Charging for Reiki?

(Originally published February 15, 2014)

Recently we have had some discussion in a Reiki group to which I belong, concerning whether or not Reiki healers should charge for their services.  Interestingly, the same question came up with one of my relatives, as I was telling him about my Reiki practice.

He said, “If this healing energy actually comes from God/the Divine, how can you charge for helping people?”

I admit, his question made me pause… for about five seconds.

Who heals us, anyway?

I have a question for you.  If you go to a doctor and you get better after treatment, do you think the doctor healed you?  If so, I’m afraid you are wrong.  If doctors actually PERFORMED healing, we’d all be happy and healthy, and never have any physical ailments that lasted more than a day or so, because all we would need to do, would be to go to a doctor.  But it’s not that way.

The other side of that coin would be, for all those years when we did NOT have doctors with degrees hanging on the walls, and full waiting rooms, everyone would have been dying off, since they would have had no one to heal them.

Our bodies heal themselves.  It’s simple.

Sure, doctors, nurses, chiropractors, acupuncturists, energy workers, Reiki practitioners, and all the others can HELP us to heal.  But in the end, it’s up to our bodies to heal… or not.

Here’s another point: our bodies heal faster when they are helped along by God.

Now, some people who read this blog may not be believers in God.  That’s your prerogative.  But there IS a force, an Energy in the Universe.*  It is in us and around us. (No, this will NOT be the speech given by Obi Wan Kenobi.)  So, if you want, you can just say God, the Universe, or Nature, or even the Force.  Doesn’t matter to me.

So, why do we pay doctors?

We pay doctors for their expertise, for one thing. They know (usually) what they are doing, and the right thing to do to help us to heal.

We pay them for their actions… the things they do to help our bodies to heal themselves.

And, honestly, we pay them so they can afford to do what they do.  It takes money to run a clinic.  It took money to pay for medical school.  It takes money to pay for the liability insurance they have to carry.  In short, though we may snarl about paying a doctor bill that looks outrageous, it’s not cheap to be a physician.  (I won’t be an apologist for hospital bills, though… that’s a WHOLE other story!)

And there’s the rub.

These same things apply to nurses, chiropractors, acupuncturists, and all the others who may help us to heal.  Training is not cheap.  Office space is not cheap, and if they are coming to you, the travel is not cheap either.

Reiki practitioners, even though they are merely helping your body to heal by channeling energy to the right places to allow you to relax, to balance the energies in your system, deserve to be paid for their expertise, their time, and all the other things that they had to do in order to be practitioners.

But how does the Reiki work?

You know, I have heard and read a lot of different statements about “How Reiki Works.” Some of them are similar, some are in conflict.  But the truth is, there is NO scientific proof of how Reiki works… only theories, sometimes supported by research.  But there is a LOT of evidence that Reiki does work… some would say proof.

And here is another truth: I don’t need to know exactly, scientifically, how Reiki works, in order to make use of it.

A lot of us drive cars that we have NO CLUE about how the internals work.  How many of us could explain in detail exactly how the computer they are using this moment, to read this blog, actually work?  But the people who are clueless about how their car actually works, how their computer actually works, or their cell phone, or tablet, or air conditioner, usually are not willing to give them up simply because they don’t have exact knowledge of the intricacies of how they work.

Doctors don’t know everything about how the brain works, either, but they still perform operations on them.

And as long as the Reiki works (and believe me, it does!) I will continue to use it to help bodies to heal.

Pro bono publico?

That’s not to say that I do not do Reiki therapy without a fee, or pro bono.  Sometimes it’s someone who  CANNOT pay.  Sometimes it’s someone who needs a simple introduction to Reiki, so I may offer to help with a headache or something.  Sometimes it is someone who is a close friend or a relative, and I know they are not “mooching” from me.  Also, I belong to the Distant Healing Network, where each week I send healing to someone who has asked for Reiki healing for a problem of some sort.

The laborer is worthy of her hire

I worked in the electronics field for a very long time.  It’s a complex, difficult and abstruse field of expertise, with things constantly changing.  Sometimes the repair is easy (if you know what you are doing.)  Other times, it’s maddeningly difficult and frustrating.

There was a comical story where a repairman went to someone’s house to repair their television (it’s an old story, okay?)  The repairman arrived and the TV had only a vague, fuzzy, staticky picture.  He opened up the back and within five minutes or so, he had found the problem and made the adjustment.  He handed the owner a bill for $60.00.

The owner was outraged.  “That’s too much money!  You weren’t back there long enough to earn that!”  So, the technician calmly went back behind the TV and put the television back into the state it was in before he arrived.

“You fix it, then.” he said to the owner.

While I would never try to put the client back into the state he/she was when the client came to me, we need to understand that, if the client is capable of paying, there is an obligation on both sides: the Reiki practitioner does the best she or he can do to help the client, and the client pays for the time, training, equipment and all the other things that allow the Reiki practitioner to be able to do what they do.  The lights have to be kept on, the car payment has to be made, and so forth.

Otherwise, how can the Reiki practitioner afford to continue helping their client’s bodies to heal?


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