I recently participated in the 2018 winter Reiki Healing Summit, which featured 38 Reiki Masters and Teachers from around the world, and I wanted to share 10 highlights from my interview. I was interviewed by Reiki Rays about my book, Building a Powerful Practice: Successful Strategies for Your Wellness Business, and addressed some of the common pitfalls and concerns of wellness practitioners dealing with the business side of practice building.
As a wellness practitioner, you have an amazing opportunity to help people who really need it. Yet so many practitioners struggle to make a living doing the work they love.
I had to figure out the nuts and bolts of starting a business from scratch, and I wanted to share what I learned, as well as advice from other accomplished practitioners and teachers, to make it easier for new practitioners.
Here are 10 key things no one tells you about starting your own wellness business:
1. Don’t quit your day job.
If you’re making a career transition to a wellness practice, don’t give up your day job! It takes time to build a strong client base with enough clients to sustain a full-time wellness practice. An additional income source—from a full-time job or part-time work—can help you worry less as you build your practice.
Figure out the kinds of client issues and challenges you especially enjoy working with. This will set you apart and help the right kinds of clients find you.
3. Experiment & be open.
Building a successful wellness practice is hard work, and there will be ups and downs along the way. Be in an open mindset as you experiment with different ways of running your business and finding new clients.
4. Get organized.
Develop a system for keeping track of client information, income and expenses, and tax payments. Maintaining order in the administrative and financial aspects of your business will allow you to focus more on the work you love: helping clients.
5. Limit your client hours.
I know! This one sounds surprising but treatment hours are very different than working full-time at other kinds of jobs. With this work, you need to be very present for your wellness clients, and it can be taxing emotionally and physically. Seeing clients full-time is 15-20 hours a week in terms of treatment hours.
6. Monitor your growth.
Speaking of treatment hours, as you grow your practice and do more sessions in a day, be mindful of this growth: it’s all the more important that you take time to take care of yourself and have a strong meditation and self care routine.
7. Set a consistent schedule to see clients.
It may seem counter-intuitive, but being clear about the days and times that work best for you will make it easier to book clients rather than asking prospective clients when they want to come in. For example: “I see clients on Tuesdays and Thursdays between 6pm-8pm.” This provides a clear container and boundary. It also comes across as professional to your prospective clients.
8. Don’t offer a sliding scale or pay-as-you-wish.
If you’re not in a financially stable position with your practice, how can you possibly offer pay-what-you-wish sessions? Each person will need to make this decision for themselves, but I think it’s essential to remember that you need to be able to take care of yourself and your financial needs to better be able to take care of others.
9. Figure out how to avoid burn out.
As you figure out a schedule that works for you, consider having a set time when you “turn off”—for example, maybe you don’t do work in the hour before bed, or maybe Sundays are reserved for downtime. Figure out when you work best, as you find balance between work time and downtime.
10. Take good care of yourself.
Schedule wellness sessions for yourself on a regular basis. (Hint: this will also help you become a better practitioner, as you learn about the work you do from the inside out and address your own issues and challenges.)
To learn more about the book, get a free online Business Starter Kit, and to read a sample chapter of the book, read more here. Basically, I want to make it as easy as possible for you to get your wellness business up and running!
This quote by Marianne Williamson reminds me of Reiki. Learning Reiki and doing our daily Reiki self-care practice is such a simple way to shift out of fight or flight, sympathetic nervous system dominance, into rest and digest, parasympathetic nervous system.
How can you do this in only a few minutes? Let me count the ways….
- Hands on practice, Reiki self care protocol
- Dry bathing
- Purifying breath technique
- Hand breathing technique
- Reciting the Reiki precepts
- Chanting the mantras learned in Reiki II & Reiki III
- Drawing the symbols learned in Reiki II & III
Let yourself settle into yourself, into the quieting experience of Reiki.
A few minutes (or more!) every day will change your nervous system, balancing and calming it, and over time, you will change your life. Perhaps you’re already noticing this…
One of my favorite things about Reiki is noticing the subtle yet powerful changes in my life. How about you?
Dry Bathing Technique
Are you using the dry bathing technique in your daily life? It’s such a flexible tool: Some people use it to begin and end a self care session or a session for someone else. Others use it throughout the day—before leaving home, at the end of the work day, as a pause between different activities or projects; it’s like hitting the reset button.
Remember when you do this technique that it facilitates the downward flow of energy, and this grounds you, helping you to be more in your body.
