In just eight months, Reiki master Jeffrey Hotchkiss built a successful weekly Reiki clinic at an integrative medical office in Maine. Here’s how he did it.
“I’m in serious pain right now.”
The patient’s words were loud enough to carry from the waiting room back to our Reiki clinic area, where they interrupted my self-treatment. Looking toward the waiting room, I saw an older man bracing his hands against the wall next to the receptionist’s window. He asked if his medical appointment could include a strong medication for his excruciating back pain.
That kind of medication isn’t dispensed at the medical center, so the receptionist suggested a Reiki treatment. After hearing my brief explanation – “gentle touch, deeply relaxing, often helps with pain”– and watching me demonstrate light touch on my own arm, he agreed to a Reiki treatment before his appointment.
Reiki treatment relieves pain
Fifteen hands-on minutes later, his grimace had become a smile. Looking up from the reclining chair, he said the Reiki treatment gave more pain relief than his past medication, and he wanted to know more.
A man with kidney failure and such painful neuropathy that his feet felt “on fire” asked for Reiki treatment. Afterwards, he seemed bemused as he commented how much better his feet felt.
At the very least, patients finish their treatments with a smile. Many experience relief from pain, anxiety and tension, while others report help with headaches and sinus congestion.
Clients commend us on our friendly, professional approach. Words such as “soothed,” “relaxed,” “calm,” and “peaceful” appear often in the written feedback. Many patients sign up for weekend Reiki trainings.
Reiki clinic details
The clinic is held every Friday afternoon, staffed by one to three practitioners, in the back office classroom area, with three reclining chairs, music, and a pleasant view of the countryside from the rear windows. Treatments are typically 15 minutes in a reclining chair.
Patients at the medical center receive their first treatment free, and the public is offered a low introductory fee. We give a brief description of how their Reiki treatment will be given, and take their name and contact information.
We use a faces scale for physical or emotional pain, and collect client feedback on a single page form:
- how they feel before the treatment
- how they feel after treatment
- if they would recommend the clinic to a friend
- suggestions for improvement.
We summarize the feedback and make adjustments based on patient suggestions.
After each clinic, I give the cover sheets with name and contact info to the office staff to scan them into the electronic patient records. I keep the anonymous feedback for later review. We are careful with patients’ privacy, and do not share names or identifying information with others outside the clinic or office.
How to grow a Reiki clinic
I was invited to start the clinic after several months renting space to teach Reiki classes, and reached out to trusted local Reiki practitioners to join me. For the first few months, we struggled to attract attendance, then hit our stride.
Connecting with staff has contributed the most to growing the clinic. I offered to visit one of the nurse practitioners (NP) at the end of a patient appointment, and demonstrated a 5-minute chair Reiki treatment on the patient while the NP observed.
The NP started bringing patients to the clinic the following week, and passing the word to her colleagues.
I learned that two NPs and one medical doctor already had Reiki training. They wanted to practice Reiki with patients, but lacked hands-on experience.
I knew that building staff skills would raise awareness of the Reiki clinic, so I designed a paid, 3-hour continuing education workshop that built on the staff’s previous training. Staff practiced self-treatment and chair treatments on each other, and we discussed informed consent and how to document Reiki treatment in patient charts. Staff gained confidence in their Reiki practice, and as anticipated, their subsequent referrals increased clinic attendance.
The next most effective success factor was the CEO’s decision to subsidize patients’ initial visit. All patients’ first Reiki clinic visit is free, and the office pays the Reiki practitioner $5.
We put signs and flyers out in the waiting room, and speak to the patients waiting there about the clinic. That has been very effective; perhaps one-third of those patients stop by the clinic after their medical appointment for their free introductory treatment.
We now have steady attendance at our Reiki clinic. Several factors have contributed to our success: brief, straightforward treatment descriptions; a simple process; easy pricing; capturing patient feedback; and the support and persistence of all involved. Connecting with the medical staff, thus gaining their awareness and support, was pivotal, and paved the way for true integration of the Reiki clinic into patient services.
If you want to speak to doctors about Reiki practice, it is important to use language that is meaningful to them and to present reasonably, without making claims. The Introduction to Medical Reiki recorded webinar teaches you how.