My First Reiki Client

by Elynne Rosenfeld Allenson

This is the story of my Reiki practice. I hope that if you are thinking of starting your own practice and feeling a little apprehensive about what that would look like in the real world you will find some helpful information here.

The traditional model of what comprises a 'practice' for those in the healing field includes clientele, or patients, who come to the practitioner with a 'presenting problem' such as a pain or ailment. For me, knowing many in the traditional healthcare field such as MDs, RNs and mental health professionals with social work, psychology and family therapy credentials, I was reluctant to hang out a shingle despite my training as an Usui Tibetan Master/Teacher followed by training as a Karuna Reiki® Master/Teacher under the tutelage and lineage of William Lee Rand. I did however join the Reiki Membership Association (RMA) with a listing as an affiliate member.

A few months later I received an email from someone who lives locally. She found me through my listing on the RMA site and emailed me, and I responded immediately. We set up an appointment for a few days later. I was delighted that my client found me through the RMA and chose me because of my credentials as a student of William’s . In the best of all ways, the time and money I had invested in the class and in my membership fee was paid forward through their role in attracting my first client (whose payment to me, by the way, covered my RMA membership fee). I was on my way.

During my first client’s intake I fully expected her to tell me about pain, an emotional issue or injury. But none of this was on her mind. Instead, when asked what she would like the session to accomplish, she requested help achieving "inner peace." I asked if she had ever practiced Yoga, Qi Gong or meditation, and if she had ever had any other alternative treatments. "Yoga," she replied, but then admitted she had not been "successful" at reaching the zone. She further went on to say that she was always too busy to slow down enough to focus on that element of the exercise.

Before I get into the treatment itself, let me backtrack a bit and tell you a little about how I became a Reiki practitioner. I am one of the many who had Reiki slipped into a session of what was primarily another modality. In my case, it was added to a cranial sacral (also called craniosacral) treatment. Having had at least 10 such treatments I noticed a profound difference when Reiki was added because I relaxed more deeply, experiencing something like what others have described as an out-of-body experience. When I asked my cranio therapist what had been added, she told me. A couple of months later she attuned me to the first level of Reiki. It took two years of self-practice and pet and family care before I felt ready to take a Reiki Level II class. Learning the symbols deepened my focus, and using the distant symbol on people who were suffering and out of reach turned out to be so effective that friends were asking me to help their friends, relatives and pets.

Being attuned to the Master level was somewhat more elusive as I continued practicing at the second level for eight more years. When I finally took the ART/Master class I thought I'd be ready for the next thing— my own Reiki practice for which I would charge a treatment fee. Yet being able to channel this amazing energy did not translate into my being able to figure out how to set up a business in which to do so despite all the encouraging and instructive articles on the RMA site— until my first client came along. Now, with someone who asked for my professional services, I was ready to proceed.

I told my client where I would lay hands, asked her to relax and enjoy, tell me if anything bothered her during the session and to stop me if needed, but other than that, to let it flow. I administered a very traditional treatment, beginning with the third eye while she lay on her back, going down to her feet and up the back chakras after she turned, then spending a few minutes at her crown before the final grounding. Within a few minutes she was in a twilight sleep where she remained for the rest of the hour. When she rose she was delighted to say that she had gone right into some sort of meditative space where she felt comfortable to remain. She was so happy that she had achieved this that she signed on to attend another session the following week.

I have not in any way diagnosed this client. She is an adult, married with kids, subject to at least the usual stressors of life. I don't know what other profession she might work in. I don't want any of my own judgment to enter into the treatments. I only wish to help her find permission to locate the inner peace she requests. It is a strange trust, based only in my trust that my Guides are channeling the highest good to her, and her trust that whatever I am doing (and she doesn't ask many questions about the technique) does no harm. Every week she reports that she is more able to go back to the place she needs to be whenever she feels stressed, and that her mind is shifting further into a peaceful place where she can access what's required to meet crises as they arise.

What a gift to me that someone wanting something as seemingly esoteric as inner peace would seek my help to achieve it. It is a sign of the times that people are beginning to feel entitled to this, and that they can commit to an hour a week in which nothing else may interfere with their quest. What a gift that people are realizing that coping mechanisms do not necessarily require hours of talk on a couch to learn, that reduction in emotional pain does not necessarily require medication. My client has illustrated these things that I already knew during the years I had practiced Reiki on myself and loved ones. But for me, what is just as important as knowing that Reiki is affecting change she will be able to take with her long past our time together is knowing that I have a Reiki practice and am ready for others to experience its powers.

This one email I received through my listing as an RMA member has created the beginning of my "Professional Reiki Practice." My client was the perfect match to teach me lessons about how Reiki works, offering consistent goals and helping me act with confidence to reach them. I am ready to become more pro-active in the further development of my Reiki practice and will be utilizing the other great tools available through my RMA membership.

This article appears in the Winter 2012 issue of Reiki News Magazine.