Mainstreaming Reiki: Acquiring the Power to Help

As a Reiki practitioner, you know you have the ability to help. You simply place your Reiki hands lightly on someone in distress, and the distress softens. You’ve seen this many times.

But the ability to help isn’t enough, is it? We also need the power to help.

Accessing the power to help

Even when a physician has the ability to help, he/she does not necessarily have blanket power to help.

Physicians who have gone through years of medical school and residency cannot waltz into any hospital and practice medicine. Physicians need to not only acquire the knowledge base of medicine, but also address the legal and business aspects of medical practice. A medical license is just the beginning.

How can a Reiki practitioner gain the power to help? There is no training comparable to what physicians go through that leads to a license to practice Reiki.

The path to acquire the power to help has not been culturally or legally defined for Reiki practice; we are finding our way. A groundswell of public interest in Reiki practice, and the availability of credible professional Reiki practitioners to meet that interest would move us in the right direction.

Did I mention “credible?”

Finding your path

What do you think? How does a Reiki practitioner gain the power to help? And more important — how do you?

Addressing these questions will help you get started:

  • Is there someone, or a population of people, that you would like to help?
  • What are the obstacles between where you are now and being able to help that person/population?
  • What is one step you can take to get closer to your goal?
  • When will you take it?

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As Common as Aspirin
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11 thoughts on “Mainstreaming Reiki: Acquiring the Power to Help”

  1. I just love it when I have time to peruse your blogs and read all the comments; so inspiring!! I appreciate the work you do Pamela to get Reiki practitioners and Teachers to REALLY think about what we say and do in regards to Reiki. I know I have certainly benefitted by all the work you have done, as well as your book, and website which all my students are encouraged to read and use. We often forget to thank the Reiki Masters who have come before us to “pave the way”, and to share what they have learned with us so that we can continue to grow and evolve in our Reiki Practice, and on our Life Journey.
    I have been inspired to gather my master students together (currently about 15) and we have recently (June 30th) formed Southern New Hampshire Reiki Master Outreach Chapter, whose intention it is to do Free Community Reiki Events. Each Master is responsible for choosing a target group, researching, connecting with the appropriate individuals and communicating with them the value of Reiki and if they are interested, then we all work together as a team to organize/facilitate the event. They are also responsible for following up with the organization as well and working with them to create Reiki programs if that is appropriate.
    I would like to create (or perhaps one is already available?) a form letter that we can all use to for the initial contact..I would like things to be consistent right from the start in regards to how we talk about Reiki, how it can help etc. Any suggestions? We did a large Free clinic in our area last year, which was a good success, but funding and space was an issue then (free stuff is NOT free for the facilitator, lol!!) This year I have a larger office space myself and can use that, or depending on the organization..bring the Reiki to them, or even rent a larger space or see if someone can sponser us. I am asking for a donation from my Masters when we meet once a month to practice attunements and other Reiki techniques or to discuss teaching methods etc. Each month will be a bit different, all masters will discuss their needs and what they wish to focus on, in addition to the Public Events which we hope to hold bi-monthly, or at least quarterly to begin. These donations are to provide revenue for space, advertising etc, etc.
    Anyway, I feel very strongly the need to form this group of my Masters and to do more large events targeting particular groups, for multiple reasons. First, I want my Masters to become truly confident in their abilities as teachers, and to teach in a standardized way that still allows them freedom to share other appropriate Reiki information and materials. I would like them to learn to work together as a community, and to inspire their own students to do the same. Secondly, I want them to learn (as I learn) how to plan and execute Community Reiki Events, so that as they move forward, they know how to do this, and hopefully, to do it well! Thirdly, this is a wonderful way to bring recognition about the value of Reiki to others and also bring some recognition to the the individual practitioners, many of whom have their own private practices. I support my students 110%, and try to do all I can to help them, and myself, become the very best representatives for the energy of Reiki, that we can possibly be. I feel these Events will be one way to stand out from the crowd. We are very open to all suggestions and feedback!
    Another Public Event we would like to do is a Reiki Master Symposium..the intent of which which be to see how everyone is teaching and if they are really doing the best by their students that they can. In the past 10 years, I have found that some do a much better job than others, although most everyones “heart” is in the right space. I feel the training piece is SO important!!! I am always astounded when someone comes for 2nd degree training and then we discuss what was covered for them in Level 1 and they have received NOTHING, except an attunement and some information about hand positions. Or level 2’s come for Advanced and again..have no awareness about the symbols, uses, meanings etc. and so many of these folks want to move ahead and teach. There seems to be a lot of work to be done (yes I am directing Reiki to it!) in this arena also as there currently is no standard for training. My desire/intent is to help educate the teachers and at least try to get everyone to follow a basic format or use pre-made materials as I currently do from William Rand, so that we can get as many as possible “on the same page”. I feel that as we are enjoying this Reiki expansion and more individuals are looking for credible, responsible, ethical teachers and practitioners, that this should be important to us! Most Reiki practitioners and teachers are very opposed to becoming licensed in any way yet I cannot help but sense that if we do not somewhat govern ourselves and set our own high standards, that eventually someone elsewill make these decisions for us!
    Again, thank you Pamela..I know there is a webinar coming up that will help, and I am especially excited because I won’t be able to do it that day, but it will still be available for me!! I really appreciate that you are doing this..I have wanted to do a few of your events, which are very reasonably priced..but to stay in NY is more than the class, lol!!!!! I will have to see about bring YOU to US! In the meanwhile, this works!
    Wishing everyone abundant Love, Peace, Joy and Reiki Blessings!

