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My First Day as a Reiki Volunteer

Elder woman and her caretaker

When I took my first Reiki class five years ago, I had no idea where it would lead me. I was looking for something to help me handle stress at work, but I soon realized I wanted to share Reiki with others. Finding a place to volunteer was not easy. Most organizations don’t even accept volunteers. I was looking for a place where I would be allowed to donate my time rather than my money. And, I found it! It was a hospice that was looking for Reiki volunteers, and I signed up.


Training with the volunteer’s coordinator took about a month before I was able to have my first visit at a hospice. I had been extremely excited about this day, but at the same time, I was a bit concerned. I began to wonder if I would be able to handle hospice patients. The day came, and I met the volunteer’s coordinator at the hospice where I would be meeting the two patients assigned to me. This particular hospice specializes in Alzheimer's, so both of my clients suffer from the same disease at different stages.

Time flew while we were with these lovely ladies. Soon I realized I was not going to be able to give them a Reiki session the way I am accustomed to doing. They would probably be seated on a chair or wheelchair. I also noticed the sessions would have to be shorter at first until they were ready for a full session. In fact, I didn’t have the chance to perform Reiki during our first encounter. It was evident I had to develop their trust before they would allow me to give them a session. It actually took at least a couple visits before I was able to give them Reiki.


Giving Reiki as a hospice volunteer presents me with a unique opportunity. It provides me the chance to work with a group of people that not only desperately need healing but that has to be approached in a whole different way to give them a session. They are not asking for a session. Most of them do not even know what Reiki is so they might not be aware that something like this can help them. I have to explain it differently and be comfortable with the idea they might not remember me or why I am there next time I visit.


I feel truly grateful for this opportunity. I am enjoying every minute of it. I look forward every week to spending time with them whether I give them Reiki or not. I feel blessed to have found a hospice that is open to alternative modalities of healing and that view Reiki as a helpful way to assist their patients. At the same time, I see this as an experience that will help me grow as a Reiki practitioner as I give back with my time by fulfilling a dream that began five years ago.

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