First Do No Harm

Primum non nocere — first do no harm — is the foundation of medical ethics.

Given the consensus that Reiki practice causes no harm, Reiki practitioners might think “First do no harm” is built into our practice. I tend to agree.

Yet from time to time, I am approached by people who feel something negative happened to them during a treatment. Is the harm comparable to a medical error? Of course not. Still, it’s worth examining.

If the client takes the time to communicate, Reiki practitioners often shrug it off as the client’s healing response. That may be the case, but we cannot assume so, and we cannot blame the client. Each situation deserves careful review.

It is possible that the practitioner was doing too much, that she was not content to simply place her hands and observe the treatment as it unfolded. In her desire (perhaps need) to help, the practitioner might have overstepped boundaries, subtle or not so subtle, and forgotten that Reiki practice is primarily for our own spiritual self-development.

We can be so caring and so careful, but if we do not practice daily self-treatment, if we have not made that effort to reconnect with our benevolent core every day, have we done everything we can to avoid doing harm, not only when offering treatment to others, but also in our daily lives?

If I’m not responsible for my state, who is?

Please, Reiki responsibly.

First do no harm, practice daily Reiki self-treatment.

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Related reading:
Fixing Good Intentions
Reiki Is Safe
Reiki Precepts and Effort

This post has been translated into Spanish, Primero No Danar.

2 thoughts on “First Do No Harm”

  1. “Our benevolent core”. Love that phrase. How many of use really know that there even is such a thing? Reiki, more than anything, has helped me connect with that.

  2. Getchie Argetsinger

    This is a wonderful reminder, for me, that daily self treatment makes me better equipped to treat people in my day’s encounter with more patience, presence and compassion. I try to remember the quote “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle”…but too often I remeber after the fact! Happily, I’ve found that Reiki is an “inside” reminder – it helps me actually behave in a more grounded and gentle way. This is really good…”First do no harm”…really good! Thanks.

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