Reiki and Regulation

Reiki and Regulation

Over the past few years many complimentary therapies have formed governing bodies, which oversee their regulation, standards of practice, insurance needs and teaching. All of the professions who have taken this route have seen their popularity and acceptability increase. Practitioners of aromatherapy, reflexology, osteopathy and acupuncture find themselves working within the NHS, penal system and in private practice. Trainee practitioners now feel confident in their choice of schools and the public can feel confident in their choice of practitioner. Everyone has benefited. Now it is the turn of Reiki to take this route towards professionalism.

The proposed regulations are designed to create some coherence between all the different schools of Reiki and to put in place codes of behaviour that will benefit both the public and the healer/teacher.

How will the public benefit?

At the moment when a member of the public wants to find a Reiki healer there are several options open to them. Many find a healer through the internet, others through the Yellow Pages, a health food shop or through word of mouth. But how can you be sure that the healer you have chosen is well trained, professional and insured? The simple answer is…you can’t. Your healer may have a raft of qualifications after their name, or be a member of a society, but that does not in itself ensure that their training was of a high standard, that they are qualified to teach or are a compassionate and understanding healer.

If there are standards in place in the area of teaching and healing, then the public can at last begin to feel confident when selecting a healer. They will be able to place their focus on their own needs, rather than worrying whether they have located someone they can trust. I so often hear cases of healers who have broken the boundaries by being overtly confrontational or by making inappropriate sexual advances. Imagine having to struggle with either of those scenarios when you are trying to come to terms with a recent bereavement, for instance. This can only lead to a loss of faith in Reiki, which ultimately leads to greater suffering for the person in need, and places Reiki further into the realm of the “bogus” therapy.

If every healer is a member of a society that is registered and approved by one body, then the public can feel that they have a form of redress should something go wrong. We would never dream of going to a GP who we are unsure is licensed and fully trained, yet that is what we, as healers, are expecting our clients to do every day.

How will the Reiki healer benefit?

The aim of these new regulations is not to prevent anyone from learning this wonderful healing energy. However what it will make clear is that Reiki is a tool for deep personal development and not just a fun thing, or just another qualification, to add to our beauty therapy course or hairdressing NVQ. We must respect the nature of Reiki and understand that gaining a First Degree in Reiki, does not qualify us to go into public practice in Reiki healing. A first degree student simply does not have the knowledge nor experience to heal others. It is for this reason that many insurance companies will not provide cover for First Degree initiates. By placing this restriction on First Degree students, the student will in fact benefit, as they are forced to do deep personal healing, to evaluate their own values and begin to know themselves to a greater degree; all of which will in the long term make them a better healer.

Also by asking healers to constantly reassess and re-evaluate our own skills, we are never allowed to become complacent in our own healing. It is far too easy for all of us to neglect our own needs, when working with the public. We have a duty to constantly expand our learning and our abilities – not only for ourselves, but for our clients too. Mentoring and assessment will help us reach further into our limitless potential as we are asked to question ourselves and our knowledge.

Nothing itself is static – life, the flow of energy nor Reiki. We encourage our clients to embrace change and welcome the new, and in that spirit, so should we. Obviously there are issues to be settled, but if we work together as a team then Reiki can only benefit as it becomes accepted into the mainstream.

Healing often necessitates painful choices. We must ask ourselves – what attitudes are we willing to give up in order to move forward and to become whole; to become a true force for good in the community.

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