Am I a Healer?

Am I a healer?
Lately, this question has been coming up. It was brought to my attention by one of my new students, who is an MD, and has the view that Reiki practitioners are, and should refer to themselves as “healers” or they are not bringing respect to what they do. According to Debra Katz,
“Any person who attempts to help another living being to transform them to a greater state of health is a healer. They don’t need a medical degree because the energy used doesn’t come from a pharmaceutical company or a corporation (at least not yet!). Reiki is the most well known modality of energy healing in the western world. If you ask a person what they do they will say they are a healer before anything else. If you ask a physician what they do they usually will say they are a doctor before they say they are a healer. To say a person who does Reiki is not a healer is like to saying a person who sings is not a singer or a person who drives a car is not a driver. It makes no sense.”

I agree, to a point.

However, my opinion differs in that there is a connotation of arrogance to saying “I am a healer.” It implies that those who I offer healing energy to are passive recipients, rather than participants in their own healing. I prefer to think of myself as an energy worker, one who works with subtle energies, Reiki being primary. I facilitate healing by offering one the opportunity to receive the healing that he or she is ready for. There is a dialogue, a give and take, and the recipient must be willing and open to receiving the Reiki energy. I am not “making you heal” as the word “healer” implies. I am offering healing energy to you, in the hopes that you will receive benefit from the energy.

It’s a little like teaching, really. Yes, I am a teacher. That word is completely acceptable by the masses as being one who offers knowledge, and who facilitates another’s ability to assimilate the knowledge. As a teacher, I have this knowledge, these skills, to offer you, the learner. You can decide that you cannot or will not learn what I am trying to teach you. You can decide that I am not a teacher that you can relate to. In that case, you can choose to find another teacher or subject that best fits with your needs. In this role of teacher, therefore, I am more accurately “a facilitator of your ability to increase or assimilate new knowledge”. I can’t make you learn any more than I can make you heal. That part is up to you. I can do my best to make the knowledge clear, to adapt to your unique way of learning so that it makes sense to you.

So as a “healer” I am attempting to offer you energy that you are able to assimilate into your own, to then benefit from this energy in the ways that make the most sense to your needs.

The problem is in the connotation, rather than the definition here. It sounds arrogant to say that I am a healer. I am a healer in that I work with healing energy. I am not a guru, or one who can “make” you heal if you are not ready to heal, or willing to heal on some level.

In another sense, we are all healers – people who recover from illnesses. We heal ourselves, so we are healers. But the word “healer” is taken more widely to mean one who heals other people. I don’t think I do that. I present the opportunity for others to receive healing energy. That I’m comfortable saying.

Do I want you to heal? Yes. I want you to feel better, I want you to enjoy and benefit from the beautiful energy that is flowing through me to you. I am deeply grateful for the ability to be connected to the Source of Reiki energy and to be able to pass that energy to you. I am also extremely grateful for the ability to pass this ability to others who wish to learn to do the same thing. I am a teacher.

So you won’t find me putting “healer” on my business card. It says Reiki Master Teacher.

Reiki Master comes with its own connotations, for I am not a “Master of Reiki” (there’s that guru connotation again). But it’s easily explained that Reiki Master is a level designation that means one has received the proper training and attunements to enable one to teach and attune others. Like having a Master’s degree – it is a definition of training. It doesn’t make you any more holy or genius than anyone else.

So to Debra Katz, and to my Reiki student, MD, I say, I am in the practice of working with healing energy. In that sense I may be a healer, but I will not refer to myself that way for the reasons that I don’t want to be mistaken for someone who will heal you. Only you can heal you. I can offer you energy that can help you heal, and will joyfully do so.

We are all healers.

Reiki Awakening Reiki blog by Alice Langholt

Pain and Healing

This is a different sort of post I’m writing because I’m trying to sort through some very difficult feelings.

My mother in law is dying of cancer. There. I said it. It’s obvious to those who see her that she is not getting any better, in fact, her energy seems to be waning daily, her pain increasing, her frustration growing, and she is mourning the idea of her own life ending. I feel helpless.

I give her Reiki, hoping to soothe her, hoping to relieve pain, hoping to do something, anything to help. And yes, I’m there each day doing whatever she needs from watering the plants to drying and styling her hair. But it isn’t enough.

I am in pain watching my husband deal with his feelings surrounding seeing his mother this way and feeling equally helpless, despite all the many ways he is supporting and helping her. I see my children concerned over her appearance and her obvious distress. They shower her with love.

And the critical voice in my head says, “It’s not about YOU, Alice.” But it is. This experience isn’t only happening to my mother in law. It’s happening to our family. We are watching, hoping to do something to fend off the reality of what is happening before our eyes. We are all affected, all in distress.

And also, as I’m often in the company of other energy workers, people give me suggestions. They tell me to get such-and-such a juice, because it’s a miracle cure and it worked on their mother/father/friend. It’s only $800 for a case of it, of which she’ll need to drink a bottle each day. I feel vulnerable to the drive to do something…could THIS be it? Or something else? What about what we’re already trying? If she weren’t taking what she’s taking, would she be even worse? Should we try something else that sounds promising and find a way to pay for some? Or should we accept what is happening, knowing that if we HAD tried something, the right thing, that maybe she would have a chance of getting a little (or a lot) better? Or not. The maybes are hard to deal with.

The doctor has given up and suggested palliative care. The world hospice is a give-up word to her, and a telling word to us. It hurts.

What’s the Reiki doing, I ask myself. Am I receiving enough to stay in balance? Am I giving enough to make a difference? What else can I or should I be doing? I don’t know.

I feel for my husband. He is dealing with so much. He is still looking for a job (although it is a blessing that he doesn’t have one right now so he can also be there to help her, instead of being torn while at work, wishing he could be there for her when she needs him). He is caring for the kids while I teach Reiki and promote my local classes. He is taking care of many of the household chores. He has a lot on his plate. And he is (usually) gracious about it, although I know he feels overwhelmed. We believe we are in the right place at the right time, although this is a very hard time indeed.

I can only hope that the tools we have for coping will help us find balance and stay in a place of hope and healing in whatever way we can as things unfold. Please, angels, surround us all in love and comfort and carry us through this time.

Thanks for reading.

Reiki Awakening Reiki blog by Alice Langholt