Reiki Practice Tips: Staying Within Your Scope of Practice
According to Wikipedia: “The Scope of Practice describes the procedures, actions, and processes that a healthcare practitioner is permitted to undertake in keeping with the terms of their professional license.”
Though a Reiki Practitioner does not have the same type of professional license as a nurse, doctor, chiropractor or counselor, we still need to be aware of what a Reiki recipient is asking us to do, as well as remaining aware of our own scope of practice.
As energy workers, it can be tempting to remove all barriers, and simply handle whatever comes our way. After all, we are energy, and energy can do anything, right? But that line of thinking can place us in treacherous waters, so to speak. As Reiki Practitioners, we must remember that our scope of practice is to support the healing process of our clients, not to become the wizard on the battlefield of illness.
Reiki Scope of Practice
The Reiki Practitioner’s scope of practice includes:
1) Setting a clear intention for the highest and greatest good of each client.
2) Opening a Reiki channel.
3) Sharing Reiki.
4) Remaining aware, attentive and open to the energy flow during the session.
5) Educating the client about her own energy and connection to the Reiki frequencies.
6) Maintaining confidentiality, dignity and safety.
Reiki Code of Ethics
As Reiki Practitioners, we also have a code of ethics to give us a foundation for our work. The International Association of Reiki Professionals (IARP) provides a list of 15 ethics.
Among them are:
1) Confidentiality, meaning that anything discussed within the context of a Reiki session must not be discussed outside of the session.
2) To treat Reiki clients with respect and dignity.
3) To be respectful of others’ views and beliefs.
4) To be aware of and sensitive to boundaries.
5) To educate clients about Reiki and its benefits
But don’t forget these:
1) Refer clients to licensed professionals whenever the situation warrants. And
2) Never diagnose or prescribe.
Even though, as Reiki Practitioners, we are encouraging self-reliance and self-empowerment in our clients, and even though we are working at a core energetic level, that does not mean that we can or should feel responsible to handle anything that comes our way.
For example: If a client comes to me and says he has just dislocated his shoulder, I can offer support but will ask that the client gets proper medical care first. One of the requirements in many states for Reiki and other complementary therapies is to provide a statement that says that the Reiki sessions are not intended as a way to bypass or discard other medical care. We as Reiki Practitioners need to uphold that principle.
While I cannot force a client to seek other medical care, I am obligated ethically and by law to refer them.
Bottom line: Yes, I do believe Reiki can heal anything. I believe that I can handle most if not all of the injuries and ailments that come my way, in my own system. But if we as Reiki Practitioners take on everything and anything that others bring in, without question and without safe boundaries, that not only creates a potential for denial in our clients, but places us on a pedestal, where the client has a tendency to focus their energy on us as the ‘healer’ instead of focusing on their own innate ability to heal themselves.
When I am dealing with a health issue in my own body, I am constantly monitoring myself. If at any point, the energetic frequencies are not enough for my body to mend itself, I seek more support. I cannot make that distinction for my clients.
Seeking Support is Not Wrong
Even though we focus on energy flow as Reiki Practitioners, remember that it is not wrong to seek more support. As you become more and more aware of how energy flows through your body/mind/spirit, you can more accurately determine what kind and how much help you need. As you learn to read energy more and more clearly, you might be aware that a client needs more support, and/or that a client is not able to connect well enough to the Reiki frequencies to complete their healing without other types of support. You support your client in those circumstances by talking about what you observed, and encouraging the client to seek out more help.
In my experience, clients respond the best when they feel they are being given sufficient support on as many levels as necessary. For some that can mean only energetic support. Others need physical support from several sources in addition to the energetic support of Reiki and other therapies. As Reiki Practitioners, our job is to support the client’s healing process. We do not ‘fix’ them, ‘move energy’ forthem or becometheir healing process.
Do Not Diagnose or Prescribe
Another aspect of remaining within the scope of our practice as Reiki Practitioners is that we are not allowed to diagnose or prescribe. Even if you have experienced a similar ailment or if a client asks how you cleared something in yourself: you cannot name their process for them. You can share your process if it is helpful, but be very clear that you are sharing YOUR process, notprescribing a protocol for them.
Even if a client calls and says she is desperate for an immediate physical remedy: That is a testing moment and a teaching moment, for the Reiki Practitioner. That is where it is wise to say, “I will be glad to set up a session and/or to send you Distant Reiki, but I cannot suggest any medicinal remedies. I can, however, refer you to another professional who would be more helpful in this situation.”
Create a list of referrals: of trusted doctors, dentists, chiropractors, naturopaths, etc. that you can offer in these circumstances. But offering more than that is beyond the scope of practice for a Reiki Practitioner.
The potentiality for clients to want to do things exactly has you have done, is one reason to keep your personal information out of Reiki sessions. As a Reiki teacher, I do share my own processes as part of the class material. This makes sessions a bit tricky, when Reiki students are also Reiki clients.
In those cases, I simply clarify that what I chose to do was my path, not theirs. The bottom line is that as Reiki Practitioners, we play a supportive, facilitation role for our clients. Keeping our role and intention clear will help the energetic pathways remain clear as well.