Maintaining a Clear Channel

by William Lee Rand

Taking on a client’s negative energy is an issue that doesn’t come up for most Reiki practitioners. The reason it doesn’t happen very often is that during a Reiki session most practitioners aren’t using any of their own personal energy but are channeling only Reiki energy. Because the practitioner’s personal energy isn’t involved, the client’s negative energy doesn’t have a pathway to travel back to the practitioner. However, if a Reiki session isn’t given properly, or if the practitioner is highly empathic, it is possible for the practitioner to take on some of the client’s negative energy.

In the early days of Reiki in the West students were taught it was impossible for a practitioner to take on a client’s negative energy. Even though students were told this, there were still a few practitioners who reported feeling pain, negative feelings, or that their vibration had been lowered in some way after giving a Reiki treatment. Some reported that they experienced taking on the client’s symptoms.

Since this experience wasn’t supposed to happen and no solution had been taught, many teachers simply dismissed it as coming from the imagination of the practitioner. However, there were others who realized that experience provided a better description of reality than what was or wasn’t supposed to happen in a session and that something important was missing from what was being taught in Reiki classes. This awareness inspired deeper investigation into how Reiki sessions work and the development of methods to prevent the client’s negative energy from adversely affecting the practitioner.

A recent discovery in brain science may shed light on one way practitioners become influenced by the negative energy of a client. It’s been discovered that there are specialized cells in the brain called mirror neurons. These neurons are located in the premotor cortex and the inferior parietal cortex and are thought to assist in the learning process by helping us to mimic what others are doing. It is also thought that they play an important role in helping us understand how others are thinking and feeling, and because of this, may play a role in the experience of empathy.

Some Reiki practitioners who take on the symptoms of their clients also report that they are highly emphatic. It is thought that empathy is usually stimulated through sensory impressions, but the descriptions some practitioners give of their experiences indicate that their empathy may be stimulated by input directly from the client’s energy field.

This possibility is validated by scientific studies described in a paper titled “The Electricity of Touch: Detection and measurement of cardiac energy exchange between people.” These studies show, among other things, that the energy field created by the heartbeat of one person can influence the brain waves of someone close by. Furthermore, it is thought that the energy field of the heart can contain subtle information concerning the person’s health that could be communicated to others through this process.

Based on this information, a practitioner with a more sensitive empathic response could mimic the negative symptoms of a client and take on a client’s negative energy based solely on an interaction between energy fields. It is also hypothesized that a person’s intention can have an effect on the strength and sensitivity of one’s energy field, thus increasing or decreasing the energetic responsiveness between people and providing a solution for those people who experience taking on the negative energy of the client.

In cases where the client’s negative energy has an adverse influence on the practitioner, it is the mixing of the practitioner’s personal energy with the healing process, as well as an overly-sensitive empathic response that are the main causes of the problem. Using one’s personal energy for healing and/or a personal empathic response to the client are not necessary when giving a Reiki treatment, as it is the Reiki energy alone that does the healing. In fact, a higher quality healing experience takes place when this doesn’t happen. Out of this understanding, effective methods have been developed to prevent susceptible practitioners from taking on negative energy from their clients.

The following is an effective method for preventing negative energy back flow and for creating a clear pathway for the flow of Reiki. Its use is recommended for all practitioners prior to giving Reiki.

  • Before starting a session, say a prayer asking that your ego and personal energy be set aside so they aren’t involved in the healing session and only pure Reiki energy flows through you to the client.
  • Draw Reiki symbols on your hands, including the Power symbol and any Master symbols you have.
  • Then draw a large Power symbol over your torso and small Power symbols over each chakra.
  • Sit with your hands on your legs giving yourself Reiki while repeating this affirmation: I surrender completely to the pure light of Reiki. I surrender completely to the pure light of Reiki. I surrender completely to the pure light of Reiki.
  • Proceed with the Reiki session.
  • When you’re done with the session, smudge yourself and the room and do an energy cleansing process such as Kenyoku.

This process is powerful and repeated use will strengthen its effectiveness.

If this technique doesn’t work well for you, and you are still taking on the client’s negative energy, then it’s likely that your solution exists on a deeper level and a more direct approach is needed. There may be an unusual weakness in your energy field that is allowing the negative energy from the client to adversely affect you. This type of energy field weakness is usually related to something out of balance in your personality and within the subconscious mind.

One way this weakness may be caused is if the practitioner has a strong personal need for the client to heal. When this is the case, some of the practitioner’s personal energy may enter into the healing experience, weakening the practitioner’s energy field and providing a pathway for the client’s negative energy to flow back to the practitioner. In other cases, either consciously or unconsciously, the practitioner may be willing to take on the client’s negative energy as a way to help the client heal, thus opening a pathway. Another way negative energy transfer can come to the practitioner is if there is something in the practitioner’s personality that wants to limit some aspect of the practitioner’s life. This personality part may choose to take on the negative energy of the client to accomplish this purpose. These are a few possibilities; there could be others, but thinking along these lines may give you an idea about how and why negative energy transfer could be taking place.

If you believe you have this kind of issue within your energy field, locate the area of the weakness by using techniques such as Byosen scanning and Reiji ho, or say a prayer asking for guidance and to be shown the location of the cause of the issue. Sometimes more detailed information about the cause is shown when this technique is used, but all that is really needed is discovery of the area in need of treatment.

Once the area is known, use Reiki to heal it. This can simply involve placing your Reiki hands there, or include the use of Reiki symbols such as the Power symbol or Mental/Emotional symbol or Master symbols, the use of aura clearing, a healing attunement, or any other Reiki techniques you have available to you and are guided to use. Receiving treatments from others is also important. This process may require repeated sessions, but as you continue, the part of your energy field that is allowing the negative energy to enter will become more and more healed until the healing is complete.

Reiki is a powerful technique. When done properly, it can provide amazing results for the client and also be a blessing for the practitioner. Following these guidelines will create the conditions necessary to provide healthy, successful Reiki sessions. May you be blessed by the joy of Reiki energy and your commitment to help others.