  2. Really great comments. I am a Chiropractor and Psychologist. I am a Reiki Master and have started the Teacher cycle. Getting Reiki started in my practice and as a volunteer at our Cancer Center has been very slow going. Yes, the Center understand Touch for Life but not Reiki. I did a presentation but had no floolw up results. I live in a far northewest Suburb of Chicago and due to a massive influx of DC’s have experienced a decline in my own practice. I have enjoyed an active and thriving practice in the past. I am retired from my work as a School Psychologist and am in my early 70’s. I now have the time and energy to provide Reiki treatments and would really like to provide for cancer patients and also work in hospice as my experience with Reiki at end of life is so very comforting. I would welcome suggestions. I would like to work low key as I am not interested in doing an advertising blitz.

  3. Oh Abby–could my smile be any wider? I am beaming. Sooo happy to read your story, especially as I go into 2 weekends of teaching Reiki professional developments classes.

    People are stressed and suffering. They don’t know that Reiki can help–it’s our job to give them that information, in ways that they can relate to.

    Well done, Abby!

  4. Hi Pamela,
    Last night I went out to celebrate the end of my full-time work contract. I am setting up a private practice offering sessions in Reiki, Psychotherapy and Shamanic Healing. (I offer each as a seperate entity). In the taxi on the way into town, I got talking to the taxi driver about Reiki and I tried my newfound explaination of what Reiki is (thank you for this!!). It opened up the conversation and he described how stressed he feels, how working a night shift and coming home all wound up from it means his sleep patterns are affected, he mentioned how he can still “feel” the negative passengers in his car long after they have left, and he thought Reiki could be a good way for him to protect himself, reduce his stress levels and to clear the space in the car. I gave him my card!
    I took another taxi home much later in the night and the conversation started up again. That taxi driver told me that people tend to tell him their personal stories and he doesn’t know what to do with them. He feels dumped on by them as they leave and he never sees them again, he doesn’t know what to do with the stories and he does find he thinks about them for a long while after. I mentioned Reiki as a way that he can learn to be aware of his own energy space and would give him the ability to set an energetic boundary between him and his passengers, just by doing self-healing and by being aware of his body. (I also gave him my card and suggested if he doesnt want to hear the stories he can refer the passengers on to my psychotherapy practice!)
    This was a very interesting and unexpected experience, and I know it happened because I am confident to talk about Reiki and Psychotherapy. I need to refine my my explaination now of Shamanic Healing! (Ireland is quite parochial and needs its hand held when talking about anything like this) Next week I intend to visit a group of taxi drivers that have a rank near my practice, tell them a bit about what Reiki is, offer my business card, suggest they come see me themselves or if they have a distressed passenger to refer them to me for treatment and see what happens!

  5. Sounds great, Paula. I’m curious why you call sessions that include Reiki, toning, reflexology, stretching, and mentoring, “Reiki healing sessions?” Might be confusing to clients.

  6. I’m in the ‘thick’ of transitioning from a full-time massage/Reiki practice along with Reiki workshops through a local massage school which is now out of business.