Excess Mental Energy
I’ve been thinking a lot about the energy in the head versus the rest of the body. Headaches, jaw tension, and eye strain are all signs that there is too much energy in the head. In our modern life we focus on mental energy so much, and this has only increased with the use of smart phones, tablets, computers, etc.
What are other ways you can redistribute the energy in your head to the rest of your body? (Hint: your daily Reiki self care protocol and the purifying breath technique.) Others ways include: physical activity, being in nature, taking a bath….what ways work best for you?
Bonus: Another grounding technique is to hit the bottoms of your feet for a minute or two with your fist.
Want more ideas? Here’s a list of 25 ways to stay grounded.
Here is a message I received for you during my morning meditation:
Dear Reiki students, your interest and attention to spiritual practice is appreciated. Do what you can each day to center your heart, mind, and body. There are many ways to do this. Take the time, put in the effort, notice the benefits. You are so loved.
Remember you can always place your hands on your body and give yourself Reiki for a minute or two. Breathe deeply and let it connect you deeper still.
Learning Reiki: A Student Connects to Her Inner Wisdom
Here’s what Lindsay Lee, a recent Reiki I and Reiki II graduate (and mother-to-be), said about learning to give herself a daily 10-minute Reiki treatment and how she felt after taking the class.
Going Within: The Power of Self Care
By the end of the Reiki I class and practicing what I learned, I discovered how deeply profound it is to slow down and connect to my inner being. I have all the tools, wisdom, and knowledge in my body. Self-care is the beginning of everything!
I feel different since the class. There has been a shift, a subtle transformation. I feel open, lighter, and more engaged. It was an intimate class and we covered a lot of material. I can’t wait to further my Reiki studies.
Getting a Reiki Session: The Body Speaks
I noticed the effects of receiving Reiki from a professional Reiki practitioner took place over a couple of days. The treatment felt like a much more communicative session between my body and the practitioner. My body felt so vocal.
I liked the verbal communication during my session as well. It made my mind and body feel more connected to each other and more wholesome.
Giving a Reiki Session: Connecting With Another Person
When I practiced giving Reiki chair sessions to other people, I discovered I need to be more present with the person I am giving the session to, more aware. I found that I was closing my eyes a lot in the beginning, and really I need to be aware of what’s happening with the person receiving the session.
Reiki is very much an energetic give and take. I have noticed that the more I self practice using the Reiki self care protocol, the more in tune I feel, being able to notice other peoples’ energies when I give them a Reiki session.
Reiki Take Away
Although I never had a Reiki session before taking the Reiki Level 1 course, it intuitively felt like the right move for me. The Reiki class was super thorough. I found the Reiki precepts, dry bathing, and gassho techniques incredible ways to ground myself.
I’m excited to continue practicing what I learned! Since the class, I’m beginning to reconnect with myself and with my inner peace and strength.
Caroline Gomez is a yoga teacher, mom of three, and one of my most energetic Reiki students. She’s in the process of completing Reiki III. Here’s her experience taking Reiki I.
The Power of Taking Care of Yourself with Reiki
I learned from the Reiki Self-Care Protocol that I matter. I learned how the power of intention and self-care can change your outlook and energy. The effects of the Reiki self-care protocol are cumulative and become stronger and last longer the more you practice.
I also learned that we all possess the power to self-heal. And before we practice Reiki on others, we must first practice on ourselves.
Receiving Reiki: Getting a Reiki Session
I learned that surrendering and being open to accepting energy healing from someone else is an intimate exchange. There is a level of trust that occurs between you and the practitioner, and not everyone will practice the same protocol that I learned.
When I received Reiki by getting a Reiki session, it was different from practicing the Reiki self-care protocol, not better or worse, but the energy was different. I did feel that I could block or receive from the Reiki practitioner. I felt that I was in control of the process, even though I was receiving Reiki.
I also learned that I have some way to go as a Reiki practitioner, regarding being intuitive and able to sense what is going on with another person. I was amazed at how much information the practitioner was able to learn from me just from one session.
Giving a Reiki Session: Less is More
I learned that less is more when it comes to giving Reiki. I think I was trying too hard to squeeze the energy from myself to another person. I was trying to make something happen, instead of trusting the process. When I experienced this shift, I changed my view of how the Reiki energy flows through me.
I felt so much joy in sharing, and in the exchange of giving and receiving. I was being so careful and I wanted to nurture the person receiving Reiki. I was honored that someone would trust me to give them a Reiki session.