Treating Your Reiki Client

Reiki Cats“I receive Reiki healing every week,” a new acquaintance said when I was introduced as a Reiki master. “At least I did until my Reiki practitioner raised her fee from $40 to $75. At $40 I didn’t mind the cats jumping up on the table.”

“Did you speak to her about it?” I asked.

“Yes, I did, and she said not to worry about the cats, that they love Reiki.”

We laughed.

Of course that wasn’t the point.

“Did you ask if the cats were paying her fee?” I asked, cattily.

Reiki professional practice

Guessing from her fees and comical obtuseness about her client’s preferences, the Reiki practitioner in this story may be just starting out as a Reiki healing professional (she may also have been recently trained in Reiki practice, but that’s another discussion).

The anecdote raises three questions regarding Reiki professional practice that merit discussion. I hope you will weigh in on any or all of them, either as a Reiki practitioner or a Reiki client, or both:

1. As valuable and lovable as our animal friends are, do animals belong in a Reiki treatment room?

2. What accommodations does a Reiki client deserve?

3. Do you have strategies for raising fees for Reiki treatment without alienating clients (unless of course that’s your purpose)? What’s worked and what hasn’t worked?

Thank you for voicing your perspective respectfully. If you received this as an email, please click here to leave your comment.

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26 thoughts on “Treating Your Reiki Client”

  1. Hello Pamela,

    I offer pet reiki at my office in a pet friendly area, but do not bring in my pets to my office in case of allergies associated with pet dander or the possibility of an adverse reaction of either pet or client. As with nut allergies, you cannot be too certain what may trigger a reaction. I do not wear perfume and have air purifiers in my office and I ask that any client coming to the office be free of perfumes as well.

    Best to be safe in any case. Cute is cute but professional is what we must always obtain in our field to be taken seriously by the medical community and to let the client know they are being taken care of properly and are respected in the highest degree.

    We well,

    KImberly

  2. Hello Pamela,

    First, thank- you. This opportunity to hear and share ideas helped me to think with more clarity.

    1. Some of my clients love pets, some fear them, some love them but are allergic. In addition, my cats are jumpers and use the belly as a springboard to higher places – not exactly a therapeutic moment for the client. So, my pets are not present before or during a Reiki session. After a session I will introduce my pets only if a client asks to meet them.

    2. My clients and I have a professional relationship centered around the client’s needs. In my heart I hold them as honored guests who have entered a sacred, healing space. When a client enters my home for Reiki there is nothing that distracts from a session. Everything is clean, ready and inviting.

    3. I Email my clients a “Welcome to My Office” packet. The packet contains information on policies ( including fees and changes to fees), Reiki, Scope and Practice of Training, Pets, What to expect from a session…Well, you get the idea. I do this because I feel that being open and disclosing helps to build trust. Just as I check in with my clients about their needs during a session, I would check in about any change in my policies and work collaboratively to find a solution.

  3. My experience with cats being in the work area was where I had rented a room for massage/reiki, (no longer there). Hard to explain to cat lovers that they do not belong there. A lot of people have allergies to cat, dog hairs and the pet dander. I have a pet that receives Reiki but not at the same time a client would be there. That is the client’s time. I can adjust my fees accordingly, and barter for services. Also work with Hospice patients. Hospice has a rule if you have a pet they cannot be in the area we are going to be with the patient.

  4. I feel it would depend on circumstances. I travel to perform Reiki in people’s houses. My experience has been that the client would know if their pet would be disruptive during the session or not. 99% of the time their pets would pass out while l was doing Reiki as if they were getting a treatment. I have also done Reiki for their pets as well.
    If they were coming to me l would think putting the clients needs foremost is important. Many people are allergic to pet fur. If l knew my cat would jump on the table(which he would) he wouldn’t be allowed in the room.

  5. Unless the animal is a service dog, I would not allow pets in the Reiki treatment room. I would also make sure that I took a little extra time when cleaning the room after the cliet has gone.

