Article by Deborah Lloyd, Reiki Master
It is not uncommon for Reiki practitioners, massage therapists, and other energy healing workers to report they absorb the negative feelings of their clients. If a client is suffering from depression or grief, they too feel sad. Or, if a client has been abused in some way, they also feel the pain of abuse. Is this a hazard of working with people’s energy fields, or are there ways to protect ourselves?
Not only should we protect ourselves, it is my belief we must protect ourselves from others’ energies, for many reasons. We need to understand feeling empathy for another person does not mean we take those feelings into our beings – just the opposite. We acknowledge and validate the feelings, but we do not let these enter our personal fields. We will not be able to sustain our effectiveness if we allow our energetic bodies to absorb these negative emotions. We have to learn to be empathetic, while maintaining objectivity, thus enhancing active listening skills and mindfulness about what our role is, within the helping relationship.
Another way of thinking about this is: In order to stay connected to the Reiki healing energies, I remain a clear channel and focus on the highest good of the client. If I accept the energies of the client into my being, my channel is no longer clear; and the power of the Reiki energies is diminished.
Through the use of Reiki symbols before each Reiki session, protectiveness from absorbing others energies are given to the practitioner. This protection enriches us in many ways. This is one of the most precious gifts of Reiki – to be able to help others while receiving the benefits of Reiki ourselves. When the Reiki energies come to us through our crown chakras and given to others through our hands, we too benefit from the healing rays.
So, why do some energy healing practitioners absorb clients’ energies?
Perhaps, they have inadvertently invited these energies into their beings, as they believe the best way to help someone is to “feel” their feelings. When the focus is on how we should react to others vs. what is the highest good of the other – our boundaries can become lax.
Sometimes, practitioners have experienced low boundaries in other areas of their lives and do not understand what healthy boundaries are. For example, a person may have grown up in a household where individual privacy and appropriate confidentiality standards were not honored. The lines between parents and children were blurred. It can be difficult to understand what is appropriate, and what is not, in professional relationships when we have had little experience of it in our personal lives.
One of the most beautiful aspects of Reiki is that we can use it for our own self-healing. Self-treatments are always available for us to grow in needed areas. And, if you are having difficulties in this area, please consider contacting your Reiki Master. Reiki Masters can provide guidance in this area; and, many will offer a reattunement. The intention to aid you in maintaining the right balance between helpfulness and professional boundaries can be stated before the reattunement.
Reiki provides many opportunities for our personal growth – and our growth as Reiki practitioners.
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Deborah Lloyd is a Usui and Karuna® Reiki Master and certified holistic therapy practitioner, providing Reiki sessions and training in Asheville, NC. Deborah is the author of two books, 22 Messages from the Archangels; and, Believe and it is True: A Story of Healing and Life Lessons. She is also one of the co-authors of Reiki 101: 101 Answers for Your Reiki Questions. Reach Deborah at http://www.deblloydhealing.com/, firstname.lastname@example.org and at Deb Lloyd Healing on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/deblloydhealing)