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Energy Ethics

Reiki, and energy work in general, is a relatively new professional field (well, as we define professional in our little corner of time and space, that is. Of course energy work has been around for millenia.) There are still question marks about what it is and how it works. Though some people are skeptical about the benefits, it is generally assumed that Reiki can never be used to hurt you. Reiki can’t hurt you, but there are boundaries for using it, just like any other therapeutic method. When I am doing a massage, my hands often want to stop and “do” Reiki. They have been trained to feel energy blockages and they instinctively go them!

But if you have requested massage and I haven’t asked permission to do Reiki then, sorry hands, you’ll have to keep on going with that massage. I’ve heard stories of massage therapists engaging in energy work with unwilling clients and it is an ethical breach. Your therapist must ask you if you want to hear about the past life images they encountered during your massage. They must ask before they attempt to unblock your heart chakra.

And get this, they are not supposed to be “looking” at your energy in the first place. It can be turned on and off and if you’re not doing energy work, you’re supposed to turn it off. If you “see” something by mistake, you refocus your energy. You make that boundary.

It gets even weirder. If I don’t have permission, I am not allowed to run energy through your body, physical or energetic. But. I can activate my own energy and use it to improve the massage I am doing. It’s might seem like a subtle difference, but it matters.

So what happens if you ignore ethical boundaries during energy work. Mostly nothing to the client. It’s not going to make you sick or hurt you. If someone is trying to give you energy and your energy body doesn’t want it, the energy just won’t “go in.” But some of you who have had work with me will understand. There is a certain vulnerability to someone being in your energy field and you must have given permission to allow that. You must be ready.

Energy work “is” something, like massage or chiropractic. Having someone Reiki your head for 10 minutes when you asked for a massage is the same as having your neck adjusted when the chiropractor said she was only going to assess your spine. You agreed to have her lightly touch your back and neck, but you weren’t expecting that quick snap and crack.


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