Is permission necessary for giving Reiki?

Q: Is permission necessary for giving Reiki?

A: This is a hotly debated topic in the energy healing community. My opinion is that it is ethical to ask permission before giving Reiki to another person, and that applies to both local and distance healings. For children, you ask permission of the child’s parent.

That is the first preference.

Here are some reasons why I believe it’s important to have permission:

  • When a person gives permission, she is open to receiving the energy. The person’s awareness of the fact that someone is offering her Reiki helps that person to place her attention on receiving the healing, which will increase her ability to receive the energy.
  • When a person is aware that he is receiving Reiki, he will also be in tune to his own sense of well-being after the healing session. Is he feeling better? How does he feel? Being aware of the changes brought on by the Reiki energy could help him see the value in this method. Perhaps he would even go on to learn Reiki someday and offer it to others!
  • Think of yourself. Would you want someone sending or giving you Reiki without your permission or knowledge? Perhaps it depends which person is offering the energy. So if it depends on who the person is, ask yourself if you would want just anyone giving you Reiki without your permission or knowledge. If the answer is “no,” then you would want to be asked first. If you believe you would want to be asked first, then just turn it around and understand that others probably would as well.
  • Regarding children, think of the parents. Parents want to be aware of, and give permission for any treatment offered to their children. So even if there is a child in your class, or neighborhood who gets hurt or upset around you, and you know that a little Reiki could help, you ethically should refrain until you speak with that child’s parents. It can be tempting, I know, to just go over and offer some soothing Reiki energy. But again, put yourself in the parent’s shoes, and ask yourself if your child was hurt/upset, if you would want someone giving ANY treatment without your knowledge or permission. For most parents, the answer would be “no.” Let this help shed some light on your understanding of the importance of permission.

Now, there will be times when permission is absolutely impossible to obtain. If one is in a coma, speeding by in an ambulance, or you want to send healing to victims of a disaster in another part of the world, err on the side of helping. You can begin your Reiki session by asking that if the recipient(s) is willing to receive this healing energy, that it be received, and if not, that the energy be sent to the earth/the Universe/ some other generic cause you choose. That will cover the permission aspect and take it out of your hands. This should not be used as the norm, though, because when permission IS possible to obtain, one should try to get it.

Some people would say to ask the recipient’s Higher Self, and then feel for an answer. For me, I wouldn’t recommend that because often our own desire to help may provide a false positive. We just want to hear “yes” and we want to help. So that could skew the actual answer, even if we were presumably tuned-in enough to actually receive one.

Also, some people think that prayer and Reiki are so similar that why would anyone need permission to send either to another person? I believe prayer and Reiki are different enough to call Reiki a “healing” or “treatment” and prayer is not recognized as either. That difference is enough to warrant permission.

There are some people who would refuse Reiki for religious, or other reasons. They deserve to have a say in whether they receive Reiki or not, even if we think they could really benefit from the energy.

There are also those who say that by the law of Free Will, a person will not receive Reiki if he or she is against it. That may be true, but it still is ethical to ask. Plus, I think that the educational opportunity – the person being aware that the Reiki did help him – could bring about a new way of thinking for him, and lead to opening new opportunities for his own healing. Wouldn’t we love to help someone get to that point? I have been there, and am grateful for the moment I introduced someone to Reiki who went on to receive weekly Reiki healings that led to a complete cure for her chronic disabilities and problems. Here is that story.

I hope that this post has shed some light on the ethics of permission and Reiki. I welcome your thoughts.

To experience and learn Reiki, I invite you to visit I’m here to help.


About Reiki Awakening

Alice Langholt is a parent, author and teacher with Master level training in several Reiki modalities. She is the Founder and Executive Director of Reiki Awakening Academy School of Intuitive Development ( Alice is the author of the new Reiki resource, Practical Reiki TM: for balance, well-being, and vibrant health. A guide to a simple, revolutionary energy healing method, which won second place for Best Reiki Book in the 2012 Reader’s Choice Awards. Alice maintains a local Reiki practice as an Associate at Insight Learning and Wellness Center in the Cleveland, Ohio area. In addition, she has authored eBooks in Distance Healing and Energetic Protection, as well as specific curricula in Reiki for Parents, Reiki for Nurses and Caregivers (approved by the Ohio Board of Nurses for continuing education units), and more. Alice spent a year volunteering at The Cleveland Clinic offering Reiki to patients and staff, and is a Group Leader with The Distance Healing Network ( She will teach Practical Reiki in Lily Dale, NY (August 2013), and gives workshops at holistic expos around the US. Alice is rated the #1 most influential person on Twitter under the category Reiki by Her husband, Evan, and their four kids know and use Reiki. As a teacher, Alice believes that close guidance and mentoring are essential elements for learning energy healing. She provides this support to each student, getting to know each and assist him or her in growing intuition and becoming confident practitioners. Receive Reiki, order pendulums, energy charged stones, and more by visiting Alice at
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