Reiki Healing

    If you are wondering how to become a reiki healer, below are tips and advice on training for and beginning careers in this area of alternative therapy, as well as job prospects in the UK.

    The Job Description
    Reiki healing work involves using an ancient method of energy therapy. Practitioners believe that when someone is ill or stressed the energy within them is blocked. The practice of Reiki healing aims to guide energy through the body to activate the healing process.

    As a Reiki healer you would begin a session by explaining the process and taking a medical history. With Reiki the whole body is treated rather than specific symptoms or areas, so you would not typically diagnose individual conditions or advise clients on symptoms or treatments.

    During a session the client will lie or sit down while the practitioner places their hands in a sequence of positions over or on the body. A session can take between one and two hours.

    The practice can be used to treat physical, mental, emotional and spiritual problems. It is used to relieve problems caused by stress, tension, chronic illness and post-operative pain and to help clients relax. Reiki can be used in combination with traditional medicine and other complementary therapies.

    Person Specification
    The key personal attributes of reiki healers include:

    be comfortable with close physical contact
    be patient, polite, sensitive and non-judgmental
    be able to empathise with clients
    have a genuine desire to help others
    have good verbal communication skills
    be able to keep accurate records
    be able to inspire confidence in clients.

    How to become a reiki healer
    Reiki is currently an unregulated profession and there are no set entry requirements.

    You can train to become a practitioner in a number of ways. The method you choose will depend on which system of Reiki you want to follow. Before you begin a training programme you need to get personal experience of some form of Reiki healing and show an understanding of the treatment and procedures.

    Experience of working with people with a variety of physical and emotional problems could provide you with insight into this work. For example, a background or qualifications in counselling, other complementary therapies or healthcare may be useful.

    Training with a master
    To study in this field you first need to find a Reiki master (teacher) to train with. You can use a professional body, such as the Reiki Association or UK Reiki Federation to help you find a suitable person. They can also advise you on the different systems of Reiki. When you train with a master you will start by going through a series of ‘attunements’ or initiations. These are procedures performed by the Reiki master to ‘attune’ you to energy so you can receive it and pass it on to others.

    Training Courses
    A number colleges offer courses ranging from introductory through to advanced level. Courses lead to a certificate or diploma awarded by an exam body such as the VTCT (Vocational Training Charitable Trust) or the OCN (Open College Network). There are no age restrictions for training and life experience is seen as an advantage.

    The subjects you will study on a training course vary between the Reiki systems, but usually include:

    self-healing techniques
    how to heal others
    hand positions
    distance healing
    There are three levels of training. At level one you can perform Reiki on yourself. Level 2 allows you to treat patients. At level three you are considered to be a Reiki master and can teach others if you wish. It takes a minimum of three years training to gain full Reiki master status. You will be expected to have practised regularly on yourself and others during this time.

    Training and Development
    Once you are qualified you will be able to become a member of a professional organisation and follow their code of conduct. The Reiki Association and UK Reiki Federation both run membership schemes that can offer you access to events, networking opportunities and courses to continue your professional development.

    The Reiki Regulatory Working Group (RRWG) has been set up to provide a single register of practitioners in the UK. They are working alongside Skills for Health, the sector skills council for the UK health sector, to develop national occupational standards and a regulatory body for this field.

    The Pay (a rough guide)
    As a self-employed Reiki healer you might charge anything between £20 and £70 for a session lasting one to two hours. Rates depend on which part of the country they are practising in and the length of the session.

    Job Prospects
    Most Reiki healers are self employed, but there is growing demand for alternative therapy practitioners in the NHS. You may be able to work in a medical settings such as hospitals, hospices, or attached to a GP surgery or natural health centre.

    As a self-employed Reiki healer you could combine your practise with other therapies such as reflexology and aromatherapy.

    Useful therapies resources:
    UK Reiki Federation
    PO Box 1785
    SP11 0WB
    Tel: 0870 850 2209

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