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Why Should Healing Be Free?

Article by Taryn Walker

From time to time I receive a booking for one of my distant Reiki sessions and when I send the payment request I get an anger-fuelled reply saying that healing should be free because energy is free. Often this is accompanied by a big rant about money and how healers these days only care about making more of it.

Firstly, I’m always in shock at the way some people choose to speak to others on the internet. I know most of these lost souls would never dare to confront me with such disrespect in person. Some will simply send a message saying “Send Reiki now.” No introduction, no explanation, just a rude demand. Excuse me, there is a human being on the other end of that contact form!

I don’t think of my services as a healer to be more special than the services offered by a plumber. We need different things at different times and everyone who provides a service has an important place in their community. Would you ever think to ask a plumber for free plumbing? Imagine sending the plumber a message saying, “Unblock my pipes, now!” and expecting him to do it for free…

To say that healing should be free because energy is free would only make sense if healing was the only kind of energy that existed. But everything is energy, including money. When you pay for Reiki you are simply exchanging one kind of energy with another kind of energy.

On the rare occasions that I receive hate-mail for charging for my services as a healer I take the time to kindly reply and offer my view on this. That usually ends the conversation, which is a pity, as I would love to gain a deeper understanding from these people personally. I’m guessing it’s partly to do with a subconscious block against money, which thinks of money as evil or dirty. I’ve been there and I’ve done a lot of work to heal this unfortunate belief as money finds it very difficult to come to you if you think badly of it.

I understand how frustrating it is to feel like you never have enough money so I’m able to have compassion for those who contact me in rage about having to pay for Reiki. I just wish there could be a more civilised dialogue around the issue as I could probably offer the kind of advice needed to begin to heal these beliefs around money and healing.

For the healers reading this, I hope that you feel comfortable charging for your services. For karmic reasons it’s important that there is an energetic exchange, especially with healing. I wish for all healers to really value what you have to offer so as to enjoy the monetary exchange. You probably spent a lot of money on your training. It takes time and money to prepare a special healing space for your clients. It’s likely that you often give more of your time than agreed upon for your healing sessions.

So let’s heal all this nonsense about free healing.

Healers are offering a service just like anyone else in the service industry. If you want to be an accountant you study accounting. If you want to be a Reiki healer you learn Reiki. I chose Reiki as my profession because I love it and it suits my temperament. I love holding space for people to have the healing experience they’re ready for. I don’t earn nearly as much as an accountant simply because society doesn’t value Reiki as much as it does accounting. That’s just the way the world is right now, though we need accountants as much as we need healers.

I spent over 5 years training in Reiki practice before I started charging for treatments. I value what I have to offer because of the time, commitment and money I’ve put into my business. The healing work itself I would do for free if living did not require making money. It’s my passion and it comes naturally to me. I see amazing results in my clients and I know what I have to offer is valuable. I’ve chosen to value myself and my offerings despite being undervalued by a largely unspiritual society.

Of course healing can be offered as a gift in certain circumstances. Many hospitals welcome Reiki practitioners as volunteers to help those suffering with chronic or terminal illness. If you find yourself at the scene of an accident, don’t hesitate to discreetly offer Reiki to those in need. I share Reiki with my Dad as often as possible, and would never dream of asking him to pay, as he’s half of the reason I’m here in this world. From time to time I offer free group healing sessions, sometimes as a thank you to those who book sessions with me, for those who cannot afford a session or just in celebration of a solstice or a special moon.

So I’m not saying that healing should never be free. I’m calling for us all to heal our issues with money, to respect the monetary value someone places on their healing services and to speak to each other nicely on the internet, please.

I will continue to take the time to respond courteously to the few angry souls who expect my offerings for free without even bothering to introduce themselves. I will continue to value my services as a healer so as to let others know how I wish to be valued. I will consider all the unseen time, effort and money someone has put into their product or service before judging it as too expensive.

Let’s take the fact that everything is energy really seriously and play the game that this presents to us. Let’s enjoy spending money on things that are good for us. Instead of feeling like we’re losing money by paying for something, instead recognise that you’re gaining something through a simple and even sacred exchange of energy.

When you value yourself and your offerings, it gives others permission to value themselves and they will then know how to value you too.

This wasn’t meant to be a post about self love but, as usual, that’s what it all boils down to.

