Over the years, I've been in several discussions on the internet years about whether one should charge for Reiki sessions and classes or not. When I teach a Reiki Level One class here is what I tell my students:
There are many myths and stories out there in Reiki land about Usui and his life. One of them is that after he had the big "enlightenment moment" on Mt. Kurama and all the secrets and knowledge about Reiki were revealed to him, he came down off the mountain and began healing beggars in the poorer section of Tokyo. After doing this for about three years, he noticed that many of the beggars he supposedly healed were showing up again and begging, so he asked them what the deal was. They said it that it was much too hard to get a job, marry, buy a house, etc., and begging was just so much easier.
He had an "aha" moment at this time that human beings do not value what they are given for free. They only value things that they have had to work hard to earn the money to pay for. He vowed then and there to never give Reiki away for free again.
Many years ago, I felt it was time for me to raise my fees for Reiki sessions and classes. It is sort of an unspoken rule that when a new teacher/practitioner starts out they aren't supposed to charge what their more experienced and wiser teacher does. I had been teaching and practicing for several years and felt the increase was justified. So I asked a friend of mine what she thought I should do. Here is what she told me:
There was this high end jewelry store out west that decided to start selling local Native American jewelry. They priced it very low compared to all of the other jewelry in the shop. It sat in the cases for a very long time and very few people if any bought it. One day, they had to have all the cases cleaned and reprice all the merchandise. When the Native American jewelry went back into the case, it somehow got marked a lot higher (several added zeros). It began to fly out the window! Moral of story: if you place a higher value on something humans perceive it as more valuable.
I raised my rates and have done so several times over the years and I've never been busier. Mrs. Takata knew this when she charged $10,000 for Reiki Master training way back in the 70"s. She wanted the world to value Reiki training as much as they did Massage Therapy, Acupuncture and other alternative healing modalities that require students to pay many thousands of dollars for their training. The cosmetic, perfume, and clothing industries as well as the high end car manufactures all know this. Why do you think you pay so much more for designer perfume,designer clothing and big ticket cars!
Don't get me wrong - we aren't all about "the money". It's all about an equal exchange of energy. Many Reiki practitioners and teachers also accept barter. My house is filled with beautiful original artwork and I regularly trade for massage, acupuncture, and more. This is how I make my living, I had to pay for my very extensive training, all the supplies required to set up a business and maintain it and so on, just like any other business. You would not expect your Dentist, Doctor, Massage Therapist, or Acupuncturist to not charge you now would you? Or anyone else for that matter.