Leading the self-care wave in London is resident alchemist Michelle Roques-O’Neil, one of the capital’s best-kept wellbeing secrets. Her healing hands, and reputation, have had clients queueing at her Westbourne Grove door for over 30 years. Her breadth of skills means she defies categorisation; she’s been described at once as a healer, reiki master, aromatherapist, spiritual life coach and alchemist, but Roques-O’Neil’s therapies have never been more pertinent to a generation running on cortisol, caffeine and constant screen time.
With an immediately calming presence and warm, maternal energy, it’s not hard to see why Roques-O’Neil has become the go-to for thousands of Londoners, not just hardcore spiritual types. Culture Trip met her on a particularly dark and wet winter afternoon at the end of a busy week but felt instantly at ease in her presence. Some clients have been seeing her regularly for years, relying on her mystical powers to ease anxiety, overcome grief or boost self-esteem, while others have been referred by friends, curious as to how their bodies, and energy systems, can be transformed under her spell.
“Once a treatment is under way,” Roques-O’Neil says, “I go into a trance-like state where I’m having a conversation with your higher self. I can tell instantly what’s blocking you.” To sceptics, this may sound far-fetched, but there is no doubting her sincerity. Over the next 45 minutes, Roques-O’Neil silently holds different parts of the body, working on energetic blocks and belief systems – facets of yourself she believes can become sluggish over time due to stress, toxins and the electromagnetic energy we absorb from modern day gizmos such as phones, laptops and other devices. “It’s like removing a layer of static that’s stopping you listening to yourself,” she explains. While everyone’s experience with her is different, she insists the end goal’s the same: to clear the body’s energetic field so you can emotionally move past what’s holding you back in life.