    The client should have a comfortable sitting area to talk with the Reiki practioner before and/or after treatment. The table and linens should be clean and a bathroom should be close by.

    I’m not a Reiki Master yet, but when I do open my practice and feel the need to raise my prices, I think I would do it in increments of $10 or $15 dollars. I would also have different price levels to choose from according to the time involved.

    I liked John’s idea (March 30, 2013 11:42 am) of having a standard fee and remembering that “Reiki is a gift to be shared” and that “no one is turned away due to their inability to pay monetarily”; and, “payment for Reiki services is to make sure the recipient takes their treatment seriously.” I also agree that if someone can’t pay, service for service, bartering, or a reduced rate is a great idea. My Yoga/Reiki teacher does that for me. I can’t afford the yoga classes so I clean the studio in exchange for classes. She also gave me a reduced rate for Reiki Leve II because I helped her with some computer issues. She is a wonderful and giving person.

  6. I cannot understand what would justify a practitioner to raise their fee from $40.00 to $75.00. I am a Reiki Master Teacher, my normal fee for a session is $35.00, and if I have a client who is on a fixed income or needs help and cannot afford a treatment, I would rather do the treatment than get paid. I feel that you the practitioner benefits from the session as much as your client. Reiki is a gift from the Universe and should be treated as such. The treatment is also a private session and their should be no animals in your treatment room, unless you are treating the animal, and in that case you need to sit on floor with the animal and treat them at their level, they do not want to get up on a table like being at a Vet, their healing session is much better for them at their level. This whole situation is very disturbing. We as Reiki practitioners do have ethics you know.

    1. Practitioners do not have to justify their fees; many considerations go into the setting of fees and they are free to charge what is comfortable for them. The question is how to raise fees in a graceful way.

      1. I have a website which states my fees, but some of my clients come to me by word of mouth and contact me outside of the business model. It can be an awkward part of the conversation, especially if they are new to Reiki.
        In that case I direct them them to Pamela’s website for information about Reiki: they find it very informative and as a nurse I whole heartedly endorse Pamela’s information- particularly because it attempts to blend Reiki into the field of Western medicine and does much to dispel the myths, and helps people chose a qualified practitioner based on common sense guidelines, and also to mine for more information and prices.
        Some clients cannot pay my going rate and depending on their needs *hospice for example- I reduce it to a nominal fee, because I find people lose their dignity if you offer it for free when they know you normally charge. As for raising my base rate-I do that on my website. If you do not have a website, it makes good sense to create a price document and include it with any handouts about Reiki you initially give your clients, or with the paper work you have them fill out in the beginning. It is always ok to adjust down, but the price should be made clear on paper before hand. Raising them is simply part of doing business.
        For long term clients I would mention the price increase when making the appointment. Simple, ” Before we schedule, you should know- there is an increase in the hourly rate to ___”. No explanation required. If pressed for a reason- you might consider this as a sign of financial hardship for your client. Encourage the appointment and tell them you will discuss a fair fee for her in person. Better still, notify them in advance of future price increases. Often it isn’t so much that the rates are raised, but the surprise at check out isn’t appreciated when people often budget for this type of expense.
        Raising rates for a specific client is not an ethical tactic for dropping them, in my opinion. I had to drop a client whose emotional needs were best met by a psychiatrist( in my opinion) but primarily because she couldn’t respect my personal boundaries. I simply told her, via email, that I was not equipped to meet her needs and directed her to a free support group- she never contacted them.

  7. 1. I would say that in a professional Reiki practice that is not a home environment having pets present would be an aspect that may take away from a professional appearance. If you think about a healthcare professional’s office space/treatment facilities they do not have animals present. However, in a home environment I ask the client what their preference is if they have animals in their home, if it is a friend at my house I shut the cats out of the room. I think the only time were it would be considered appropriate is if you are in a client’s home and they want the animal there, they are a service animal in your practice space, or when you are giving yourself self care in your home.

    2. I would say any within reason. I think it is important to make them comfortable. Some people like music, other don’t; some people like a sheet, others don’t, some people like to lay down, others like to sit. Reiki is something we are giving them and I think it is very important to provide it per their preferences.

