If you engage in some form of spiritual healing- either as the practitioner or client- you have to consider ethics. Ethics? For spiritual healers? Yes, ethics always play a role in every aspect of life. All too often, this gets overlooked because many practitioners are not regulated and have no body overseeing their work. I believe that this is how it should be, however, it can lead to ignorance and abuses.
Before we can talk about where to draw the line, let’s first define “spiritual healing.” A long time ago, the Christian church divided people into mind, body, emotions, and spirit because it was believed that only God had the power to heal. By separating the body from the spirit, doctors had authority to heal the body.
When psychology came along about a hundred years ago, we began to look at the mind as a separate specialty. The East never made this split and so they have enjoyed thousands of years of holistic living.
So, when we speak of “spiritual healing,” we are generally talking about Eastern, pagan, or animistic healing methods that may be holistic in nature. We are also talking about healing modalities that are targeted to treat symptoms that either appear to have a metaphysical or supernatural cause or manifestation, or don’t respond to western approaches.
If you are a spiritual healer, here are some ethics you may wish to embrace to form the boundaries of your practice.
This means that everyone can decide for themselves whether or not they want to heal and what form that healing will take. Some people don’t want to heal. It may be more effort, time, money, or energy than they want to spend. Maybe they think it’s more fun to live an unhealthy lifestyle than to make changes. There could be some who derive gains from not healing that they don’t want to give up. Whatever the situation, everyone has the right to decide. We even have the right to make ineffective, damaging, wrong choices.
Just because you have the ability to help doesn’t mean you can jump in without permission. It doesn’t matter how dire the situation, you must have permission. This doesn’t mean your Higher Self asking their Higher Self. The absence of a yes is a no.
Do No Harm
Healers are generally motivated by the desire to help. However, there are some ways that we may harm such as:
- promising results or miracles
- using scare tactics to get someone to use our services
- advising people against allopathic or other forms of treatment for their issues
- treating people as if they are stupid and the healer is the expert
- treating people as if they are objects or ATMS rather than human beings with feelings
All clients have a right to have their personal and medical history held in confidence. This creates an environment of trust where healing can happen. It’s common for spiritual healers to be a part of the community, so they know people who know each other. This makes it even more important that what happens in the treatment room stay in the treatment room. It’s never okay to share client stories with anyone.
People are different in many ways. We don’t have the same ethnicity, culture, spiritual beliefs, gender, political beliefs, socioeconomic background, physical capabilities, or sexual orientation. Age and life experiences (military, rape survivor, immigrant) also impact who we are. When we see each other for who we are, we can have meaningful relationships and make better treatment choices.
Stay Within Your Scope of Practice
When someone comes to you for healing, it’s professional to disclose what you are trained to do and to stay within your limitations. If you are a student, say you are a student. Don’t embellish. If someone has something that you can’t deal with, it’s imperative to refer them to someone who can help them.
Be the Best Healer You Can Be
We model health through our behavior. When we engage in self care, healthy relationships, and have healthy lifestyles, our clients learn from us. When we continue our education to learn more or go deeper, we become more effective. We owe it to ourselves and our clients to keep growing. Things change. New discoveries are made all the time. We need to keep current.
Serve Those Who Cannot Afford to Pay You
Every helping profession is about helping. Some folk healers do their work as part of their own personal ministry and service to the community. Some do it as a vocation. However, all helping professions value helping those who cannot help themselves. This doesn’t mean we have to work solely for donations or free. It suggests that we donate some services to those who wouldn’t be able to otherwise access what we have to offer.
Long ago folk healers were the only healers that communities had. We still have a place in society today. Since we don’t have a professional body to hold us accountable, we have to hold ourselves accountable. What other things do you find important?