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7 min read

The Complete Guide: How to Become a Reiki Practitioner

Jun 24, 2020 9:03:45 AM

Since the founding of reiki by Dr. Mikao Usui in Japan roughly 100 years ago, the knowledge and practice of this energy healing art has spread around the world. You can learn reiki as a personal practice for your own inner peace and well-being, for your family and friends, or turn it into a part-time or full-time profession as a reiki practitioner.


Reiki can hold its own as a healing art, and it can be infused into any other modality such as essential oils, massage or bodywork. Reiki healing can serve as the focal point of your holistic health business, or as an additional tool in your wellness toolkit to support yourself and others in times of imbalance and stress. If you are interested in giving reiki sessions as a holistic health practitioner, it is vital that you know how to offer your services legally.

How to “do” reiki

Reiki is a “non-invasive” and subtle, yet powerful healing modality. The reiki practitioner serves as a vessel that allows universal energy to flow through them for the benefit of other living things. The reiki healer places or holds theirreiki-energy-healing hands in specific positions around the recipient’s body, clearing blockages to restore balance and vitality on both physical and energetic levels.

It is important to distinguish that the reiki healer does not use their own life force energy or the energy of the person receiving the session. Rather, they channel universal life energy towards the person or entity receiving the session.

Who can become a reiki healer?

Part of reiki philosophy is that the universal life force energy is present in every living thing. Thus, each and every person has the potential to unlock and use reiki healing for their own benefit and the benefit of others.

Reiki training

There are many benefits of embarking on a reiki training. Reiki is said to awaken your capacity for wonder and access a level of consciousness that you may have never experienced before. Starting quality reiki training can benefit many aspects of your life including your personal and spiritual development.

Most reiki schools divide the training into three levels:

  • The First Degree (level 1): Practitioner’s training to use reiki on oneself
  • The Second Degree (level 2): Practice reiki on others and receive reiki symbols
  • The Third Degree (level 3): Receive master* attunement and symbol. Can teach and initiate others in reiki

*Some systems make a distinction between level 3 and master.

Reiki classes

The first step to becoming a reiki healer or reiki master is to select where and how to receive reiki classes. Consider whether you wish to study reiki online or in person. Make sure that you are receiving quality, well-founded reiki training. Find out who is teaching the class, their credentials, experience, years of training and practice, and seek out both testimonials and independent reviews by people who have taken their classes. Inquire about how large the classes are, the location, and hours of each class.

Reiki certification

It is important to receive a reiki certification from a quality and reputable reiki school. If you decide to offer reiki services professionally, your credentials are what-is-crystal-healingimportant. However, it is very important to know that having a reiki certification will not protect you from the hidden risks of being a holistic health practitioner.

In the past few years, state regulatory boards have been ramping up their enforcement of laws relating to massage and “license to touch.” Unlicensed reiki healers are particularly vulnerable to this, especially if your state lumps reiki into “massage.”

Do I need a college degree to become a reiki practitioner?

No, you do not need a college degree to become a reiki practitioner.

How to find reiki classes near me?

If you decide that you prefer an in-person class rather than online, you can find reiki training and reiki classes or find a certified and licensed reiki master near you through an online directory such as the PWA Directory by searching by location.

What is a reiki master?The-Reiki-Master-Symbol

A reiki master is a person who has completed reiki training by moving through the progressive three levels. They have received the necessary symbols and attunements that initiate them as a channel of reiki energy and allow them to teach and initiate others. Some reiki masters choose to teach, while others do not.

Reiki master training

Generally, reiki master training involves the theory, initiation, protocol and procedure of reiki. Some reiki systems have further broken up the degrees of reiki, expanding them to five levels. The training involves lectures, talks, meditations, symbols and attunements as well as personalized study with a reiki master.

What is attunement?

Reiki training involves more than just theory and practice. One of the most important aspects of reiki training is attunement — the opening of the energetic channel with the aid of intonations by the reiki master. Attunement clears and unblocks the central channel of the reiki practitioner, so that energy and flow freely and unobstructed through them. After the four intonations are complete, the channel remains open for the rest of the reiki healer’s life.


Once this channel has been opened, not only can a reiki healer channel energy for themselves and others, but their level of perception is widened and awakened. After this experience, many reiki healers report being able to perceive information from subtle planes. This can allow the reiki healer to connect more deeply with their intuition, receive more information, and heighten awareness about their own life.

How long does it take to become a reiki master?

holistic-certification-licenseIt can take several years to become a reiki master. Although there are many accelerated courses that can take you through several levels of reiki in a few weekends for a few hundred dollars per level, it is recommended to take the time to integrate and practice each level before moving to the next. Becoming a reiki master requires study with another reiki master and many recommend taking a year or more to fully integrate the information and energetic activation.

How much is a reiki master salary?

A reiki master salary depends on many factors including region, experience, number of clients, hourly or session rates, full or part-time status. Income can be higher if you are giving training or courses, or open a reiki school, or integrating it with other modalities such as reiki massage. In the US, a reiki master salary can range between $10,000-$12,000 for part-time and $40,000-$60,000 for full-time, depending on many variables.

Opening a reiki business

To open a reiki business you’ll need to do the following:

  • Obtain proper reiki training, certification, and licensure
  • Establish a legal entity such as an LLC
  • Open a business bank account
  • Invest in basic materials and infrastructure
  • Comply with zoning and health ordinances
  • Get the necessary permits from your city or county to operate
  • Create a business plan, brand, and marketing strategy

How can I legally offer reiki services?

Laws regarding reiki vary greatly from state to state; with no national regulation or standards. This leaves reiki practitioners vulnerable to regulatory board crackdowns with serious legal and financial repercussions.

If you provide reiki sessions as a part of your holistic health services, you need a defendable legal basis to do so. Even if you have an existing state license for another modality such as massage or chiropractor, your license won’t necessarily cover you for these modalities, leaving you vulnerable to legal and financial consequences.

By obtaining a license like the one offered by the Professional Wellness Alliance (PWA) you can offer reiki and other holistic modalities in a safe environment. Having a license tells your reiki clients that you care about safety, and increases your credibility through training and verification. The PWA also keeps you accountable to standards and ethics, demonstrating that you are a quality reiki practitioner, while protecting your reiki services and clients.


Reiki is a path of unlimited potential and learning. For many reiki practitioners, it is a lifelong journey of healing and service to all living things.

Learn more about making a difference and becoming a PWA licensed reiki practitioner here.