    3. I don’t have strategies for raising prices. I set mine based on what other Reiki professionals in the area charge – $1 per minute. Although Reiki is not something I do professionally as a means of income. I work full time, and go to college full time, so when I do give others Reiki it is usually in my home or friend’s homes.

  8. Pets do not have a place in the Reiki treatment area of a paying client. Clients should be afforded comfort, cleanliness, and privacy from the outside world –especially if they are coming to your home/ studio. The practioner describes how her cats like Reiki, and so? What about clients who are allergic to cat dander? Is this practioner screening her clients for this ? I am guessing -she probably isn’t. One day, if all goes well, Reiki will be required to be delievered under the auspices of city and and state codes as massage and acupuncture is and could we imagine cats on the table then? Frankly, I would feel odd about charging a client anything if an animal jumped on them during a treatment .

    1. I totally agree. I received a treatment once where the practitioners dog started barking on the other side of house and she gave me the treatment for free, for the disturbance.

      1. Thia,
        She did the right thing. If the home studio is an environment where the practitioner cannot have total control of the ambiance, the sessions should be conducted elsewhere. With female clients I know socially, they prefer to receive their treatment at home. Reason being—they do not have to disturb the peaceful and relaxed state by driving home in traffic. Sometimes, I wish their homes were quieter, but it is their dog barking, so to speak.

  9. I trained in other modalities & was required to study a range of subjects including how to set up a clinical practice, communication & occupational health & safety procedures. As a result, my Reiki clients receive the same high standard of professionalism in their treatment as my other clients. I think the problem with Reiki is that there is such a wide variation in how it is taught. I don’t know what the answer to that is. Over the years I have had to raise my prices but never more than $5 at a time & I always discuss it with my clients first & introduce the new price at their next visit. I have never had any complaints. Almost doubling your price is guaranteed to lose you clients. In this case, probably a good thing!

  10. Elaine weber-Berger

    I’m sorry if my last comment sounded arrogant, I imagine if your bills were being met by the money that you make, the cost of living would make a difference in what you need to charge your clients. I also think that they would understand this as well, but some people are already stretching themselves as far as they can and a price change could understandably cause a loss in clients.The idea of raising the price with the new clients seems really good as you could never really lose something you did not originally have to begin with, I like that !!

  11. When I take my table (and blankets, pillow, and bolster) to a client’s house, I let them decide if they want their pet(s) present. On one memorable occasion, a client’s cat hopped up on her belly and, after a chorus of purring, went to sleep there.

    There are no pets allowed in sessions at the studio out of which I work. If my studio was at my house, and if I had pets, the pets would not be allowed in the studio there, either. It being a place of business aside, allergies and unnecessary distraction would be of concern.

    Fees: In-studio sessions are higher than in-home, because at the studio, which is part of a chiropractor’s massage therapy service, I have to pay rent. I’ve raised fees a couple times, and let regular clients know about it in advance as a courtesy. No one has complained. I also accept – and will suggest, when appropriate – barter for sessions.

  12. Elaine weber-Berger

    There should never be an animal in the reiki room. this session is all about your client and their absolute comfort, you are offering them a service and they deserve 100%. Unless you have a raise in rent, I should question why you would raise your prices. if the business is too big, perhaps you could partner with another reiki master to help carry the load. A raise in the cost of a session will, effect your business and you do have to expect this.( This is just my opinion, I don’t like a raise in cost myself and this business is not supposed to be all about the money either ) I myself do not have a business, I give reiki free to my family, my intention is to help those that I can, because I love them and I truly desire their absolute well being. That is what works for me, but I have a job beside ,so I guess this would make a difference. I do not make great money on my other job either, but life really isn’t all about the money, it’s about carrying your own weight and helping to try and make the world a better place to live for everyone whose path you cross.( I know easier said then done , but this is what we ultimately are striving for)The attitude of gratitude!

