What's it really like?Ahurra Milett (also known as Bob), 33, is an Energy Therapist specialising in Reiki and Bio-Energy Therapy. He works from the Highgate Health Centre in North London.
How long have you been in the alternative medicine industry?
About five years. I came to this world, as do many other therapists doing this, through my own experience as a patient. I had a problem with the radial nerve in my right arm and lost control of that arm completely. There was no conventional treatment at the time and doctors just told me to wait until the nerve healed or grew back with no guarantee that it ever would. Therefore I tried a lot of alternative healing techniques like massage, acupuncture and energy healing.
Through that experience I gained a whole new viewpoint on holistic health and life in general. I started to see not just the physical aspects of health but how emotions, spiritual beliefs, all aspects of your life could manifest themselves as, and bring about, dis-ease*. I managed to make a full recovery from my problem and after that I really wanted to learn for myself and take my studies out there, so that I could help other people.
I went on to study various healing modalities. I began with an ITEC in massage therapy and then I did something called Bio-Energy Therapy, then Reiki training and a few other things related to energy healing. There's quite a lot of different branches of techniques and modalities that come under the umbrella of energy healing; Reiki is just the most well known of those.
What did you do before you became a Reiki and Energy healer?
I used to work at a university for six or seven years. I worked in the admissions office at the LSE doing mostly administrative work, helping students to get through their paperwork.
What do you do in a typical day at work as a Reiki healer?
Now I work part-time half of my time as a complementary therapist but I also work with an organisation called The Healing Trust, a membership organisation that provides training and advice for healers. I work at a health centre in Highgate and I also do home visits.
Working at the health centre involves getting to the centre in good time before my first client arrives, setting up the room and making it clean, getting a nice atmosphere going before energetically cleansing the room. You need to attune yourself, raising your energetic levels so that you are ready to provide healing, and this involves a bit of meditation. When your clients arrive you have a comfortable consultation with them, going through your previous case notes if they are a repeat client, seeing how treatment is working, how they are feeling etc. Treatment itself lasts at least one hour, then there's a bit of admin involved. A home visit obviously involves a bit of travelling. Each day can be quite different.
What do you like about being a Reiki healer?
I like the variety in terms of meeting lots of people and there is also the aspect of helping people. You have to be interested in being a help to people in whatever area of life they need it. Energy healing is not just about physical healing - it can help people with relationship issues, a lack of direction in their lives, spiritual problems. You also meet a lot of people who have been through conventional medicine and they're coming to you because they've tried everything else. It's great to be able to help people who are almost at the point of giving up and help them find a new way of seeing things, a new way of dealing with life.
Energy healing is not just about you healing someone but more about being a catalyst for someone to make changes in their life. They will go on to improve their relationships, their approach to life and many other things. It's about stimulating someone to go on a new path, to empower them. That's an aspect I really enjoy.
What do you dislike about the job?
Nothing really. I suppose it's not a conventional job; you're working for yourself so you have to take care of everything, admin, promotions etc. You don't know from one week to another how busy you will be and therefore what your income will be.
What advice would you give to someone thinking of doing this job?
I suppose the main thing would be, as there are so many different types of healing, make sure you find the one that suits you best. For some people that may be Reiki, for others spiritual healing. They all come from a slightly different direction and you have to find one that suits your personality.
What job do you think you might do after this role in terms of career progression?
At the moment I work part-time, so ideally I'm looking to increase my client base and make it more of a full-time role.
What other inside-information can you give to help people considering becoming a Reiki or Energy healer?
Train with an organisation or a teacher who is authentic, as the healing world is not a very regulated arena. In the future there will be more government regulation but for now people are able to make false claims fairly easily. So you need to do your research. There are professional bodies that regulate the industry; the main ones are UK Healers and The Healing Trust. Also it's very important to make sure you get properly insured.
* dis-ease, is used to emphasise the natural state of "ease" being imbalanced or disrupted.
A Reiki healer harnesses and manipulates life energy in order to improve the well being of a client.
Reiki healing is based on the idea that there exists a universal life energy or force that can be harnessed to induce a healing effect. A Reiki healer comes into more direct connection with this energy via a process of attunement, carried out by a Reiki master. Treatments are undertaken by the healer moving his hands over the patient's body in either set patterns or in correspondence to problem areas.
Reiki was invented by Mikao Usui in 1922 after 21 days spent in fasting, meditation and prayer on top of Mount Kurama, Japan. The type of Reiki practised widely in the west today can be attributed to one of his student's students, Hawayo Takata, who travelled extensively in the US and is a simplification of the original Japanese Reiki.
Most Reiki healers are self-employed and charge on a per treatment basis. Therefore their annual income will depend entirely on the size of their client base. The amount charged per session depends upon the location and the facilities of treatment rooms. Overheads such as equipment, room hire and promotions have to be taken into account and this will impact on the price charged.
- A newly qualified Reiki healer may charge from £20 to £40 per session.
- An experienced Reiki Healer working from a location in central London may charge up to £100 per session.
A Reiki healer may undertake any of the following in a normal working day:
- Preparing themselves for treatment, raising their own energy levels and attuning themselves
- Undertaking client consultations and taking notes
- Treating clients by applying the energetic principles of Reiki
- Performing distance treatments at pre-arranged times
- Self promotion and advertising work
- Book keeping and accounts
QualificationsThe teaching of western Reiki is usually organised into three distinct phases:
This usually consists of four sessions in which the novice is attuned at each session by a Reiki master and learns theory, basics and the set hand positions suitable for 'whole body treatment'. The student can now treat himself and others with Reiki.
In addition to a further attunement the student undertakes to learn the use of the three symbols, both of which are said to increase the flux of energy through the student and increase the distance at which he can practise Reiki on a patient. Having completed this, the student can now practise distance Reiki, treating patients without being physically near them.
Third Degree or Reiki Master
The student learns a new master-level symbol and undergoes more attunements. He is now a Reiki master who can attune and teach Reiki to novices.
The amount of time taken to reach master level varies from a matter of days to a year, depending entirely on the organisation involved.
A Reiki healer should work on developing the following personal characteristics:
- An empathetic nature
- A non-judgemental approach towards individuals
- Excellent communication skills
- The ability to put clients at their ease
- The ability to formulate responsible patient relationships
- Good organisational skills
- A self-motivated and positive approach to life
Working ConditionsA Reiki healer usually works from a clinical treatment room which contains a massage couch for patients to lie down on. This could be a room in their own house or in an alternative medicine centre along with other practitioners. Additionally Reiki healers frequently make home visits to treat those unable or unwilling to travel.
A Reiki treatment usually takes from between 40 minutes and an hour and a half including an initial consultation. Hours can be long in order to accommodate clients outside normal office hours, and evening and weekend work are common.
The gender split in Reiki healers leans towards more female practitioners than men.
In the course of their learning, Reiki students are encouraged to practise on others as frequently as possible. Additionally students practise Reiki on themselves.
Any experience in a client facing, health care or caring role would be beneficial as this is ultimately a 'people' job.
Private alternative medicine clinics are the most frequent employers of Reiki healers. Check your local listings for details.
Most Reiki healers are self-employed and advertise their services on the Internet, in health food shops, community centres and by word of mouth.
Many Reiki healers already have, or go on to gain qualifications in other forms of alternative or complementary medicine. This increases the resources they have to treat an individual and thereby raises earning potential. Examples include acupuncture, massage, reflexology or aromatherapy.
Experienced Reiki healers can go on to become Reiki masters where they can train and 'attune' novice practitioners.