The decision to offer your services professionally is a big step in your life. Here are some pointers to guide you, many of which are based on advice by Penelope Quest1Reiki for Life: The complete guide to reiki practice for levels 1, 2 & 3. Penelope Quest (2002), Piatkus..
- Get plenty of practice giving Reiki sessions to family, friends, and other people. Penelope Quest recommends at least thirty treatments over six months. And these should be varied: not just thirty treatments on one person!
- Start small. Don’t buy an expensive massage table or lease an expensive therapy room before you know that this is the right thing for you. Start small, with just one or two regular clients. This is a big adjustment in your life and in most cases it’s better to ease into it, a bit at a time.
- Find a calm, relaxing space, free from clutter. For me this was a challenge, as I began offering and teaching Reiki from my studio apartment, which had book shelves, kitchen equipment, and even storage boxes.
- Another option is to travel to give Reiki to the client in their home. But always make sure that the space is free from distractions and quiet, so that you won’t be disturbed. You should talk to the client about this beforehand.
- Think about how much to charge. If you’re not sure, check out what other people in your area are charging. (Often a Reiki treatment is about the same price as a massage treatment.) If you charge a low price for your Reiki treatment, you devalue your own time and even the system of Reiki itself. For many people this is related to issues surrounding self-worth. By offering low prices you will attract clients with financial issues, who may even ask you to discount your already low price. Know that you are valuable—that’s why you’re taking this course—and that you are worth paying for. Go for the average rate if you’re not sure, and remember that if a client who really needs Reiki can’t afford it, that you will be able to offer them a special deal.
- List yourself on a healthcare directory website, or even create your own website. That is getting easier, as simple website creation tools get better.
In the Treatment Room
- Always give your client non-judgemental acceptance. Many Reiki practitioners are also vegetarians, don’t smoke, don’t drink, and generally live very healthy lives. It is tempting to put pressure—whether overt or covert—on your client to make healthy lifestyle changes. This may be because you think they are doing something morally wrong (for example, eating meat) or because you just want to help them be more healthy. However it is not your role to put pressure on a client, no-matter how good your intentions are. It is good to recommend healthy lifestyle changes, but this can only be done correctly when it comes out of a foundation of deep acceptance. If the client can’t receive deep acceptance from their Reiki therapist, who else in the world could they ever hope to get it from? Acceptance is at the heart of healing.
- The client has a right to live his or her own life as she wishes. You as a therapist also have a right to safety and peace of mind. If you feel threatened by the client then it’s entirely appropriate to stop giving Reiki treatments to them.
Be Conscious of Yourself
- Be aware of what your needs are in a therapy situation. Many people try to heal others in some attempt to heal themselves. This is not the correct way to offer Reiki, as you will be unable to completely detach from specific healing outcomes: you will be lost seeking self-validation in your role as a healer.
- It is very important to take care of yourself as a therapist. Know how to say no. Don’t let yourself get drained, and make sure that your energy levels are high enough to be able to give clients the high level of care that they deserve. In addition to your daily Reiki self-practice, you can exchange Reiki treatment with another practitioner, or take up martial arts or some physical exercise like yoga or a sport.
- You are not a medical practitioner and must not diagnose any problems. If you intuit or believe that there is some physical problem, for example cancer, encourage the client to get it checked out by a doctor, but do not ever tell them that they have a medical disease. This could lead to you being sued and can also lead to great worry and stress for the client. You can keep your advice general: “During the session I got a feeling about your lungs. It might be good idea if you went to get them checked by a medical doctor.”
- Keep client notes, and make sure that they are kept confidential. In some countries you are legally obliged to keep these records for a certain amount of time after you finish giving Reiki treatments. In some countries clients have a legal right to see their records. You should write their name, address, and any medication that they’re taking, and a brief outline of the treatment that you’ve given.
- Get public liability insurance if that’s possible in the country where you live.
- Keep accurate financial records for your Reiki business. It doesn’t have to be complicated. Just make a two-column spreadsheet, one column for income and the other column for expenditure. You will need this for when you do your tax at the end of the year.
- Remember that many people will see many different types of health care practitioners, such as allopathic doctors or alternative therapists, before coming to see you. Appreciate that the treatment you give may be part of a wider range of treatments that the client is receiving. Never tell the client to stop taking a certain medicine, as again you risk being sued.
Last, may I wish you the blessings of divine light, strength, wisdom and love, as you walk the path of Usui, Hayashi and Takata!