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Taryn Walker

Taryn Walker

Taryn Walker is a traveling Reiki Master Teacher who wishes to inspire people to realise that they are miraculous! She believes that Reiki can reveal our natural ability to heal ourselves and this empowers us to take responsibility for our lives. She works a lot with distant Reiki and loves the way it allows people to experience the illusion of separation. Taryn is grateful for being able to connect with her Reiki clients even while traveling. She usually lives on a little island in Thailand, where she practices and teaches Reiki, but finds ‘home’ wherever she is. Taryn enjoys yoga, nature, creating art, cooking and finding magic in “ordinary” places. Follow her here: http://reiki-alchemy.com/, http://www.facebook.com/alchemyhealing, and http://bit.ly/reikialchemyoutube.

{ 43 comments… add one }
  • Ranae March 14, 2016, 3:22 pm


    I always love your insight and the direct way you address something. I have actually had other healers tell me also that I should not be charging for a healing session. Yet, I too believe that there should be an energy exchange. It is a law of the universe. (The Law of Circulation) Thank you for this great article.

    • Taryn Walker May 24, 2016, 7:04 am

      Thank you Ranae 🙂 This is a big collective issue to heal. I hope you never feel guilty for charging for your time and effort.

  • john russell (@jrussellglasgow) March 14, 2016, 7:22 pm

    its about respect..we are offering our services in return for exchange..often those who complain drive a merc or BMW!

  • Soups March 15, 2016, 6:50 am

    This is a wonderful article. I haven’t charged for healing but I am learning to value my service to the world and myself. Thank you for the encouragement. 🙂

    • Taryn Walker May 24, 2016, 7:06 am

      Thank you. What you have to offer could be so valuable to someone else. You can make the exchange of cash for healing a sacred exchange by your attitude. Go for it! Xx

  • Rinku March 15, 2016, 9:17 am

    So perfect n to the point!! People call us greedy when we charge for healing. This article is an eye opener about why energy exchange is must..

  • Margie March 15, 2016, 6:41 pm

    Thank you for your article. I am a reiki master who
    Works in the hospital giving reiki to the cancer and sick people as a volunteer.
    I am having a hard time finding clients .
    ???????? Margie

    • Taryn Walker May 24, 2016, 7:12 am

      What a special gift for these people you’re helping in the hospital. You’ll find clients when you open yourself to this vibration. You have to truly want it and be excited about it and it’ll come. Most of us have some subconscious blocks around these things. Some fears and worries stopping the flow of clients. It’s been a profound journey for me to realise this and release these fears. I’m inspired by you to do more volunteer work and I hope you allow more clients into your life! 🙂

  • Rita March 16, 2016, 3:56 am

    Doctors charge for healing, why not reiki which is nothing more than a different type of healing?

  • Veenna V Negglur March 16, 2016, 8:55 am

    Taryn, i fully agree with you. I too have faced similar situation like you. When i was giving healing free, many people started taking things for granted. They showed scant respect for Reiki or the time i devoted to give them healing, They didn’t even bother to acknowledge or show attitude of gratitude.The moment I started charging they all turned their back towards me.

  • Patty Penner March 17, 2016, 9:50 pm

    I am soooooooooooooooo with you on this! Everyone wants it for free and think nothing of all the time and energy you personally have to put into whatever it is you do, not to mention you need to pay for the roof over your head, the car you drive, the food you eat, ad infinitum. And yes it costs me a lot of money to learn how to do all the wonderful I do. So take your “it should be free” somewhere’s else please.

  • Megan March 18, 2016, 6:38 am

    This is a fantastic article. I hope you don’t mind that I’ve shared it on my blog at http://healinglightdistancereiki.com/blog.

  • Patty B san Antonio Texas usa March 19, 2016, 5:56 pm

    wonderful article! And yes all healers can & should receive compensation for their services! Clients certainly wouldn’t be going to their jobs if their employers stopped paying them, don’t really understand the attitude that healers shouldn’t be paid for the work they do.

  • jenny March 19, 2016, 7:40 pm

    I agree ,it would be wonderful if we gave Reiki without payment ,but we all have to live ,& our time is valuable ,so clients really should respect that ,blessings jenny xxx

  • Boris Pecigoš March 26, 2016, 8:50 pm

    Lovely article, thank you! I also have had such experiences from time to time so it is nice to read such understanding article.

  • Pat Ulrich April 4, 2016, 5:09 pm

    well said 🙂 most of us have had this experience, and for those who are knew, it is only a matter of time. thanks for posting!

