I recently came across a social media post that set my teeth on edge. It was a request for donations on a crowd funding site to help outfit a brand new Level I Reiki student with all the accouterments needed to open her own Reiki business (perform Reiki sessions on the public and charge for it).
Here is what I was taught, what I teach, and what I feel in my heart to be true. A Level I student is in no way trained and experienced enough to open a Reiki business. Only those who are Reiki Masters, have the experience and qualifications to open a professional practice and offer Reiki sessions to the public and charge for it In my lineage (how we trace our connection back to the originator of the system of Traditional Usui Reiki - Dr Mikao Usui), we separate the Master Level into two different levels - Reiki Master Practitioner (RMP), and Reiki Master Teacher, (RMT). I was also taught and teach even a new RMP should not charge what an RMP who has been practicing for years charges.
#1: Each level of attunement (the energy transmission process Reiki Master Teachers perform on their students to connect them to the Reiki energy in every Reiki class) opens you up to channel a greater, and greater flow of energy. So in theory, a Level I student is channeling only one third of the amount of energy a human body is capable of channeling. However, a Reiki Master Practitioner (RMP) or Teacher (RMT) is channeling the full flow of Reiki energy that we are capable of channeling in our dense human bodies. Therefore, if you have a Reiki session from a Level I student and they are charging you as much as an RMP or RMT, then you're getting short changed - big time!
#2 The Symbols: At the second level of Reiki training (Level II), you receive the Reiki Symbols. Depending on who your Reiki Teacher is, and who they trained under, you may only receive the three traditional Reiki symbols (ones we can trace back to Dr. Usui), or five as in my lineage (we also add in two non- traditional symbols because of who our teachers, teachers were). The symbols do many things: amp up the energy in the area we are working on during a session, or focus it more intently, or are good for matters of the heart like grief, sorrow, betrayal, abandonment, etc., or for mental/mention issues, or for Karmic and past lives issues and issues of sexual or physical abuse as children, and one is expressly for "opening the door" so to speak to make it possible to send Distant Reiki Healing to anyone, anywhere, for whatever reason, and more. A Level I does not have these tools, which are essential to any good Reiki session or practice.
We also use them to bless our food, drink, and anything else you can imagine, and clear our healing space, living space, office space and more.
#3 Experience: Every Reiki teacher should offer their students a monthly or even bi-monthly Reiki Share. They offer the students opportunities to work on others, people who are not family and friends, so they can get familiar with how working on someone they hardly even know feels. It is also gives them the opportunity to practice their skills, and get corrected if they need it, and meet other like minded individuals. Who knows, you might end up striking up a friendship with someone in a share, and decide to get together outside of the share and practice on each other - more opportunities to practice your skills, and get lots of experience and feedback.
Anyone who wants to open a Reiki business and perform Reiki sessions on the public, needs to have worked on a lot of different types of people - family, friends, people at Reiki shares, etc., maybe even done some volunteer work, before they set out to open a business of working on the public and charging for it.
Your teacher may also offer some guidance about how to go about open up a business - I do.
The last thing I was taught and teach is that those just starting out their business should not charge what an experienced and seasoned RMP charges. So if the market in your area says $70 is the going rate for a one hour Reiki session, then someone just starting out should only charge about $40 or so for their sessions, until they do have the experience and expertise that would justify them charging the full rate.
To sum up, it is unethical and just plan wrong for someone who has just barely begun their Reiki studies to open a Reiki business and charge the public for Reiki. Just common sense!