Racing to the Reiki Buck

Reiki healing“When can I start charging for Reiki treatment?”

If I had a dollar for every time I’ve been asked that…in today’s economy, I wouldn’t be rich, but I’d have a big pile of dollar bills!

Some people ask how soon they can hang out a shingle when inquiring about First degree classes.

I try to slow them down, asking, “How can you know you want to be a Reiki professional until you’ve practiced Reiki for a while?”

And I explain that the First degree Reiki class is not a professional training, but it is the necessary first step for everyone, the class in which you learn to practice self-treatment, and that the next step is to actually practice.


There is much more to professional practice than meets the eye of someone looking for a quick career change. This is the first in a series discussing the transition to professional practice. Click here to receive the continuing series in your inbox each Saturday.

How long did you practice Reiki before charging for your services? Please click here to leave a comment.


Understanding Reiki practice in the context of conventional medicine and traditional healing will deepen your respect for your practice, strengthen your confidence, and inform your health choices, whether or not you have any desire to practice Reiki in health care. Watch the Intro to Medical Reiki recorded webinar at your convenience. Click here for more information.

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35 thoughts on “Racing to the Reiki Buck”

  1. It seems like to me if someone was interested in the true art of reiki and everything it had to offer that making a quick buck off really helping someone is the wrong way to think. Wouldnt that be the last thing on your mind if you truly believed you were helping people in a way they dont know how? Just my two cents…

  2. I started out with friend volunteers for a while after my level 1 and it was quite a long process before I felt confident with the flow of Reiki. I did level 2 after 6 months and started to charge a small fee, mainly to cover babysitting and my time. That was nearly 3 years ago and I did the master level training a year ago. My English speaking client pool is small and I charge the same as or a little less than other expats in my city charge for private tuition, counselling and personal training. I haven’t checked what Reiki costs. My friends tell me I am undercharging. I tell them I love what I do and when i become very experienced I’ll charge more. But, actually I would like to charge a little more. I’d like to live in an English speaking country one day and have Reiki practice there.

    1. I think I had practiced Reiki for about a year when I received my first payment – the friend/client insisted. I becam a Master Teacher in April 2011, and have teaching experience in other areas – I feel the title means nothing without practice and development. While I love to teach, I’ve been in no rush to offer Reiki classes – the day after I was certified, my first thought was to find somewhere to volunteer, so I could share this gift. As you and others have said, we can learn, heal, and grow so much from self-practice and practice on others.

      I’ve certainly seen this in myself, but there were times over the past two years when I actually slipped from my daily self-practice…at those times, I’d never think of charging, because I wasn’t “walking the walk”.

      I occasionally am paid for sessions now, and hope to build and grow a practice as it feels right. It’s feeling much more right lately, but I expect I’ll always do more free or “barter” Reiki than “Reiki for money”, in the shares I host or attend, hospice volunteering, and sessions for friends and family.

      1. Carol, I applaud your integrity for not charging when you weren’t practicing daily self-treatment.

        One of Mrs. Takata’s masters took it further, telling her students they weren’t even to offer treatment to others on days they hadn’t practiced on themselves.

        I completely agree with you that “the title means nothing without practice and development.” Reiki master is a title that takes growing into, which is why I think it helps to practice Reiki professionally before becoming a Reiki master. That foundation in addressing business comfortably and with integrity is invaluable.

  3. I have been doing Reiki self treatment since 2001 and been a Reiki Master since 2005 and attaining Master in 4 lineages since.

    I have worked on myself as well as friends, family and animal companions.

    My main focus has been working at local hospice locations to ease the transition from this realm to the next. Many of these folks don’t even have friends for family for visits.

    I have not charged for sessions but have received money, hugs and some rather tasty food from people among other things.

    For the last few months I have been seemingly been called to bring my work to another level. I’ve started the process of turning part of my home into a treatment studio and am opening up Universal Mindset Holistics.

    This journey is just beginning but I plan on offering Reiki sessions and training. It’s about time I put my knowledge to use and pass it on.