  • Mahesh Ganatra April 4, 2016, 5:12 pm

    I always charge for reiki healings. I make them pay first like any allopathy treatment. We charge for the time N experience not for the reiki energy as we do not N cannot measure the amount of reiki given. We charge for expertise N service.

  • AgnesMarie April 4, 2016, 5:54 pm

    I do my sessions as well as the rest of my services on a donation basis this way I’m not telling client’s they can’t afford my services which limits the amount of client’s one will receive. If a client can’t afford a donation then paying it forward is suggested. Even if they’re doing something to help someone else there’s still an exchange of energy. That’s just how I practice. Namaste’

    • Taryn Walker May 24, 2016, 7:21 am

      If this exchange feels right for you that’s wonderful! I’m guessing Reiki sessions are not your only means of income?

    • Stephanie Rose June 9, 2019, 9:07 pm

      An energetic exchange doesn’t have to be monetary …

      And I have no problem with giving love and spirituality for free, at times, as I know that the Universe gives it back … and my heart has the capacity to freely give.

      There is no Universal law that prohibits giving without receiving in return.

      Many ‘Healers’ charge high fees …

      Just look at how spirituality has been monetized and commercialized.

      Reiki is Universal Life Force Energy that belongs to everyone …

      And yet, we must pay money to humans in order to access it …

      Something is wrong here, at the core of this earthly system.

  • Patricia Rathbun April 5, 2016, 3:53 pm

    I am on the other end here. I am looking for Reiki for my sonwho is goung through severe depression. I don’t work unless you call keeping a home running, and helping to raise my 2 grandchildren work, but I don’t get any money. My son works but is part of the working poor, he puts more in bills than he makes and often lives on Michelina TV dinners. If I was trained in Reiki I would give my services as very affordable so everyone could recieve the gift of healing. That doesn’t mean I am disrespecting those who charge I’m just saying not everyone coming through you doors can afford it. It’s hard enough to pay for a therapist that does nothing he came out with prescription which he reluctantly tried but made him sick. I love my son and I am trying to do anythung to help him

    • Karin April 8, 2016, 12:35 pm

      Hi Patricia. I am so happy to see you are exploring natural alternatives to prescription meds & a mental health industry that seems to have lost it’s ability to help those truly in need of their services. FYI, I am a Reiki Master, and have been practicing since 2007. Through the years, I have varied my ‘energy exchange’ (payment for service) in a variety of ways. Have you found a Reiki practitioner who can work with you & your son yet? Maybe you/your son can offer to clean their house or do yard work in exchange for their services. Perhaps bake a pie or homemade bread? Provide them with natural garden produce? You & your son have skills that are ‘marketable’. When we talk about payment for services, most Reiki practitioners define it as an exchange of energy- we put our time ,effort and intention into the healing session- & often do ‘homework’ to better define our understanding of how we (& Reiki) can best help those we serve. Like a mechanic or plumber, we invest our time & effort in correcting a problem. There is a way to arrange services w/respect to your limited income, & the right Reiki practitioner will work with you & your son to make it happen.
      Just a few suggestions for you & your son: Start eating as much natural food as possible- homemade, limited ingredients, garden grown, ‘if you can’t pronounce it, don’t eat it’ type stuff. Remove all sodas/pop from your diet. Only use olive or coconut oil for cooking- no veg or canola, etc. oils. Eat fruit, not fruit juices. Eliminate ALL High Fructose Corn Syrup in your diet. Yes, you’ll have to become a label reader, but it’s worth it.
      Also, invest in some therapeutic grade Lavender essential oil. It is a beautiful & gentle mood elevator, naturally antibacterial & helps on many different aspects of our lives- & inexpensive!. Have your son rub it (2 drops) on his heart, feet & knees & his ears nightly. Put a couple drops on hands & run them through all the (clean) underwear & socks.
      I send love & healing to you & your son & family. I have worked extensively with those living with a mental illness & know how the daily struggle to live life coping with the additional burden can exhaust you & suck the ‘hope for a better day’ from you. Don’t give up! Your son & you have a lot to live for, and things will get better. Have faith that everything will work out in the best way possible for your family. Please share this with your son as well. Know that we all support you in your search for a better way.
      <3 Love & Healing, Karin

  • Kate May 5, 2016, 12:20 am

    Doing energy healing includes work and putting effort like any other one job say massage or plumbing. Therefore it is ultimately rude if someone doesn’t want to pay for your effort.

