Developing Your Reiki Practice
by William Lee Rand
Reiki is a truly wonderful gift and while some take Reiki training to use on themselves and with friends and family, many feel inspired to share it with a much wider circle. The development of a Reiki practice can be a very rewarding experience. Not only can it provide you with a source of income, there are spiritual experiences that can be much more meaningful. So, assuming you have been initiated into Reiki and have the ability to channel Reiki healing energy to others, I would like to share some ideas and techniques that may be helpful in developing a Reiki practice.
The most important thing concerning the development of a Reiki practice is the quality and strength of your intention. The mind is like a magnet. The quality and strength of your thoughts will determine the quality and strength of what you attract into your life. Therefore it is important for you to develop and maintain a positive mental attitude about your Reiki practice.
Decide with clarity, determination and commitment that you are going to create a thriving Reiki practice. Decide that you are worthy to do this and that there are many people who will benefit from your service. Decide that the value you and your clients will receive from your Reiki practice will far out weigh any effort or sacrifice that might be involved in creating it. Picture in your mind the results you want to create and how it will feel when you are actively involved in a thriving Reiki practice. Meditate frequently on this image and these feelings. Allow them to fill you up and surround you and reach out to others. Use this to motivate you and to help you continue on in the face of doubt or discouragement. Know in your heart that the freedom, joy and satisfaction of having your own Reiki practice is a valid goal and that you are creating it. Believe in yourself and in your purpose.
If doubts arise about your goal, know that this is normal and assume that they have entered your consciousness because they are passing out of you. Whenever we take on a new level of healing or commit to a new goal, old negative thoughts and feelings that have been stored inside and have gone unchallenged are dislodged and begin moving through our consciousness. If your commitment is strong, these old negative feelings and thoughts will break up and be released. If you feel negative feelings and thoughts come up, know that this is part of your healing and that you are releasing them up to the Higher Power to be healed. Use your Reiki to speed this up and make sure to ask for treatments from others. Reiki psychic surgery can be especially helpful.
There are higher sources of help you can call on. Angels, beings of light and Reiki spirit guides as well as your own enlightened self are available to help you. They can help you develop your Reiki practice by directing clients to you and assisting with treatments. They can be of great benefit, but you must have a strong spiritual intention for your work if you are to recruit their aid. If you are doing Reiki in a selfish way, only for money or to gain control over others or to take on an air of self-importance, or for any other negative purpose, then it will be very difficult for these spiritual beings to work with you. There must be congruence, an alignment within you in order for the Higher Power in the form of Reiki to flow through you in a powerful way and in order for the angels, Reiki spirit guides and other spiritual beings to work with you. Reiki wants only the best for you, but you must align with the nature of Reiki if you are to gain the greatest benefit. The more you can open to the true nature of Reiki which is to have an unselfish heart centered desire to help others, then the more the Reiki spirit guides can help you. Focus on helping others and on healing anything within yourself that may stand in the way of an uninhibited flow of love and compassion. This is what will make your Reiki practice a success!
The development of a spiritual attitude toward your Reiki practice can be facilitated through the regular use of affirmations and prayers. Try the following prayer: "Guide me and heal me so that I can be of greater service to others." By sincerely saying a prayer such as this each day, your heart will open and a path will be created to receive the help of higher spiritual beings. They will guide you in your Reiki practice and in the development of your life purpose.
One thing that can get in the way of developing a spiritual attitude about your Reiki practice is fear of competition. This has caused more problems and created more restrictions and negative energy in the Reiki community than any other area of misunderstanding. Lack is an illusion and this is especially true for Reiki! There is a far greater need for healing on the planet than there are Reiki practitioners who can provide it. Fear of competition goes directly against the nature of Reiki energy and because of this, it can repel people from you who might otherwise be interested in receiving a treatment. Reiki comes from an unlimited supply and does not fear competition. People who do Reiki together find that their Reiki gets stronger as more people join the group. If Reiki was competitive, then just the opposite would happen, it would be strongest when you were alone and get weaker as more people joined the group.
The nature of Reiki energy is one of cooperation. It understands the concept that we are all one and flows freely to anyone and everyone. It works in harmony with all other forms of treatment. It is clearly apparent, the wisdom of Reiki is to welcome all other practitioners as allies. If the spiritual purpose for your Reiki practice, is to help others and to heal the planet, then you can only rejoice when you hear about another Reiki practitioner in your area as they are helping you fulfill your purpose. Accept the wisdom of Reiki as your own wisdom, that all others who practice Reiki are helping you. The more you can do this, the more your Reiki practice will thrive. Don t worry about taking clients away from other practitioners. Each practitioner has their own value and special way of helping others. You will attract the clients who are right for you. Others will attract the clients who are right for them.
