Moving to Cambridge
When I first moved to Cambridge, I was looking into becoming a verified reiki practitioner with the Complementary and Natural Health Council and was talking to my colleague Kate Jones. Kate runs a community reiki clinic in Ludlow, Shropshire, and very kindly offered for me to volunteer there to build up some ‘reiki hours’ and get some case studies together. Unfortunately Ludlow was too far away for me to travel from Cambridge, however it sparked the idea……
As with much of my life, I dive into things and worry about them later. You may have heard the phrase ‘feel the fear and do it anyway’? Well, that’s me. If I get the vibe that I should do something, I follow my instincts. So after my conversation with Kate, off I went to work out how to start a community clinic in Linton.
I’ve got a strong background in Project Management, and I’m good at organising things. My plan of attack was:
- Get a venue
- Work out a trial date for the first clinic
- Design some marketing
- Get the marketing ‘out there’
- Try to get some other reiki therapists involved
- Work out the pricing
- Cross my fingers and wait for an appointment to materialise.
Venue and Date
Finding a venue was easy, and I made sure I gave myself plenty of time to organise everything and advertise sufficiently before the first clinic. Advertising began near the start of August 2019, and the first clinic was 28 September 2019.
Advertising wise, posters went up around the village, and I also used Facebook. I created an event on my facebook page, and found all the relevant local Facebook pages and groups to advertise on. Occasionally the events are ‘boosted’ on Facebook but this is something I’ve done more recently – I think it works well though and has driven new clients to the clinic.
I won’t lie – I was scared. I got ‘the fear’. What if no one wanted to come? I was putting myself out there, and I was out of my comfort zone. I remember just trusting the universe that if this was the right thing to do, it would work.
The first time my phone rang, I was so nervous. But it happened!!! Someone booked an appointment. From then on it just started working. Phew. The relief was immense – as was the excitement.
Finding other therapists just happened – and has continued to happen. Working in the clinic gives therapists an opportunity to gain valuable experience where they aren’t running their own practice, and is also a way for experienced therapists to give back. Channeling healing to people is wonderful – it has to be one of the best ‘jobs’ in the world. I ask to see everyone’s reiki certificates and their insurance certificate, and I always meet up with people first before agreeing they can work at the clinic and do a bit of vetting.
All our therapists and our awesome receptionist give their time for free. One of my favourite things about starting the clinic is meeting the team – what a wonderful group of humans.
My initial vision for the Clinic was ‘healing for the many, not the few’. What I mean by this is that not everyone can afford to spend £20-£40 on a private 121. I believe healing should be available to everyone. We therefore run the clinic on a ‘pay as you feel’ basis, with a suggested donation of £5-£10 for a 30 minute appointment. Splitting the income from the clinic between the therapists would be so minimal it isn’t worth it, so we decided all the proceeds from the clinic should go to charity, and we chose Connecting Reiki with Medicine.
Connecting Reiki with Medicine
Connecting Reiki with Medicine is an amazing charity which is funding gathering evidenced based research into the effects of reiki in a critical care clinical setting.
The Clinic Now
We have 6/7 therapists working in the monthly clinic now, treating 6/7 people at once – we regularly see over 20 people each month (a mix of new and returning clients).
What comes next?
Our next task is to agree some standard operating procedures which all therapists will sign up to – we are getting requests from new therapists to join our merry band fairly frequently so we’ve agreed its time to set out some clear standards.
The Toolbox – Some of the Things we’ve learnt along the way to either use, or help the Clinic run smoother
- Use something like Canva for creating posters
- Get photos and images from something like Unsplash
- Use an automated system for managing bookings and sending reminders of appointments, such as Appointy
- Always use Consultation forms, and have an under 18 consent form
- Have information leaflets about reiki
- We like to give out discount vouchers for private 121s
- Have a ‘thank you for your donation’ sign
- Secure a volunteer receptionist (a God-send) to help keep everything organised on the night
- Buy a laminator for all your awesome posters
- Have water for after sessions
- Provide aftercare information
- Get people to re-book for the next clinic after their appointment
Over to YOU
Community reiki clinics are great – they bring reiki to a new audience and make it more accessible. There are lots of business benefits too if you are running a private practice.
If you are thinking of doing this, get in touch! I’d be glad to support you and answer any questions.
You’re always welcome to come and take a look at the clinic and treat yourself to a reiki session ????