    Training as always been one of my strong attributes in my “day job” as well as teaching drumming. So I’m very excited about bringing Reiki to my future students.

    And yes…i will be charging for services and classes. I have not decided on pricing as of yet….any thoughts on that? Your advice would be much appreciated!


      1. What I mean by that is I have taken Reiki I, II, III from 4 different Reiki Masters. So I have a variety of teachings in my knowledge base.

    1. Dave, doesn’t a Reiki master’s primary knowledge base come from his or her own contemplated practice?

      Isn’t mastery something we attain if we “with thankfulness, work diligently” over time?

      Honestly, I’ve always found the idea of taking a class to become a master rather odd. To me, becoming a Reiki master is nothing like adding an academic title after one’s name (and then there is the fact that no Reiki master training meets academic master standards). One can get all the degrees there are and not change as a human being.

      1. I do see your point. I sought out Reiki as a means for self treatment to help with depression in 2001. I was attuned to level I and II in the class. I worked mainly on myself and animals until 2005 when I attained my first Master mainly to access the symbol to increase my abilty. Through reading, I learned of the many ways Reiki is implemented so I sought out others to educate myself on other aspects. So that’s how I came here. I don’t think the training makes me more or less of a Master. It has helped in formulating my philosophy and way of living though as each teacher has had different qualities.

  4. I was lucky that all my teachers focused on the practice, so I learned to treat myself before others and that is what I teach my Reiki students. That said, I started charging for treatments pretty early on as I lived on a small island in the Caribbean and Reiki was in demand.

    1. You were lucky, Lynda. If the Reiki master doesn’t instill in her students the necessity of daily self-practice, it’s hard for them to make up for the lack later because they don’t realize anything is missing.

  5. I was fortunate to have a teacher who offered practice nights once a week in her home. Over a period of five years, I progressed from Reiki 1 to Reiki 3. I learned so much in those hands-on sessions under her instruction & guidance. When I began teacher training, I was required to practice the attunements, sit in on her workshops & prepare my own manuals. My teacher was present at the first workshop I taught & her belief that I was ready to be a teacher inspired me with confidence. She emphasised the importance of self-treatment & I continue to do the same. During this time I also trained as a natural therapist which gave me skills that helped me to set up as a professional Reiki practitioner. At first, I was nervous about charging but, as I got over my initial reluctance, it became easier. I have found that people want to pay for something that they feel has benefitted them. I love the ingenuity shown by other practitoners in finding ways to be paid that don’t involve money. I have a story that highlights the opposite. I was approached by someone I knew wanting to become a teacher & when I explained that it would be like an apprenticeship & take time, she politely made excuses about contacting me at a later date. I knew she wouldn’t. A few months later I found out that she had done her Reiki 1, 2 & 3 training in a very short time & was now teaching. She teaches all 3 levels in one weekend. Her Reiki 1 workshop is just 3 hours. It saddens me that Reiki is cheapened in this way in order for someone to have a little extra income on the side. I am hopeful that as time goes by & Reiki becomes more accepted in the mainstream, people seeking it out will do their homework & require a higher standard from the practitioners they allow to treat them.

  6. Hi Pamela,

    Well, I was precocious. I started integrating reiki into my counseling practice almost immediately, and I started teaching it at a local college within a year. However, I also maintained my daily practice as well. There was never much support or follow up after my training, and being taught to be a “reiki master teacher and practitioner” was treated rather cavalierly, I thought. I may have thought better of my pace if someone with your wisdom had been guiding me. But the bottom line was that I knew I was a good teacher, and I felt very inspired to create good, solid classes that went beyond what I felt my teacher offered. So I felt ok about moving ahead quickly.