An important trend is developing in society that will soon create a great demand for Reiki practitioners. More and more people are discovering the value of alternative therapy. A recent study conducted by Dr. David M. Eisenberg of Boston s Beth Israel Hospital indicates that people in the US are beginning to turn away from modern medicine and make greater use of alternative health care techniques. The survey concluded that 34 percent of Americans said they used at least one alternative therapy in 1990 and that Americans are spending nearly $14 billion a year for this treatment, most of which comes out of the patients own pocket. The therapies most used are meditation, touch therapy (such as Reiki), guided imagery, spiritual healing, chiropractic, hypnosis, homeopathy, acupuncture, herbal cures, and folk remedies.
Also of note is the fact that the National Institutes of Health has created an Office of Alternative Medicine whose purpose is to research alternative healing methods and establish their value. Already many healing techniques formerly considered quackery by the medical establishment have been proven valid by this new office. These include chiropractic, acupuncture and homeopathy and they will soon be studying touch therapy and Reiki. Clearly, a paradigm shift is taking place toward the general acceptance of alternative medical treatment. It is likely that Reiki will become widely accepted as a valid form of healing before the end of the decade! Think what this means for anyone with a Reiki practice. A great need is developing for Reiki practitioners!
Now that we have covered some of the important attitudes, values and beliefs necessary for a thriving Reiki practice, lets discuss some of the practical issues. An important issue is money. Some practitioners do not charge money and this is fine if that is their decision as everyone has the right to charge whatever they want or to charge nothing at all. However, it is often better for the client if they are able to give something in return. They are not paying for the Reiki energy which is free but for your time and the effort you have put forth to learn Reiki. When people receive a treatment for free they often feel indebted to the practitioner and guilty feelings can develop. This creates an imbalance that can get in the way of continued treatments. Charging money allows people the freedom to come whenever they want. If you do have clients who have a money problem, you can charge them less or barter.
How much should you charge for a Reiki session? A good rule of thumb is to charge about the same for a standard Reiki session as others in your area are charging for massage. A standard Reiki session will usually last about 45 minutes to an hour and a half. When you first start charging for your sessions, you can start at a lower rate if that feels comfortable to you and increase it as your confidence and reputation grow.
Business cards are a good first step when starting your practice. They let people know you are serious about your Reiki business and make it easy for you to give people your phone number in case they want to make an appointment. It is not a good idea to place you address on the card as people may come without calling you. It is a good idea to talk to people first to get a feel for their energy, and let them know what they can expect from a Reiki session before setting up an appointment and giving them directions to your home or office.
Flyers are also a good idea. In your flyer explain what Reiki is and the benefits it offers along with your name and phone number. You can place them on bulletin boards in health food stores and new age book stores etc. and they can be given out to prospective clients.
Beginning your Reiki practice from your home is a good idea as it will save money on start-up costs, but many practitioners have found advantages to having their own office. An office creates a professional atmosphere and lets people know that you take your work seriously. You may want to start in your home and get an office after things get going or if you can afford it, get an office right away. Consider the fact that you may want to have group activities in your office when considering the size office you want.
Make sure to get each clients name address and phone number for your mailing list. As your list grows, you can mail out flyers on up coming Reiki events or simply remind people about your practice. A good way to keep track of your clients is to use a client information form. The one in the back of "Reiki, The Healing Touch" is a good one as it includes a disclaimer which protects you from misunderstandings about the results you promise from a Reiki session. Feel free to make copies of this form and use it in your practice. Keep your mind open to other ways of adding people with an interest in alternative healing to your mailing list. The mailing list can be an important tool in promoting your Reiki practice.
One way to let people know about your Reiki practice is to offer to exchange Reiki with other alternative therapists. This works well with massage therapists as they are familiar with body work and often need therapy themselves. Offer to refer clients to them and ask them to do the same for you. Give them some of your flyers or business cards to display in their office.
When you are at public gatherings or around others and someone complains about an ache or pain, offer to give them Reiki. If they have never heard of Reiki before, explain that it is a Japanese form of stress reduction with many healthy benefits. If they have a metaphysical understanding you can talk about Ki and the life force etc. Talk to them on a level they can understand. Take 15 minutes or so to treat the area of concern and let them know you do this professionally and give them your card. Tell them what a complete session is like and set up an appointment if they are interested. At parties or large gatherings, the attention you attract when giving Reiki to one often creates interest in others who will want a sample treatment also. Often you end up treating several people and passing out many business cards. As you treat you can talk about Reiki and how it works. Ask the person to explain what they feel. This always creates a lot of interest. Being focused on helping the person and not on getting a client is the key to attracting people for sample treatments. However, if they are interested, a business card is appropriate.
