Lessons I learned from a prickly client

Quite a while ago, I had what I would consider my most prickly client. There were two friends who came together and my communication with them to organise the treatments was a little odd, I remember. They came from work on a weekend, and were late. When I met them at the door, I asked whether one of them was going to go for a walk during the other’s treatment, or if they wanted to stay in the room. They said they wanted to be together.

They kept speaking between themselves in another language, which is fine, though something didn’t feel very good about it to me. They decided which one would go first, let’s call her Sharon, and so I asked my usual questions of how she was feeling and whether she’d had reiki before. She hadn’t but her friend had. When she was on the table and we were about to begin, her friend, let’s call her Bev, pulled out a laptop computer from her bag and opened it up to start to work.

‘No,’ I said. ‘I’m sorry but you can’t work on your computer while I’m giving a treatment.’

‘Don’t you have a waiting room?’ she asked, accusingly.

I was rattled. I offered to get her a chair and she could work in the area outside of the reiki room. It wasn’t ideal as I could still hear her working away and I thought what an odd situation it was. Sharon finished her treatment and said that she could feel something and that it felt good. So, I let them swap places, and Sharon went to sit outside the room.

‘So, Bev. I understand that you’ve had reiki before.’ Her energy was closed up so I was struggling to talk in a relaxed way. ‘If you’ve come back for another treatment, I’m guessing you had a good experience with it?’

‘Well, I haven’t had reiki from YOU yet,’ she replied.

I think it was only five minutes into the treatment, maybe ten, before she said, ‘I feel nothing. Absolutely nothing. The last time I had reiki, I started crying immediately and was very emotional.’

‘Do you want me to continue?


I charged her a discounted rate; I certainly wasn’t going to give up my time for free when I had offered the treatment in the same way as I always had. She continued to talk (about me, I was guessing) to Sharon under her breath and I did finally say: ‘I don’t think you were in the right space to have a treatment. You were working on your computer until only a few minutes before we started.’

‘Maybe you’re right.’

I escorted them out of the apartment as they continued to talk to each other in their own language, and I closed the door, not angry, but confused and drained. I was still annoyed by the thought of it for a long time afterwards.

Now, looking back. I’m grateful. From that time, I learned to be very clear that if someone is to stay in the reiki room during a treatment for someone else, then they will need to be quiet. They can read, or read their iPhone, but certainly not type or work. I put more information on my blog and website that Reiki Surry Hills is located in a private apartment. No, I don’t have a waiting room.

Most importantly, I really try to set the context better for treatments. If a client is new to reiki, I tell them that every treatment can be and feel very different, and sometimes I say that you might not feel much of anything at all, except quiet and relaxed. If a client has had reiki before, I tell them that this treatment might feel very different. I encourage clients to be open to whatever might happen, and not have particular expectations.

It’s also in the back of my mind, though I haven’t had a chance to try it out, that if I feel that someone is coming only as a favour to a friend, or that they don’t really want a treatment, or don’t feel comfortable, to try and catch that and be proactive and say, ‘you don’t have to have a treatment.’ It would be better for the both of us to not even begin.

Another lesson was that while I used to believe that reiki would help anyone, whether they believed in it or not, and whether they could feel anything, I’ve changed my views on that. Some people, or some people at certain times of their life, will not be interested in or open to a treatment and I’d think that if they felt a benefit, they’d ignore or not recognise it, or maybe they really wouldn’t any benefits at all.

These were all useful lessons for me to learn, so it’s good to now say: Thank you, prickly client. You’ll never know the ways that you helped my practice!

Discover the gifts and benefits of a session of Japanese reiki therapy, healing energy from an experienced practitioner. Visit my website or Facebook page for more information and SMS, email, call me or book online if you’d like to make an appointment. Since 2011, I’ve given 1,000 reiki treatments.

Clients come to relieve stress, anxiety and for many other issues, or to just give reiki a try to see what it does for them. Folks come from all over Sydney and elsewhere to see me. While it’s easiest to get to me from the CBD, Darlinghurst, Paddington, Kings Cross, Redfern and Potts Point, I’m pretty easy to get to from anywhere in Sydney.

Posted in Reiki Information, Reiki Surry Hills.

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