  7. Hello,
    I am about to start my own practice and it was very good to be guided to this site. I went from level 1 to Reiki Master in two months. I know, very quick but I was guided by my Reiki Master who has now stepped aside and no longer helps me (which I hear is not meant to happen but I have no regrets or ill feelings towards her).
    Thank you Sarah for your input on the set out for your fees.
    Sometimes the ego will step in and put doubt in your mind but if you are truly working from the heart and of course Reiki does no harm, it just works.
    Blessings, Joanne

  8. I have been practicing as a Reiki professional for a year now after completing two years of training. I use the common sense approach, I keep my charges low as we are in the middle of a recession, I always ask the person if the charge I have suggested is OK with them and I offer concessions for those over 65 and those on government benefits. Anyone interested in Reiki also receives a free session, that way they can find out if Reiki is for them. But my treatments don’t stop there, when I am out and about I treat as many people as the universe guides me to do, the lady with headache at the bus stop, a friend with a painful knee, the list is endless just like the universe 🙂 x

  9. I practiced Reiki for 2 years on myself, family and friends before formally charging for Reiki treatment. As much as I adored Reiki as a spiritual healing practice, I hadn’t planned on becoming a Reiki professional – I was a manager on a career track at a global professional services firm, and figured I was in it for the long haul.

    However, three significant things happened in the space of a year: First, I nearly died of a postpartum hemorrhage after giving birth to my daughter, which started the process of exploring my spiritual purpose in more depth.

    Second, my mother nearly died a year later, and I experienced the miracle of watching her body go through the initial process of recovery through the Reiki treatment I provided while sitting at her side in ICU.

    Third, my chiropractor asked me if I would be willing to provide some pro-bono Reiki treatments to a patient of hers with lymphoma that was unresponsive to conventional treatment. The experience I had sharing Reiki with this remarkable woman, who had been a ICU chaplain and an ordained Presbyterian minister, was so profound that the pieces began to fall into place almost without me even trying.

    I began offering Reiki treatments (and eventually Reiki training) part-time at the chiropractic office, where I still work, and over the past 4 years have been making a slow transition to a full-time professional practice.

    My previous career paths had all been professions I somehow fell into, either by necessity or proximity. Developing a practice as a Reiki professional is the first time I have ever responded to a calling and deliberately walked the path.

    1. Dana, always good to hear from you, and thank you for illustrating how much we learn and grow through practicing on others, especially when it is on the foundation of daily self-treatment.

  10. I took my Reiki I August of 2010, Reiki II February of 2011, Repeated Reiki I and II as a Reiki Master Candidate in February and July of 2012 respectively. I am now charging for my services and am working alongside my Reiki Master Teacher as her apprentice. Practice daily self Reiki and volunteer as our local Hospice Reiki Professional. It is a way of life for me.

  11. I waited till I had my Reiki Master degree before I charged for sessions. If someone wanted to pay me I would take a donation such as something from their garden. The strangest thing I received was a funny little handmade wallet! I still work for free if I know someone can’t pay and also do trades….a great way to be of service but get something you need in return. My latest trade was 2 Reiki sessions for a window washing. I try to keep my rates affordable as I live in a retiree area and everyone is struggling right now. The real payment is in the satisfaction of knowing you helped someone.

    1. It’s wonderful that you have the space to be so generous, Marybeth. This is something each practitioner has to address for herself. Some practitioners have to be mindful of the real payment that pays the bills.

      We all have our own ways, but I’d like to add that there is much to be said for becoming a Reiki professional — accepting fee for treatment — before becoming a Reiki master. It gives a strong foundation to one’s transition into mastery.

  12. I took four levels of Reiki because I loved Reiki before I even considered having a Reiki practice and charging for my services. Before that, I gave Reiki to anyone who would let me (for free). For me Reiki was more than a career, but a way of life.

    1. Maddy, I completely agree that Reiki practice is a way of life. Offering Reiki treatment and/or training as a career only, without the foundation of Reiki life, makes no sense.

      But that is what happens when people move through their training quickly, don’t practice daily self-treatment, and think of Reiki as an intervention rather than a practice.

  13. It’s taken me over a decade of intensive meditation practice and Reiki practice to get to a point where I can now feel solid about starting my professional Reiki practice and charging people for money. Although the inspiration was there the whole time to have a practice, there was always some feeling of disconnect within that told me it wasn’t time.

