Starting Your Own Reiki Practice

 Are you a Reiki practitioner who might be considering starting up your own professional practice?  If so, there are many different aspects to think about which require careful planning and thoughtfulness.  One of the first things you might want to ponder is why you want to express Reiki as a business.  Has this been a passion for you since the day you took your first Reiki class or is it just a way to generate extra income?  Having a successful and abundant practice requires the heartfelt intention of helping others and being confident and secure in your practice.  

            You may want to begin by setting up a healing space. Are you considering creating the business in your home?  If so, it is important to check the zoning regulations in your area as some municipalities or housing developments have strict rules regarding home businesses. If you decide to rent a space, ensure that you will be able to financially sustain your business by carefully planning your anticipated expenses.  You may want to consider investing in a software program to track your income and expenses.  Additionally, there are many Apps available for tracking your mileage, which you will be able to deduct as a business expense.  Initial investments should include a sturdy massage table, sheets, blankets, pillows, a music player, speaker and also some simple and basic décor.  

            Keep your space clean and uncluttered and remember that many people are sensitive to odors, even certain aromatherapy smells.  Additionally, if your practice is in your home and you own pets, make sure that your clients are aware of that prior to their appointment time. Keep into account that clients may have had traumatic events related to animals and may also have a history of allergic reactions.  Also, as much as animals are incredibly healing, a barking dog or jumping cat can be very disruptive during a Reiki session.

            Creating a name for your practice will be important on many levels. It will help you to attract clients and also be imperative when you set up your business structure.  Think about whether you may want to form an LLC or a sole proprietorship.  Seek out a business mentor, such as SCORE, which provides free, confidential business advice in addition to workshops and events, which can help you in every aspect of setting up your business.  If you are thinking about developing a website, be sure to check to see if the domain is available and if is, secure it as soon as possible.  

            Once your business is established, you can begin advertising and getting your name out to potential clients. In addition to word-of-mouth referrals, consider setting up a social media page specifically for your Reiki practice. Posting daily inspirational quotes and promoting your practice will help people to have an energetic feel of what you are offering.  Designing attractive business cards and distributing them throughout the community will allow you to network with business owners and have them connect a face to a name.  Once you begin to generate income, you may also want to consider budgeting for advertising in a local holistic magazine.  Additionally, seeking out holistic health fairs and expos to offer your services will give you an opportunity to expand your practice and meet other practitioners who can help guide you.  When clients schedule with you, make sure that one of the questions on your intake form asks about how they heard about you.  This will help you to track what forms of advertising have been effective. 

            Know the practice laws in your state regarding the use of touch.  In Pennsylvania, it can be found in Pennsylvania Statues, Title 63. P.S. Professions and Occupations (State Licensed) Section 627.13.  Other Professions. It is important to keep up with the current laws of your state and know the scope of your practice.  Furthermore, it is the responsibility of every professional Reiki practitioner to carry Reiki liability insurance, have a code of ethics they practice by and be a member of a professional Reiki organization.  These organizations will also be able to support you with helpful articles, research, products, and business tools in the growing your practice. Additionally, you will also have the opportunity to list your name as a Reiki provider, which is another helpful way for clients to find you and know that you have a professional practice.  

            Charging a fee for your sessions and/or classes is sometimes challenging for Reiki practitioners.  Remember that money is a form of energy and sometimes we have to explore the thoughts we have about it, which may include fear, insecurity and lack of abundance.  A monetary exchange does not mean that we are not compassionate, understanding or giving, but rather that we value what we are offering.  Think of it as an equal exchange of energy and set an intention of abundance for your practice.  Letting go of any type of resistance will allow for a free flow of energy to attract the clients that value what you have to offer.

            Professionalism and clear and effective communication are also fundamental elements in growing your practice.  Make sure that you are able to set clear boundaries with clients at your first meeting.  Many clients like to share their stories and as a Reiki practitioner, you are going to want to hear them.  However, setting time limits will allow you to stay on a schedule and also value their time.  One way to do this is to allow 15 minutes before and after your session for clients to share their thoughts.  Boundary setting can be difficult, but it is also an essential component of caring for yourself.   Remember, too, that your role is as a professional Reiki practitioner, not as a counselor or health care provider. Crossing boundaries will not be helping your client, but will disempower them from working on their own self-healing process.  If you feel as though your client needs additional talk therapy, suggest that they look into acquiring a life coach, certified counselor or psychologist. 

            Documentation of client sessions and safeguarding client confidentiality is of paramount importance.  Ensure that you have a comprehensive intake form, consent and keep detailed session notes. Not only will this help you to keep track of your client’s progress, but it will also help you to establish professional standards of practice.  Additionally, in the rare occurrence of a liability action, you will need to provide documentation of the client’s sessions.

            Lastly, but most importantly, in order to keep yourself fully grounded and focused, a self-Reiki and meditation practice are crucial for selfcare.  In the excitement of starting your own practice, it is very easy to overextend yourself and experience burnout.  Make sure that you take some time for yourself each day.  Remember that the outcome of the system of Reiki can be found in the Reiki Precepts developed by the founder of Reiki, Mikao Usui:  For today only, do not anger, do not worry, be humble, be honest in your work, and be compassionate to yourself and others.  If you go out into each day holding the Precepts in your heart, you will shine your light to everyone you see, which will help you to attract abundance in your practice.

Originally published in Therapeutic Thymes Magazine.