    My passion is Reiki and mentoring. I’m in the process of crafting how this will look. I love to teach Reiki and I love to mentor. As I mentor in my sessions now, I see that this ability has come to me through my years of working with Reiki AND could be put to use with people who have not, as yet, been attuned to Reiki.

    Who is my target market? I’m starting with Reiki practitioners and Masters. I see myself working with the total person…how to support them in integrating Reiki into all aspects of their lives. I borrow from many gifts in this mentoring process and will offer homework with journaling, reading, vision boards, etc., depending upon the interests and needs of my mentoring clients.

    I also love to teach Reiki workshops. It is my intention to demystify Reiki so anyone can see the personal benefits of learning and using Reiki in their lives. I live in a small town with many Reiki Masters. I do not believe many of them teach. I see so many possibilities of working with the masters as well…helping them craft how they might benefit financially from Reiki practice as well.

    It’s taken many years to come to the point that I truly believe I deserve to be paid well for my gifts with Reiki and healing. I’m working with a coach who pointed out that if I want to ‘grow’ my business, be more than a big fish in a little pond, I need to charge appropriately unless I’m offering a social service! This is so true…we NEED to value our time…the Reiki is priceless…the healing is priceless…but our TIME IS VALUABLE!

    I think it helps, too, to decide which type of client we really want to work with…the ones who ‘never have any money’, who are always caught up in the drama of their lives and just don’t ‘pay’ for good services…they chase the lowest price. Frankly, I’m done with this type of client! There are MANY out there who have the resources to pay us for services rendered. I’m currently working on my consciousness with this.

    I offer three services to clients: Reiki healing sessions which will be comprised of Reiki, toning, reflexology, stretching and mentoring. I will attract new clients who may have never heard of Reiki…over time they will develop an interest in empowering themselves with Reiki and will sign up for a Reiki class with me.

    I offer all levels of Reiki workshops. I’m working out of our home at this point but look forward to developing a consistent clientele that will support another office outside the home.

    I am crafting the mentoring as a separate offering as well. I can mentor Reiki practitioners of all levels, as well as give spiritual mentoring to anyone open to empowerment.

    In an effort to ‘grow’ my business, I’m working on a 6-month package for Reiki practitioners of all levels. At this point I’m not sure whether I’ll offer it as a group or on a private basis. There are so many ways to go with this…on-line, in person, as a group.

  7. Susan, fortunately there is more interest in doctors being healers, especially thanks to the pioneering work of Dr. Rachel Naomi Remen. It’s so valuable to expose medical students to Reiki, yet I find that they are even more interested once they are on the floor and facing the reality of human suffering. As med students, the totality of human suffering they will face as doctors–including their own–is still a bit abstract, and they are still a bit smart-arrogant, especially in the classes I’ve taught at elite med schools.

    Peggy, when you say “it’s very apparent Reiki has helped…”–to whom is it apparent? The people? The staff? Your Reiki practitioners? Are the treatments documented in any way? Is feedback from the clients documented? Documentation is useful to move to the next level of “power to help.”

    Izumi, you’ve brought up a lot of points. Like you, I prefer it when Reiki practitioners are paid. How are we going to have Integrative Medicine until we Integrate the Money?

    Why don’t you read through the Communicating Reiki posts? I teach a webinar on Reiki websites, although I don’t have one scheduled at the moment. You can stay informed of when it will next be offered by signing up for ReikiUpdate and taking the brief Reiki survey there. Meanwhile, the Communicating Reiki class in NYC May 31 would help, if that’s possible.

    When practitioners are not getting good response from hospitals, doctors, administration, etc., it’s often because of the practitioners’ approach. We cover effective strategies in detail in my Medical Reiki seminar (NYC May 29-30 and Columbia, MD June 5-6), but you can also get support from the Clinical practice posts and the Reiki in conventional health care articles on the Articles and Books website page.

  8. My intention has been to work with people affected by cancer. I’m a cancer survivor, RN and yoga teacher, have some contacts with cancer-oriented groups, and have seen the benefits for staff, caregivers and those diagnosed with cancer. I’m glad you asked these questions, Pamela, because I’m wrestling with how to grow my professional Reiki practice right now.

