Print Posted By Lost in France on 16 May 2008 in Real France - French Life

Practicing Reiki in France

AlaigneMy husband and I spent many happy holidays travelling in the South West of France before we decided to buy a home here in 1993. Initially, the home was just for holidays but we had bought with an eye to retiring here permanently in the future. Unlike many Brits we bought a modern property which didn't seem to need much doing to it. Too late (there were no surveyors here at that time) we discovered that there were cracks in the wall of the integral garage which had been concealed when we viewed the property.

We had two solicitors when we bought the house, a French Notaire and a British specialist in house purchase in France. Neither of these noticed that the cadastral plan and the fencing of the property did not match and it was five years after the purchase that we learned we did not own a small parcel of our garden. Luckily we were able to buy this from our friendly neighbour relatively cheaply.

After my husband's retirement we became permanent residents in France in 1997. Our house was located in a small, historic circular village in the Aude. We found the villagers to be very welcoming and we joined the Club de l'age d'or and the Association Culturelle which meant that we met many of our neighbours and became integrated gradually into village life.

HomeWhen Ryanair started to fly to Carcassonne we noticed a gradual but steadily increasing change in our area, many more Brits, Belgians, Germans and Dutch bought properties around us and the ambiance of the village changed too. However, we did take advantage of the presence of Ryanair in 2003 to take a party of 16 French people on a long week end in London. A trip which we found thoroughly enjoyable and which gave us kudos in the village which lasts to this day. Several of those who went with us had never previously left the area of their birth and it was very amusing to see their attempts to pass two people at a time through the ticket barrier during the rush hour at Queensway underground station and how they reacted to the semi-clad performances we saw in Selfridges! I would recommend arranging such a trip, it has given lasting pleasure to us and I think to all the other participants. A word of warning though: Ryanair does not recognise group bookings and each passenger is treated separately which means every change of name has to be paid for.

As we grew older we realised that living in a village can present difficulties re shopping etc. We took a French bank loan (at a preferential rate as it was for property improvement) and repaired our cracked wall. We then sold the house and moved to a town in the Ariege where we are within easy walking distance of a supermarket.

LavelanetOur move coincided with my retirement. Until then I had been travelling back to the UK regularly to continue my self-employed work there. At this time too I discovered Reiki and decided to set up a practice in France. Reiki, for those who may not have heard of it, is a Japanese form of spiritual, hands-on healing. I quickly learned that Reiki, along with several other alternative therapies, is illegal in France but "tolerated"! This means that if you want to set up a business here the local Chamber of Commerce and other organisations are unable to help you but the tax office is willing to take a percentage of any ill-gotten gains. It also means it is very difficult to find insurance but I did find some and will be happy to give further information to anyone who also wants to start a practice in an alternative therapy here.

Following from this I am also trying to establish some spiritual development courses in France. Such courses are widely available in the UK but I thought that some English speaking emigrants might welcome them here and also people not resident in this beautiful area might like to combine a holiday with a course. It would be extremely helpful to me in regard to future planning to hear from any of your readers re courses which would interest them and whether they would prefer a week end or a week's course.

What do you think?

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