Q: How can I find places to volunteer to give Reiki?
A: Thanks for asking! This question was submitted by Shannon, one of the readers of the Reiki Q&A blog.
While not all hospitals are open to Reiki, some have started either providing training for nurses, or incorporating volunteers (or in some rare cases, paid staff), into their patient care options. I volunteer at The Cleveland Clinic, and I also know that other hospitals in this area have people giving Reiki in some capacity, or are adding the service soon. With hospitals, you should do your homework. Find out if the hospital offers Reiki by looking on the hospital website or calling the hospital. You want to look for a Wellness Department, Healing Services, or Complementary Care…something along those lines. Call and speak to someone there and ask about if they offer Reiki, and who provides it. Then ask if they allow volunteers and what are the requirements and procedures for making application. At The Cleveland Clinic, I received an email and it directed me to the Volunteer Office, where I went through basic Volunteer Training after having an interview over the phone and then one in person with the Volunteer Coordinator in the Healing Services Department, where I now am placed. You will need to know if they are choosy about what level or type of Reiki you practice. Some places will require Master level in Usui Reiki, and some only want to know about your experience. Some want you to have a degree in something medical or social work (although not necessarily if you are a volunteer).
Other places you can try which will likely be open to inquiry include:
- Veterans Hospitals
- Cancer support centers
- Senior assisted living facilities (where you can also approach them about teaching a workshop to the residents)
So where to start? I always seem to begin with the Internet. Search for the hospitals and/or places that interest you, your area, and then search for Reiki. Then the next place to go is the phone. Talk to someone who is in the department that offers this care.
What if they’re not familiar with Reiki or don’t offer it? You have two choices – educate them, or look elsewhere. Chances are they are familiar with Reiki or the idea of it, although they may not offer it yet. But maybe they are open to learning more. If that’s the case, you can offer to come in and give an informative talk to staff and demonstrate, and provide some reference materials about the benefits of Reiki.
If you get turned away, no worries. There will be other places, and the best thing is, you’ve put the idea out there. They may come around. Reiki is getting more recognized every day for the stress and pain relief, healing and health benefits it brings.
You can also search for “holistic” and “alternative health care” in your area and see what comes up. You may find places that didn’t show in your previous searches.
Speak confidently, and clearly when you talk to people. Your Reiki elevator speech should include a clear definition of Reiki. This is the most important thing to be prepared with. So before you get on the phone, know how you will describe Reiki to someone who may not be familiar with it.
I offer coaching in this and many other areas, should you be interested in more personal guidance. Find out more here.
Questions and comments are always welcome!