    For the past 14 months I’ve been available 2 days a week for my professional Reiki practice (long term personal practice). A past obstacle was to have a professional space that is appealing, feels healing, in a good location and I am now renting one for 10 hrs a week. I have one regular client who has a history of cancer, one new client who’s a 3-yr survivor and one who came twice because I was offering an introductory discount. Ironically,most of my clients have had other reasons for coming (chronic pain syndromes, ‘just to relax’, recovery from motor vehicle accidents, eating disorder), even though I’ve targeted/made offers through my contacts in the oncology arena. I’m wondering if this is an indication that I should not limit my practice to this particular population anymore? I’ve been teaching yoga primarily to this population since 2003, but attendance in those classes (even the free ones at a local cancer-oriented community org.) has been waning the past year as well.

    What gets in my way? Time constraints, procrastination, strong resistance from our local academic hospital (with cancer center) that only allows certified practitioners from programs with standards for training (Healing Touch, yes; Reiki, no); the Catholic hospital-per church mandate no Reiki; Hospice that has “Reiki volunteers” but no advertising and no services for payment.

    Maybe one of the things getting in my way is not wanting to be a “Reiki Volunteer”. I believe I offer high-value services, and as a professional RN, certified yoga teacher with a Master’s Degree in Holistic Education from an accredited university I thought I would have enough credibility and trust. I have just completed almost 2 years of teaching free weekly yoga classes to people affected by cancer, seasonal workshops, and retreats for women cancer survivors. All were beautiful experiences, free to participants, and I committed to that period of time as a tithe/service to see what it would be like. I learned alot. I also provided sliding scale Reiki sessions during my training, from $0 to $60, depending on what the client could afford, and an introductory 2-for-1 offer when I moved to my new healing space. Once the deal is over, clients seem to stop coming. I figure even one Reiki experience is beneficial, perhaps a seed-planting for a future time when they are ready, but in the big picture of things I don’t know how much benefit this will be to evolve us towards conscious awareness.

    Now my goal is to be paid in full for my services at least 85% of the time. Since March, my goal has been to have a minimum of 3 paid client sessions per week, or 12 per month, by the end of June 2010, with enough income generated to pay my rent and expenses (and grow it from there). Last month, I paid the rent; one of the sessions was paid in full. I don’t want to volunteer most of my services anymore, I want an exchange of money. I appreciate an exchange of services or goods or ‘paying as much as one can’, and allow 15% of my business time for that, but I believe that until we have an equivalent exchange for our professional services, we will not gain equivalent credibility as other health practitioners in the complementary medicine arena.

    I’m working on developing a website that will convey credibility, let people know my services and fees and contact info, which is challenging because I only have enough time and energy to do it in bits and pieces between my main paying job and my practice. All suggestions are welcome :>D

  9. Peggy Phillips

    I, too, was wondering how to help. In September, I got a hold of our local Cancer Resource Center. We now have a “Reiki Project” . My students and I volunteer 3 hours each month to give treatments to cancer clients, their families,as well as the volunteers and workers at the center. At this point we are seeing 6 people a month. It’s very apparent that in 9 months, Reiki has helped with the healing of these people in various ways.

  10. I am a Registered Nurse and Karuna Reiki Master and work in a Teaching Hospital. I take advantage of my 25 years of practice, experience, and knowledge in “Western Medicine” to “train” my patients, the Newbie Medical and Nursing Students to ‘see’ Reiki first hand through my Reiki hands. By letting them ‘see’ Reiki first hand, I am teaching them the difference between Doctor/Nurse and Healer, Curing and Healing…..After graduating from Med School, they are awarded a Doctorate in Medicine which makes them a Doctor but a Doctor is not a Healer, they’re just a Doctor. (Even a Plumber can be a Healer) Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the Doctor was not only a Doctor, but a Healer, as well? I think I’ve given quite a few Medical Students at UNR something to think about for a very long time. This is, I hope, how I am giving Power to Reiki to help…Love, Light, and Blessings to all……….

  11. These are excellent questions. Personally, I love helping children. In this case sick children, hospice perhaps. Currently, I live very rural. But, 50 miles away is a hopspital that hires massge therapists. I could inquire to the therapist about Reiki.
    Also, gathering with others, like your site, to brainstorm on how to move ahead professionally, with integrity to Reiki. Gaining knowlegdge and education in the business world to become more professional. I just begain a new job in a library, so my time frame would be 1-1 1/2 years from now.

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