  13. I loved this post, thank you Pamela.
    I’m a professional practitioner, and I would never practice at home as that’s the realm of my family life. Keeping clean clear boundaries helps me prevent burn out, helps me keep work at work and be the professional therapist that I am.
    I charge a fee that resonates with the value that I give to my time. It has to cover rent, bills, marketing and association/insurance fees before it even pays my family’s bills. The fee is on a sliding scale at my discretion and in some rare cases I will accept a barter exchange. In return for my fee as well as the healing I offer the client my full attention, a warm comfortable healing room (pet free) and a safe space for them to talk – I’m also an accredited psychotherapist. When I find I’m not resonating with my fee I change it. My strategy when I do this is to allow existing clients continue at the rate I originally asked from them. New clients pay the new fee. I have to do this because when I no longer resonate with my fee, I begin to resent the work and that doesn’t benefit anybody.

  14. In a office environment I feel that only service animals are appropriate in a Reiki session. Allergic concerns, distractions and fears need to be considered in a public environment. In addition, state laws regarding animals in a public space.

    In a home environment, that needs to be discussed on a case by case situation. I adore animals and they can be unpredictable, shed or even have unfavorable odors that can be distracting.

    The ultimate goal for me is to hold safe space during a Reiki session. If someone believes that having their pet near them will provide that, I would honor it in a home environment.

  15. There is a time and place for everything. It is my feeling as a healing professional that boundaries need to be placed where appropriate in any healing practice and some give and take needs to be taken into consideration.

    One of the things that caught my attention was when the practitioner decided to sudden raise her healing fee from $40 per hour to a much higher amount. Without any more specific information, I am always careful in discussing the exchanges of money or other items that may be exchanged in lieu of money.

    I have worked with the American Cancer Society with Women’s Weekend Away in the Harrisburg, PA area as well as working with a children’s cancer hospital in Florida. There is no limit who you may work with whenever you have their permission.

    As a loving, deeply compassionate humanitarian, I am careful to not assume that just because one person wants to bring their pet–that the next person will want to be in the same healing space. I have discovered that intention is everything at the same time of speaking honestly, fairly and with a great deal of respect for others and with integrity is one of the greatest gifts we can offer to others at this time.

    Our times are changing dramatically and while more people may be open to new ways of offering healing, we must always hold people with the highest love and regard. For without our customers, we may find ourselves doing something very different.

    The other way of looking at this if you wish is run your Reiki practice like a business. I have spent a lot of time and energy learning many different modalities and working on myself endlessly to clear, release myself from as many things possible to remain balanced and in harmony. There are times when charging a specific fee is necessary and there are other times that you may wish to not charge, just make sure whatever you do–you are going to be able to live with the outcome of your decision. If you are unable to do this, please re-think your consciousness in how you view your money issues, etc.

    Yesterday, one of my clients paid for a reiki session and also some doterra oil that he purchased. He knew exactly what he owed me, but he still “shorted” me when it came time to pay me. I agreed that he will owe me $2.00 more next time. I also noticed that he may think that he can underpay me next time by something he said. If I do not value myself enough–I might just avoid the issue and agree with him. Or I can hold myself balanced and in harmony and in true self worth and remember to charge him the $2.00 more next time.

    Radiance is Ours in the Divine,
    Magnetic-girl

    1. I would like to write an “add-on” to my original post if that is agreeable with you. After carefully reviewing everyone’s posts including Pamela’s recent one, I concur with Pamela. It is now what you choose to charge our clients, but how we place our intentions of the actual act of charging our clients.

      In other words, how is our “tone” when we interact with our clients. Whenever we remain filled with love and compassion for others and they can feel us clearly in our integrity in what we are offering them–people may be even more drawn to us than they were before.

      As healing professionals, we must weigh our intentions very carefully. If they are not balanced, no longer loving, no longer compassionate of other people’s circumstances, I believe we have then lost sight of what is most important–our client. It is at this time, that we may have refraim from offering healing to anyone and give it to ourselves and see possible counsel from others who have held onto the healing principles and can be a guiding light for us.