  14. My Reiki journey started in 2006. Three years later I had completed my Reiki 3 .
    During those years I gave myself daily self treatments and 60 plus reiki treatments to family and friends. To deepen my learning and knowing what my hands were experiencing. In late 2008 I opened my Reiki practice and charged for the first-ever. Treating others is not to be taken lightly. I have had more clients tell me how other practitioners had done harm by saying inapproaptive things about what they were picking up with their hands. Reiki is a joyful journey but again not one to be taken lightly.

    1. Thank you, Kim, for bringing up a point that many try to brush under the rug. I have also heard complaints from people who were very distressed by the way the Reiki practitioner intruded on their experience with psychic reading.

      I often say, Reiki practice may be safe, but is the practitioner safe? You might enjoy First Do No Harm.

  15. Shalom!
    I gave 600 free treatments treatments before I started charging for treatments. Some of my clients were not willing for me to devote so much time to them without being paid; we arranged that they put money in a box, and I gave it to charity. I had been giving a full treatment to my Reiki Master once every week. After one of those treatments, he said “That was perfect – I have no criticisms – you can start charging for treatments – charge half of what I charge”. He wrote me a formal letter stating that he authorized me to charge for Reiki treatments.

    My students understand that they will start charging for treatments only after RI, after RII, after more training with me, and when they and I feel that the time is right. Then I give them a Certificate authorizing them to charge for treatments. I don’t think that any of them has given as many as 600 treatments – but they practice a lot.

    Rahel (Jerusalem, Israel)

  16. Hi. After I got my First degree I used Reiki only in my family and mostly by myself. After Reiki Second degree I also used Reiki for my best freinds. Then after Reiki Third degree I expanded it to some the staff in my company. All of these I have done wothout of charge, because I tried to get enough experience on Reiki, specially byosen, to know I am doing it really right. Meanwhile I also have had my Reiki teacher class and now I think soon I could be in the shape to charge for mpney. But I am still not sure whether I will do it. Because Reiki is a gift and I like to share it to everyone. Dieter

  17. Hi Pamela,
    It took me till i had done my masters before i started charging although i have done more for free.
    I think its all about divine timing like everything it comes when the time is right . When you first finish Reiki two i thing its good to build up your confidence and training.
    I think as long as Respect for Reiki is applyed at all time that is the key 🙂
    love and light

  18. I received my first Reiki training about a month ago. I do self-practice daily…though I don’t always do all the hand positions. When I first took the class I couldn’t wait to take the second level training. Now I’m not in any hurry because I realized there’s a lot more I need to know about Reiki through my own daily practice.
    Sure I practice on my husband when he wants it. Yes, it is helping him. I’ve begun to realize that it is helping me more. Self-practice is awakening my consciousness on so many levels and helping me to be more grounded. I don’t feel I can truly help others unless I can help myself.
    Heal yourself first.

      1. I agree, Pamela. Well said, Cherie. This is exactly the kind of future practitioners Reiki needs! Even as a nurse of fifteen years, comfortable touching people with a healing intent, I too, quickly realized after my first degree training that Reiki truly is a lifelong learning and personal healing experience whether you pursue a career or not. I was warned, but until you do it, you are unaware of your own need for healing. It takes time. You never cross a finish line–even at Master level, because you change and your clients, with their uniqueness and diversity of needs teach you more than you can imagine. Good luck Cherie 🙂

      2. You bring up important points, Susan.

        It is human nature to try to fit something new into what we already know, but since the purpose of having a spiritual practice is to keep us engaged in life from an ever-fresh, ever-evolving perspective, Reiki practice breaks the mold.

        When people actually practice daily self-treatment (they are not always taught to do so), they quickly discover that Reiki practice is a gift that keeps on giving, and quite different from healing interventions, as effective and necessary as they may be.

  19. It took me close to 10 years to begin charging a fee for a healing session. However, I have always done many more healing sessions for free. That seems to be the way it has worked out for me. It seems that the amount I have made has covered additional training in Healing methodologies and then Hypnotherapy and then Ministry Training . For me it has worked out very well. 🙂
    love and healing
    Carolyn 🙂

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