to me to have her lead put on if she perceived a threat from another dog.  Intuition and wisdom is something, for most of us, that needs to be developed whereas Pappi knew who she could trust.  We can learn so much from our pets, even when they are in our care for a short time.
Cats are also a favourite of mine.  Especially Missy who lives on property in the Tablelands.  Cats are independent creatures and remind me of myself!  Missy was a bit stand offish initially but over time she has grown into a sweet and affectionate companion.  On my last visit she jumped through the bedroom window every morning for meditation, curling up contentedly in my lap.
Even the sweetest cat will show their true nature of course.  I awoke early with plans to join an online retreat with my reiki teacher.  In the dark I heard the crunch crunch of a small animal being munched.  Discovering bits of it spread across the room, a gift for me I presumed, reminded me of the reasons I don’t need a pet of my own!! Needless to say, I watched a recording of the class later in the day 😀🙏.
Life is about learning and experience and as animals shine their light on us we can learn from them.  Yin yoga came about from the founder, Paulie Zinks’ study of animals and the way they move.  Animals innately stretch, move and rest to conserve energy and remain flexible and strong.
I’m grateful to all the pets and their owners who have trusted me to look after them.
learning reiki with julie heskins cairns

Deepening Your Practice: taking the step to Reiki 2

Why is taking the next step to Reiki 2 (or even Reiki 3) so important? The simple answer is, our journey to self awareness and rediscovering our true self never ends.

It is the most important thing we will ever do. ❤️

Beginning the Reiki journey

In Reiki 1 Shoden you learned the foundational practices to start connecting deeply within.  

Over the initial weekend most students experience deep peace, connection and an inner knowing that there is so much potential within each of us.  We don’t have to reach for the stars.  We are already there!  We’ve just forgotten. By working with the principles of reiki we can start to shed those self limiting beliefs and judgements that prevent us from living our truth.

With new found awareness we understand that only we can make the changes that will make a difference. We can’t blame others for our situation and, if we’re in a negative relationship or job, it’s up to us to develop the strength and confidence to move on.

practicing reiki in cairns with julie heskins

Through practicing the  mindfulness techniques reiki offers, we start to be in the moment with life, not living in the past or dwelling in the future. Staying curious and alert we enjoy precious moments that present themselves. We start to catch ourselves when we experience worry or anger.  

Things that once triggered us can be recognised in the moment and we can stop being reactive. We are not our thoughts.. when we see this, freedom awaits. 

We become more compassionate to others.  All people are struggling in different ways.  The more we can be kind and listen to others attentively, the more we will attract likeminded, grounded and grateful people into our lives.  

Reiki 1 offers a gateway to rediscovering your true self.  By starting on the journey you plant the seeds of a happy life.  You start to see the challenges as opportunities.  It may not happen instantly but you’ll be able to look back and see ‘Wow! I handled that situation so much better than I did a year ago’. 😀

learning reiki in a group with julie heskins cairns

Taking the next step

Coming to Reiki 2 Okuden is a natural progression for most.  If your practice has dropped away after Reiki 1, then it offers an opportunity to reconnect.  

The techniques and meditations taught at this level enhance and expand the reiki toolbox.  Using the symbols and associated mantras we connect to the innate wisdom that resides within and flows through us.  We see that every action and decision we make is interrelated to the whole.  As clear intuition arises from a place of being, you trust your gut feelings and make decisions based in reality! 

When you attend Reiki 2, you receive 3 more attunements and gain further experience in hands on/off healing practising with a partner.  We create intimacy with ourselves and cultivate the limitless energy that lies within. Developing self love and empowerment are valuable tools in a fast paced society based in consumerism and dependency.

Whether you come to Reiki 2 for your own self-care or to start practicing professionally, the second level teaches valuable practices to gain clarity into living simply and meaningfully.

This doesn’t mean we have to become a reiki practitioner of course!  We can ‘be reiki’ at any moment on any day in any situation. Practicing kindness, compassion and humility in any environment is wonderful. You’re family and work mates will also be grateful 🥲.

learning reiki with julie heskins cairns

Making Reiki a profession

Reiki 3 Shinpiden offers the opportunity to learn the final symbol and mantra.  We grow, we take responsibility for our actions and realise that to navigate a dualistic world we need to embody the qualities of reiki within ourselves.  

