Nousha playing her harmonium in Malibu, California.
Music People

Meet the Nurse Behind Some of Your Favorite Tunes

At 18 years old, Nousha Salimi was already a licensed nurse. She became enamored with the field of healing at a young age—attracted by its inherent overlap with mental health—and enrolled in a nursing program before she had graduated from high school. Salimi began her career volunteering in a New York State mental institution and later, when she landed a job at New York’s top-rated plastic surgeon’s clinic, she instinctively utilized the skills she gained there, noting the “huge correlation between mental health and when people would start overdoing botox and filler.” Though Salimi loved her work, she yearned to connect with people in a natural way to make them feel powerful and beautiful. This path led her to Reiki. 

Reiki is a Japanese energy healing technique that uses gentle hand movements to guide energy flow through the body to reduce stress and promote healing and release stagnant energy. Salimi is now a master of the art, and uniquely she uses this practice on her clients that work in music to unlock lyrics to new songs. Her clients’ experiences and struggles have inspired her song writing, one of her recent success reiki song writing sessions was co-writing: Rachel Platten’s newest release “Soldiers ” which has been featured on American Idol multiple times and as CBS promo commercial song. Her multifaceted career allows her to heal people through both music and physical touch.

Nousha Salimi playing her harmonium in Malibu, California. Photography courtesy of Hero Bean Stevenson.

Salimi believes her poetry and music exist in tandem with her Reiki sessions, which she insists are not for everyone. Many of her clients are musicians however, “the only artists that will connect with me are people who are open to the energy and want to go and dive in deep,” she says. “Every time we do a session everyone is crying” and “connecting to a sadder place that you need to release.” She now dedicates one day a week to seeing patients in Beverly Hills and spends the rest of her time songwriting in Malibu with talents including Annika, Platten, Rozzi and Ali Tamposi with whom she is organizing a fall fundraiser to support the Creative Waves Foundation, an organization that helps provide accessible music education and resources to aspiring artists. Salimi sits on the board of directors for CWF as well as Tamar Kaprelian's Nvak Foundation—a nonprofit with a similar mission—and provides free Reiki treatments to the latter's burgeoning musicians.

In her work, Salimi wears many hats and thus, rituals are central to helping her to remain connected to her healing intentions. Each morning, she lights a candle and recites a mantra to set the tone for the day. To cleanse herself of the day’s energy at night, Salimi inhales the soothing scent of her very own face oil, which she infuses with geranium and rose, and massages it into her face, concentrating her mind on its nurturing effect. “That’s meditation itself, when your brain isn’t scattered and thinking about all the other things in the day,” she explains. “I give myself one to two minutes of only focusing on myself.” 

In the future, Salimi would like to create a collaborative songwriting environment that integrates all her passions. “My dream is to find an artist to work with and do a week-long retreat together where we’re diving in deep, we’re going into the energy, going into the Reiki and spending a full five days together,” she explains. Her career in healing has helped her connect with her inner artist and she wants to help others to do the same.