  • ellie590 May 5, 2016, 7:02 am

    I can’t understand rudeness in anyone but I do understand that energy is free. However they are asking you to manipulated the energy and send it to them. This of course is a learned skill and needs to be paid. Why not explain to them that they already have the energy inside them and they should seek not a healer, but a teacher who would enable them to heal themselves whenever they chose. Not for free but once would work. As to money I also understand the view of money being dirty, it is Christian upbringing. Not trying to be controversial but just showing another viewpoint.

    • B August 21, 2019, 8:53 pm

      Well said and great advice for a great solution!

  • Celeste May 5, 2016, 7:23 am

    Thankyou for the time and effort you spent in writing this article.
    I have come to the understanding that is similar. We need money to live and “time is money” in the service industry. I’m a massage therapist and Reiki practitioner, and both require time and resources to fulfill.
    However, what I charge for Reiki is different to what I charge for massage. I tend to charge more for my massage as it requires more resources than Reiki does. So if I charge £35 for my hour full body massage because of the use of oils, waxes and such its that price because of the costs.
    With Reiki where I’m not using anything but my couch or chair (in person) I will charge say £25 for an hour. ( if I’m in person its because of travel costs) if its distance an hours pay is about right, since no resources are used and no costs myself. So I would charge say £10.
    It makes it much more accessible and fair for people to access healing that they might want or need when people are not charging high prices.
    Also I will exchange Reiki with say helping someone with something, and give Reiki for free to a few people, if they want it.
    I think as healers we do need to be sensible in how we price things. We also have to look at our demographics and understand our local population and look at what people can afford. If you live in an area of large unemployment you aren’t going to get £35 for a distance Reiki session. That’s out of touch and doesn’t reflect honestly and meeting the requirements of your local market.
    I always think about the precept that I will do my work honestly, and for me that means pricing myself fairly.
    I don’t care what other people are charging I do set my own bar, which in our line of business can be a competitive market if you have lots of therapist’s in a small area.

  • Sandi May 5, 2016, 5:38 pm

    I agree entirely with this article. I went to massage school with a loan I am still paying on for 9 years and am not halfway through paying it. I do give away a lot of free Reiki on facebook. I have not worked and made a real living for 10 years. It has been a struggle on this path.

  • Denise May 27, 2016, 11:08 am

    Hi Taryn,

    Thank you so much for your article.
    I totally agree.

    “Live in Love Live in Light”

  • Julie Roberts July 11, 2016, 1:18 pm

    Thank you that message helps, as I do get attacked time to time, all you have said feels right, as I totally agree, sometimes I struggle to even to afford to eat ,after giving so much to help others, they seem to be happy for me to help them and then dispute payment! so how do thy think we pay our bills? and then rave about the treatment theyve just had!….its cost me thousands to learn my trade, not to mention the time invested in study! and is never ending… its sometimes a very hard path we have chosen..even with all the knock backs we are still there to help ..x

  • Rhonda July 16, 2016, 12:48 am

    Love this article about the “free” Reiki.. I’ve struggled with receiving my whole life.. No issues giving until the point of exhaustion …. I now know that it’s all an energy exchange. I’ve been told by spirit that I can no longer continue to “give it for free or I will be no more” . So one needs to have an exchange and you can always do a friends and family discount!!

  • Tim Johnson July 16, 2016, 1:06 am

    I have been practicing massage and bodywork for 33 years and Reiki for almost 20 years. There are times I choose to do a pro bono session, but that is my choice. Time and money is spent to learn and acquire skills so compensation should be expected. For people to demand your time, energy, and skills and offer nothing in return is simply rude and I believe that do not respect the dynamic enough to receive any benefit from it. I ran an experiment years ago, taught Reiki to a few folks for free while most paid my reasonable fee. Everyone who paid valued it and is still practicing. Everyone I taught for free stopped practicing soon after. That’s why there must be some exchange.

  • HIREN VASA July 25, 2016, 12:38 pm

    I am somewhat partial agree with point whether “healing should be free or charged”. As it depends on all individual why they are in divine field of Reiki healing. Only point I would like to make as let not create environment as one like medical practice. All already knows that to get in medical practice, it is toooo costly and as side effect every Medical practitioner / Doctors charges heavily for any medical treatment which really hurts for normal people. Similarly in our divine area, all Reiki masters charges heavily for Reiki attunement for all levels (I, II, III A & III B) and really high charges for master III level B attunement( one can start attune others ). I know it is really point of debate ….but I personally feels that one need to consider and start helping Reiki healers who would like to help the society and heal all who needs it and already gone through bad phase of costly medical treatment or bad patch of personal life .It may harsh for others Reiki Healers & masters …but it is just my experience and feelings as a Reiki master practicing Reiki from last 3 years considering myself for Reiki grand master attunement which is really costly proposal which I don’t mind. But I believe we are in process one more similar environment as that of Medical practice. May you be deeply blessed by the love that dwells in the heart of every person.

