Reiki students have been asking for some tips on starting a Reiki practice and I thought it would be helpful to put this information in writing, making it available to those who are interested in setting up a Reiki practice now or in the future.
One of the first things I did after completing my Reiki First Degree with John Harvey Gray was to become a Reiki volunteer at a local AIDS clinic. I gave Reiki sessions at this clinic for two years, every Monday from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. I was fortunate enough that the clinic permitted me to use all of the techniques I had learned from John, which was a tremendous help because this allowed me to practice properly and gain experience. Practicing correctly and gaining experience needs to take place before you set up your professional Reiki practice.
The clinic also allowed me to work privately with some of their clients. All of the sessions were given on a volunteer basis, free of charge. In addition, I offered Reiki sessions to friends, family members, co-workers … anyone who wanted to have a Reiki session. I kept a yoga mat and pillows in the trunk of my car so that I could set up a make-shift Reiki table quickly anytime, anywhere, and give Reiki sessions. Within three months I was doing an average of 3 Reiki sessions per day. I loved it! The more sessions I gave the more I wanted to give. I have always been very good at conducting a thorough interview and getting feedback from my clients after their sessions. This was invaluable in my learning process. When I wasn’t giving sessions, I was studying the books … reviewing all of the material I had learned in class. I lived and breathed Reiki (I still do). Understanding what the client needed and providing it helped me get consistent results. Whenever I had an unusual case, I consulted with John and followed his advice. Not everyone got well of course, but there was always a consistent improvement in quality of life … and that is what Reiki is all about.
After I took my Second Degree Training from John the number of clients increased as if by magic. The clients who were receiving Reiki sessions from me told their family and friends and in turn they told their family and friends and before I knew it, I was giving an average of five Reiki sessions per day. Now I had real clients. For those clients who came through the clinic, I worked on them strictly as a volunteer without charging a fee. For the rest, I started charging a small fee per session (less than the average fee). Clients were grateful to receive the discount and happily signed up for sessions. So, this is how I started my professional Reiki practice. I did not pay for advertisements nor did I create a beautiful brochure, or network with other health professionals. My practice started strictly as word of mouth from my clients telling their friends and family about their Reiki sessions with me.
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So, here are some do’s and don’ts to help you get your own Reiki practice off the ground:
- Do find a place to set up your practice. If zoning laws allow you to have a Reiki practice at home, perfect. You’ll need a room that has both privacy and easy access for those clients arriving in wheelchairs. If zoning laws do not permit you to have a Reiki practice at home, go somewhere else. There are many massage therapists, chiropractors, health spas, caregivers, and the like, that will rent you space by the hour for a nominal fee. I do not recommend that you travel to a client’s home for a Reiki session unless you know the person. It’s a good idea to have another person there with you if you are working on a stranger for the first time.
- Do volunteer at a local hospital, clinic, nursing home, hospice, etc. Every bit of experience you can give yourself is important.
- Do set up a schedule for giving Reiki sessions. In your calendar mark both the dates and the times when you will be available. Do this even if you don’t have any clients yet. Remember, Reiki is energy healing … you are working with energy and you need to start building energy and intension around having your own Reiki clients. Do this in writing because as you write down your appointment availability into your calendar, you are creating an energetic link to the energy of having a Reiki practice.
- Do invest in a good bodywork table as soon as possible. You can find good deals online and on ebay.com. You could call your local massage school …. they may have a used model they are willing to sell you.
- Don’t give rushed Reiki sessions or deliver Reiki to just the symptom. This doesn’t work. Always ask the client permission before beginning the Reiki session … follow proper hygienic procedures, and maintain confidentiality. Conduct each Reiki session thoroughly. Always follow up with your clients. Treat all clients with a professional demeanor … even friends and family members. For each client that you meet for the first time, remember that his or her impression of you begins to form with your first conversation. We cover all of these topics in our classes at The John Harvey Gray Center for Reiki Healing.
- Do purchase good professional liability insurance. Your home insurance may not protect you should a client have an accident while in your home. It is easy for one to slip and fall on stairs, icy or not. Some organizations such as iarp.org have very inexpensive premiums that you easily can pay for with the income from one or two sessions. The peace of mind of having a good policy is well worth the premium.
- Don’t spend hundreds of dollars in advertising. This is not necessary. Just tell your friends, family, co-workers … essentially everyone you meet, that you are giving Reiki sessions. Offer the sessions for free or for a small donation in order to cover expenses. If possible, get business cards and prepare a simple brochure so that you can pass them out to your new clients. More elaborate forms of marketing and networking are important later on, after you gain some experience, but not as a first step.
- Ask your clients to tell their friends about your Reiki sessions. Ask each client who liked the session(s) to write a testimonial. Having a portfolio of great Reiki testimonials will serve you far better than expensive ads. Their friends (who could potentially become your clients) will want to know what it was like. How well did you communicate and work with the client … both in the before Reiki interview, during, and after the Reiki session? What was the actual Reiki treatment like? Only your Reiki client can answer these questions. Your own performance during the Reiki session will provide the answers.
- Don’t worry about charging a fee for your Reiki sessions in the beginning. It’s much more important for you to get the practice. Every client who comes to you is helping you to become a better Reiki practitioner. Each one provides you the opportunity to practice and gain more experience. Once you have a track record of success with these Reiki clients, paying clients will come automatically. If you wish, ask for a small donation to cover expenses. Remember, this will pay off in the end.
- Do continue your Reiki education. The John Harvey Gray Center for Reiki Healing offers a complete line-up of Reiki training classes from Reiki I for beginners, to Reiki Master Teacher. Each class is thorough and complete … with no cut corners. In addition, you can always e-mail if you have any questions. I provide continuing e-mail and phone support for my students after they finish their training … free of charge.
It’s always important to know that help and guidance is just a phone call away.
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