Article by Angie Webster
Is it appropriate to send Reiki to someone without their knowledge? Is that in the best interest of the recipient? What about the healer? Since I first began doing Reiki, my own opinion has changed a few times regarding this issue as I have experienced different points of view.
Let’s explore the 3 main perspectives around sending Reiki without permission or knowledge:
• It is appropriate to send Reiki to anyone at all, at any time, even without permission, as Reiki only works in the highest good. The perspective of the healer is often that they are being a proper healer by sending Reiki to anyone who is hurt, ill, or in any sort of distress. Deep sympathy and pain in the heart of the healer often prompt sending healing to those who are not aware of the healing, with the belief that they are doing the right thing. Other times, fear of being told “no” or of being embarrassed by those who may not understand Reiki keeps them from asking for permission.
• It is best to have permission, but if you don’t you can send Reiki to the person’s Higher Self and let them decide if it is appropriate, allowing what is not appropriate to flow where it is needed (the Earth, another person, a situation, etc.). This is based on the belief that the individual’s best and clearest state of mind (Higher Self) will make the decision regarding what is best. The belief that Reiki flows where it’s meant to is a factor in this perspective for many, as well.
• Reiki should never be sent without permission, except possibly in the case of an emergency where the person is unable to speak for themselves. The belief is that the healing process must be entered into with full knowledge. It acknowledges that some people are unready to heal, even though that may be difficult to accept for the healer or for their loved ones. This perspective has a strong belief in free will, and the responsibility and personal choice to step into the healing process when (and if) a person is ready.
At this point, I have come to believe that it is best not to send Reiki to another without their express permission. I have come to recognize that when I feel I should send Reiki to someone and I don’t have their permission, it usually has more to do with my own overwhelming feelings than what they want. It can be difficult to feel the pain of another, yet we need to disentangle from the immersion in it and the need to “fix” it.
The truth is, I can’t know what another wants and it is unhealthy for me to make the assumption—even to assume they would want to be healed. It is a difficult thing to go through the healing process, and subconsciously we know that. It requires releasing our old identities and habits, which is very life altering. It is not my place to trigger that process for another before they have fully accepted their part in it and made the decision, somewhere within themselves, to move ahead.
Reiki is often compared to prayer, and there are similarities and parallels. Both make a big difference in lives and both have been shown to have an effect on healing. Both work through intention. However, Reiki is actually directing a powerful energetic frequency toward a person. This can usually be felt by the client and practitioner and it has been measured by Kirlian photography and other means1. To send such a powerful energy to someone without their knowledge seems like an invasion. Loving intention and positive thoughts, such as prayer, can be sent without directing a frequency as powerful as Reiki.
When we send Reiki to someone without their knowledge, we may be addressing our own needs and pain at least as much as the other person’s. Yet when the pain is not truly our own, it won’t actually heal. Pain that originates in someone else can only heal when they are ready to heal it. We have to disentangle from their journey and contend with our own healing—and allow them room to do the same. We don’t help anyone when we try remove all the discomfort and struggle from their journey. Helping when asked can greatly benefit someone on the path to healing, but removing all obstacles for someone eliminates their need to grow and learn—a huge disservice and very draining, as well. Think of a baby whose mother carries it everywhere, never allowing it the chance to crawl or attempt walking, saving it the struggle and the pain of falling. Though she is saving it hardship, she is denying it the chance to explore the world and build its muscles, to learn new ways of experiencing life. This mother will also deplete herself. It isn’t good for anyone.
In my own journey, I have had to learn to more clearly define my boundaries. I am learning to see that this is the kind a loving thing to do, not just for myself, but for all involved. It allows me to honestly see the places in me that still need healing, and it opens space for me to let go and allow others the room to just experience their own journey—without rescuing or interfering.
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Angie Webster is a Reiki Master, Teacher, and Author. Angie’s primary focus is animal Reiki, which she adores. She teaches online classes on energy healing, flower essences, herbalism, and personal growth. Angie often works with nature healing and Earth healing, hoping to better understand our connection with Mother Earth. Angie is the author of Animal Reiki: How it Heals, Teaches & Reconnects Us with Nature and Reiki from A to Z. You can follow her at: angie-webster-healing.teachable.com and on Facebook (facebook.com/angiewebsterhealing).