One thing that will really attract attention for your Reiki practice is wearing a Reiki T-shirt. People will want to know what the symbols mean and this opens the door to talking about Reiki. Offer to give them a sample treatment and telling them about your practice. If they seem interested, give them a business card and if possible, set-up an appointment.
A free Reiki evening can create lots of interest. Plan one night a month to talk about Reiki and give sample treatments. If you have Reiki friends, ask them to come and help give treatments. This is a great way to help others and let them know about Reiki and your practice. Make up flyers for your free Reiki evening and put them up in appropriate places. If the Reiki practitioners can meet an hour or so before the meeting to give treatments to each other it will really improve the quality of what the non-Reiki people receive. Also, if you have taken Reiki III\master training, you could give a refresher attunement or healing attunement to each of the practitioners to boost their energy. This is a great way for the practitioners to practice their Reiki and for you to practice giving attunements. Call everyone you know who would be interested and let them know.
If your area has psychic or wholistic fairs, get a booth. Take a Reiki table and ask 5 or more of your Reiki friends to help. Offer 10 or 15 minute treatments with 5 or more Reiki practitioners giving a treatment to one person at a time. Charge $10.00 or so per treatment. This can be a powerful healing experience and a good demonstration of Reiki. Have a table with your flyers and business cards on it and be sure to get each persons name, address, and phone number for your mailing list. Another way is to use chairs and have one or two practitioners give 10 or 15 minute treatments to each person. The chair method takes up less space and allows you to treat more then one person at a time.
Create a healing service at your church. Recruit other healers to help. You could use both Reiki and non-Reiki healers. This can create tremendous interest in Reiki. Refer to the Summer 93 issue of the Reiki News for a complete explanation.
Volunteer to do free Reiki treatments at hospitals, hospice centers, drug and alcohol treatment centers or in conjunctions with a psychologist or other therapists. By doing this, you will gain experience and people will find out about your practice, but most of all, you will be helping others.
If there is a metaphysical/wholistic paper in your area, offer to write an article for it on Reiki or healing in general. Make sure your name and phone number are listed and that you are a Reiki practitioner or teacher. If you are really serious, decide to write an article every month. This will let people know who you are and what your attitudes and beliefs are concerning healing. They will then be able to decide if they want to come to you. It is also a good idea to place an ad in the same paper your article appears in. You will pay for the ad, but the article will be free!
Write articles for the Reiki News or send in a description of your Reiki experiences. The Reiki News needs articles and is very interested in letting people know about your personal experiences with Reiki. It goes out to thousands of people interested in Reiki all over the country. Having your name in the paper will improve your reputation especially if you place free copies in your local health and new age book stores and hand out copies to your clients and friends etc.
Develop a Reiki talk and offer to speak about Reiki to local groups. There are many groups looking for speakers and alternative healing is becoming a hot topic. If you have little experience at public speaking, you can join a local Toast Masters Club. There you will be coached and given ample opportunity to develop your speaking ability. If you are making Reiki your career, then the ability to speak before groups is a must. Decide to become a great speaker and go for it.
In many parts of the country the news media are reporting the positive benefits of alternative healing. So, call the local newspapers and TV stations. Find out which reporter(s) are in charge of or interested in information about alternative healing. Talk to them and let them know you are a Reiki practitioner/teacher. Explain Reiki to them in a way they can understand - tell them it is a Japanese form of stress reduction and relaxation that can also facilitate healing. Tell them there are over 100,000 practitioners in the US and the numbers are growing! Give them details and make it interesting and exciting. Offer to give them a free treatment. Let them know that you are available should they decide to write an article or air a program about Reiki or alternative healing or if any questions come up about it in the future. Establish in their mind that you are an expert on Reiki. They will then think of you as a resource person. Most reporters keep a file of people they can call on for different subjects and they will probably put your name in it! If they are not ready to do a story now, when they are ready, it is likely they will call you!
Become certified as a Reiki Master/Teacher by the Center. When you do this, we will list your classes in the newsletter and refer students and clients to you. The Center continually receives requests from people from all over the country who are interested in Reiki sessions and classes. If you are certified by the Center, we can then refer these prospective clients to you.
If you are beginning to teach and are having trouble getting a class together, simply plan a class, set a date and assume the class will be full. Then when you tell people about the class, they will pick-up a positive attitude from you about the class and want to come. If people sense a tentativeness, it will discourage them from attending. Being decisive about your plans and having a positive attitude will attract students and bring the class together. Your guides will also be better able to work with you if you are clear about what you intend to do.
These ideas have worked for others, they will work for you. Try them! Also, use your intuition to develop other ways to promote your Reiki practice. Remember, a clear intension is the first step to success. Keep track of the result you get with each thing you try. Keep using the ones that work and drop the ones that don't. Keep trying new things until you get the results you want. By following this formula you will create a successful Reiki practice and in so doing, bring joy, peace and healing to others.