You will receive the final attunement and learn to facilitate reiju and attunements on others.  You may want to become a teacher yourself and, with practice, that is possible. Teaching others reiki is a blessing and a privilege. ❤️🙏

group of ladies on retreat wtih julie heskins Cairns

The Importance of going on Retreat

As twenty-first century life becomes more complex, stressful, and challenging many people are allowing themselves time out for retreat. A retreat is an opportunity to get away from the stress and demands of our everyday lives and do something positive for ourselves.

In this short blog I’ll be unpacking some of the key benefits of retreat and a few guidelines to help you find a suitable retreat in your area. I run regular retreats here in Cairns and Far-north Queensland but you might need something a little closer to home.


Studies show that meditating even for as little as 10 minutes increases the brain’s alpha waves (associated with relaxation) and decreases anxiety and depression.

Psychology Today

Often retreats offer a chance to practice new things like yoga, meditation and Reiki.  It’s fun to try new things and also build or reconnect to existing knowledge.

Go on retreat with an open mind and be willing to try meditation and other spiritual practices. You will be amazed at how peaceful and rejuvenated you will feel by the end.

Even better, you might learn new meditation practices which you can bring into your daily life once you get back home.


Social engagement is associated with a stronger immune system, especially for older adults. This means that you are better able to fight off colds, the flu, and even some types of cancer.

Psychology Today

A retreat should be a good balance of personal time, exercise, doing practices which focus on your wellbeing and a chance to socialise with others.

Connecting with like minded people is also something that’s very beneficial.  We can all learn from each other.

group of ladies on retreat wtih julie heskins Cairns
Connecting with like-minded people is one of the best things about retreat.

Great Food

Nutrient deficiencies are implicated in many mental health disorders, including depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder.

Psychology Today

A lot of people think that retreat is about extreme dieting and denial, but this isn’t true. Retreat is always about wellbeing and should include good healthy food options that inspire you.

Ask your retreat host when booking about the type of foods you’ll be eating and the availability of different dietary options.

2021 meditation retreat with julie heskins
A retreat is never about denial, it’s about experiencing new and delicious foods that promote good health and long-term wellbeing.


Scientists are finding exercise boosts neuron development and reduces anxiety.

Psychology Today

Exercise is great tonic for mental health and a well-run retreat will include a nice selection of physical activities. Gentle yoga, tai-chi, Reiki, swimming, and walks in nature are all lovely on retreat.

It’s wonderful to try new exercises that improve your strength and flexibility. And in a group setting under the guidance of an experienced teacher you just might surprise yourself.

Practicing yoga and other physical activities in a group is a joyful experience.


Being in nature lowers cortisol, reduces heart rate, bolsters immunity, improves mood, among other gains.

Psychology Today

Look for a retreat that is set in nature where you can experience grounding and find peace and quiet.

On retreat it’s important to minimise distractions.  Leave the phone in your room during sessions or even for the whole retreat!  

yoga student meditating at Rainforest Reiki in Cairns QLD
Meditating in nature has so many benefits like lowering cortisol and reducing heart rate.

Final thoughts

Odd as it may seem, taking real, quality time to “escape” from your everyday routine and reflect on your own life is actually one of the best things you can do for the people who matter in your life.

Psychology Today

I hope I’ve been able to convince you that Retreat is a healthy act of self-care that can have a big impact on your overall wellbeing. Programming regular time out for yourself, learning meditation and other spiritual practices, will not only reduce your stress levels but better enable you to support the people in your life.

Of course I’d love to see you at one of my retreats in the tropical rainforest of Far-north Queensland, but no matter where you are in world do take some time to experience the benefits of a meditation retreat in the place that’s best for you.

Upcoming Retreats in Far-north Queensland

Julie hosts regular retreats in Cairns, Mission Beach and the Atherton Tablelands. For more information call +61 438 537365 or email Cairns has daily flights from all major cities in Australia.

Julie Heskins instructing a group of Reiki students in hand positions

Traditional Japanese Reiki vs Western Reiki: the differences unpacked and explained

Last week on the blog we took a look at Reiki lineages and explained why it’s so important to understand the lineage of your Reiki teacher. In this week’s article we’d like to dive a little deeper into the topic and unpack the critical differences between Traditional Japanese Reiki vs Western Reiki. Let’s take a look.

Continue reading “Traditional Japanese Reiki vs Western Reiki: the differences unpacked and explained”