      As healing professionals, we must always have integrity with ourselves and as a mirror, we shall also have integrity with others. As a mirror reflects to us what it is that is present within and without (outside), we must be very mindful not to cast the first stone lest you shatter the glass. When we harshly judge another person whether they are a healer or not, we are ultimately judging ourselves, possibly without realizing it. We must always hold ourselves equally with another and be of open heart, open mind and have a sense of humor.

      I am happy to report that I learn a lot of other people in their actions and their words and how they relate to one another. I am happy to report that through it all, I remain open to learn new things and laugh about the things that maybe are not so important as they seemed at the time! Being positive is always my preference over anything else in life. Whenever someone gives me lemons–I made rasberry lemonade! Love and blessings to all!
      Magnetic-girl

      1. Thank you for highlighting the need for hands-on daily practice, which while beneficial for anyone, is an essential responsibility of those who offer care to others. It is through daily self-practice that we grow from posturing into honesty, from judgment into compassion, and are able to experience the sweetness of service.

  16. I think animals can play a very important part in healing, although I have to agree, they do not belong in the service of providing a Reiki treatment. A lot of people consider their pets as part of the family, however, sometimes they lose sight that a pet is still an animal and at times their behaviour can be unpredictable. I just heard a story about a petting zoo, a minature horse who is no novice when it comes to being petted by strangers, all of a sudden bit a child. Now cats and horses are quite different animals, but the point is an animal is an animal, no matter how domesticated. Even domesticated animals can demonstrate uncharacteric behaviours, so best to keep them out of the treatment room.

    As for fees, well I do things a bit different I guess. I have a standard fee that I charge. That being said, I consider Reiki as a gift to be shared and no one is turned away due to their inability to pay monetarily. My understanding is payment for Reiki services is to make sure the recipient takes their treatment seriously. As a society, we seem to place a monetary value on nearly everything, so if there is value, we don’t mind paying. As for those who are unable to pay my fee, I do accept payment in kind, service for service model perhaps you could call it. I have had folks who have exchanged yard work, laundry, prepare a meal, etc. You get the idea. To me Reiki is about trying to achieve balance and I find a service for service model works well for me with those who would struggle to simply hand over money. No one is turned away and everyone gets what they need.

    I hate when a client or perspective clients comes to me ‘hat in hand’ so to speak. I find it is demeaning that someone would come to me looking for treatment, but feeling they are not able to get what they want or need in terms of a treatment. I keep a small wooden chest in my treatment room, my clients are instructed to simply leave their payment in the chest, which could be money, it could be an IOU or a note explaining what service they would like to provide in kind. Sometimes I find when I haven’t had time to cut the grass, weed the flower beds, do not feel like preparing a meal or when funds are low, the service or the money always shows up.

    The universe will provide … if we will just let it …

    Namaste,

    JT.

  17. Pamela, thank you for this post.

    In my opinion, animals do not belong in the treatment room. When I pay for a reiki treatment, I have a business relationship with the reiki practitioner which does not include her pets, or any other family members.

    I think that the reiki space should be clean and quiet. There should be a bathroom close by. Reiki practitioners need to provide a comfortable table, pillow, blanket, knee support etc. in order to make the client feel comfortable. I always leave at least 30 min in between appointments so that the client does not feel rushed off of the table, and I provide water after the reiki treatment.

    I work out of a chiropractic office and charge the same fee as the massage therapists.

    1. I have opted to discern this, whether an animal should be in the Reiki session, on a case by case basis. I have one client who wishes to have her dog present and this serves her during the treatment and the dog is always quiet, generally sleeps during the time. One issue around this is others who have allergies and I recognize this can impact other clients. I usually obtain this info on my initial appt. with and continue to attend to this over time with people. I also recognize that more cleaning of my space may be required and I attend to this.
      In terms of fees, I offer a ‘fee range’ as I do not wish to turn anyone away form experiencing Reiki. This has worked out as some folks can pay more and then contribute to others having the option of Reiki who might not otherwise be able.

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