So you love chakras, crystals, energy work, and of course, yoga.

You’ve probably explored different forms of alternative healing. You may have even met with an energy worker or shaman who’s made a profound difference in your life. You might even BE that person helping people heal. But is the idea of being a “healer” harmful? Could the label actually be damaging to the ones it’s supposed to help?

Recently, I taught a Reiki Level 1 Course in Whistler. We discussed how much responsibility a practioner really has with their client. It doesn’t matter if you’re offering reiki, massage, yoga, or any type of healing practice: you are in a position of power. And this comes with a lot of responsibility! When a client or student puts their trust in someone else they’re instantly vulnerable. And yet, this dynamic is never inherently harmful. Building trust and embracing vulnerability can be a beautiful thing! The issue forms when a practioner or teacher is placed on a pedestal.

When someone is called a “Healer” that can take away someone’s personal power.

The idea of a person being a “healer” might take away someone else’s responsibility for their own well-being. Before you panic, let me make this clear: there’s nothing wrong with someone assisting in spiritual, mental, emotional, or physical health. Don’t feel like you have to do it alone! I’m only suggesting that putting your power into someone else’s hands can be harmful. In the practice of Reiki, the practioner is not a “healer” but instead acts as a conduit. You may be thinking, “Emily, what the hell does that even mean?”

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines “conduit” as “a natural or artificial channel through which something is conveyed.”

Meaning, that the practioner is not actually the healer. The client is the one drawing out the energy they need through the conduit (practioner). That person IS their own healer.

So let’s look at yoga. I’ve had a private client who’s suffered from a herniated disc (aka disc bulge, or “slipped disc”). Her doctor was leaning towards scheduling surgery before she started a yoga practice. During her most recent medical appointment the doctor was shocked that the disc was shifting back into place. She said “whatever you’ve been doing, keep doing it!”

The only thing this student changed in her life was introducing yoga. She was so grateful for everything I’d done. But in confusion, I said “well, you’ve been doing all the work!”

In reality, I’d given her some useful tools to help her move out of pain and fear so she could get her life back. Outside of holding space, I didn’t do a thing. She was the one putting in all the time and effort to enable the healing process. When it came down to it, she was empowered to be the healer.

Reiki practioners, yoga teachers, massage therapists, shamans…. We need more light workers! They offer an amazing gift to help others and I don’t want to throw shade on the incredible difference they make in the world. The ultimate lesson here is that no single individual can “heal” you. It doesn’t matter how deep that emotional scar goes. Each and every person has the potential within to heal from past trauma. Don’t sell yourself short! If you’re open to putting in the time and energy, the universe will have your back on it.

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