  • Beryl Forrest July 27, 2016, 1:14 pm

    I agree with this article completely; when i’d done my Reiki level 2, I immediately had very nasty attacks by 2 people, one was supposed to be a friend & the other a practitioner of beauty treatments who charges over £100 for a facial!!! She went for me saying she’d done Reiki level 2 & was disgusted by being told to always charge for it & that I should do it for free as it’s healing & we’re all money grabbers! Somehow, it’s different for her & fine for her to charge!
    I explained that you are charging for your time & learning, not the Reiki etc – talk about being shot down when you’re on cloud nine!

    Another friend did her level 2 with a different teacher & she started giving it away for free to all & sundry who were perfectly able to afford to pay her, but very soon, it was the same old story, oh send some to my horse will you………..

  • J french October 7, 2016, 4:10 pm

    I have been practicing Reiki for 16 years.I am an RMT, I am a board certified massage therapist and yoga teacher. I also volunteer my gift of reiki at a nearby cancer center as well as a local hospital. I integrate reiki into my bodywork sessions at no extra cost. Additionally, I do biofeedback and energy/chakra balancing sessions. Reiki is the only thing I do not charge for…in treatment that is. I offer workshops and private classes that I charge for to teach and attune those who would like to practice and gift reiki. I charge less than half of what the average cost is, offer ceu’s and ask that ppl gift reiki for at least 5-10 years before they consider charging money. This is how I learned and by the time I hit the 5 yr mark I was in not the least bit interested in charging a monetary fee for the gift of reiki. I would consider a bartering situation but would not want to take money.

  • J french October 7, 2016, 4:37 pm

    So, I’d like to say I have absolutely no problems with other people taking money for a reiki session. Just wanted to show another side to this. Personally, for me this is just how I have always done it. No one is right or wrong, it’s all in what you are comfortable with, and what makes you feel joy! 🙂 There are many ways to give the gift of reiki. I would just like ppl to know there are many ways to experience reiki for free.
    Namaste and Cheers! 🙂

    • B August 21, 2019, 8:56 pm


  • ishamreiki December 5, 2016, 1:17 pm

    It’s always like that . As a doctor people expect you to be on the service anywhere & anytime .
    They don’t realise that you too are a human being & need some time to be with self .

    You follow your soul …. that’s all I have learnt .

  • Tiecia Sharpe March 3, 2017, 10:11 pm

    Thankyou for your article. Your timing is impeccable. I had a really rude young girl just the other day. She said she was sick of all you healers charging her money, when healing should be free. I told her about energy exchange and that from my experience, without the exchange, the healing doesnt occur. She agreed to help me out with a meetup group, but once she realised that there was nothing in it for her she backed out. In retrospect, I think i got played, she recited a script to see what she could get for free. She grew up in a strictly christian home as well. I think we will find more of this from young people as they are used to getting free stuff from the internet.
    Thankyou for this article. I will persist in charging now, as we can only lift the importance of energy healing up by consistantly showing it the respect it deserves.

  • Freda December 13, 2017, 5:01 pm

    Great article and I agree with the principles of charging but I also feel that when I see a need even if they cant pay I will help if I can being one of the lucky ones in a good job if I can give the time I will even if a person cant pay I follow my instinct and my heart

    • B August 21, 2019, 8:57 pm

      Yes following our hearts instead of others’ opinions makes the most sense to me

  • Stephanie Rose June 9, 2019, 9:18 pm

    An energetic exchange doesn’t have to be monetary …

    And I have no problem with giving love and spirituality for free, at times, as I know that the Universe gives it back … and my heart has the capacity to freely give.

    There is no Universal law that prohibits giving without receiving in return.

    Many ‘Healers’ charge high fees …

    Just look at how spirituality has been monetized and commercialized.

    Reiki is Universal Life Force Energy that belongs to everyone …

    And yet, we must pay money to humans in order to access it …

    Something is wrong here, at the core of this earthly system.

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