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Why do I feel drained after giving a Reiki treatment

When we give a Reiki treatment to someone else, the general wisdom is that we are not drained since Reiki is Universal energy, and not our own personal energy.  Yet often practitioners report feeling tired, drained, or feeling like they are taking on some of the suffering of their clients.  Why is this happening, and how can we minimise it?

Whilst it is true that Reiki is not our own personal energy; when we sit with someone and the energy flows through us, we are both the conduit for the energy but also an influencer.  We can choose to be the hose pipe and nothing more, or we can choose to the be more involved as a healer with our own intentions, thoughts and wishes for the person.  I have noticed in some Reiki books, practitioners are encouraged to make affirmations for their clients; wishing them well-being, health, happiness and other good thoughts.  Whilst I am not against any form of affirmation, I do caution practitioners to be mindful of what they are asking for.

The affirmation ‘I ask for my energy to be as open as possible to allow the Reiki to flow through me and work with this person to help her/his healing to his/her highest good’

is very different in both intention and result from the affirmation ‘I ask for healing, happiness and health for this person’.

The first affirmation is focused on you – for you to be open.  You make it clear that the Reiki is the one working with your client, and you make it clear your only job is to be open.  The second affirmation you are making a personal request and as a result it will cost you your personal energy – this is both draining and unnecessary as the Reiki is universal energy and so doesn’t need your help 😉

Always try to take yourself out of the equation all together, otherwise if you are wishing for them to feel that the treatment is worthwhile, for them to notice a difference, or for them to get better – then there is a subconscious desire to ‘help’ them personally, ie your own personal energy gets in the way.  Whatever you ‘wish’ for them is what you give them, that’s the only thing you have to remember.

If you remember that your client is infinite wisdom, that they know exactly what to do with the Reiki, and that you are just the vessel for the energy to flow through – then there is no danger of picking up their stuff or giving them any of your energy.  Simply do your job – to remain open so that the maximum amount of Reiki can flow, and they will do the rest.

Its a practice in being loving but not caring.

You are loving when you hold the space for someone else to be exactly as they are – no judgement, they are perfect, they are infinite wisdom, they are incredible energy beings.  You have nothing to do but just be the hose; open, no expectation, no judgement.

You are caring when you feel they need to do or be someone different from who they are, they need to heal, fix, change, improve.  You care about them meaning you are attached to their outcome – if they improve you feel you have succeeded, if they get worse or stay the same you feel like you have failed – based on this it is easy to see why we invest in the outcome.  But in doing so we subconsciously take on what is not ours.

When I do healing for others I am always very clear on my job.  I am a hose.  My job as a hose is to be as open and unclogged as possible.  I don’t want any of my own gunk to go down the hose so I spend time on clearing my own debris, and when I hold the space for others during a Reiki treatment I focus on keeping the space clear, light, bright and beautiful.  But I do not care about my client’s experience – I do not care if they feel it or not, if they like it or not, if they feel better or not – it is none of my business, and it is not my job.  I have an unerring trust that my clients are the most amazing, wise, brilliant beings – I know this to be true, so how on earth can I think that my meddling thoughts will be at all helpful?

What has been your experience in holding the space for your clients?  What techniques do you use to keep the space open?  Have you felt drained before and if so, share how you have overcome this?  Tell us in the comments below!


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