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In the second of Matthew Manning's social media posts, he calls for new discussion and action for the future of healing, bearing in mind – to put it simply – that healing is healing is healing. He says "Ultimately, healing is about empathy, compassion, care, understanding, energies, an open heart and good listening skills." He adds that we need to use non-esoteric language that is acceptable in medical and hospice settings. At The Healing Trust we are the sum of our members. Our members run the Trust. So we are always very open to hearing what all our members wish to say. If you are drawn to, please do share your views on this important subject. And remember there'll be a fantastic opportunity to join in and move the discussion forward at The Healing Trust AGM in London on 29th September. This article originally appeared on Matthew Mannings Facebook page on 19th August 2018.

A guest post by Matthew Manning

I was really surprised at the enormous response to my post on Thursday about an online four-hour course resulting in certification as a reiki healer. It has now been read by 6,500 people and has had almost 200 comments from you.

I've tried to respond to everyone who left a comment. As I read them I realised that some very important and valuable suggestions have been made. To keep the debate open I'd like to share some of my thoughts with you.

Healing is my life and passion and has been for 40 years. I'm completely dedicated to it. However, I feel that changes are needed to put healing generally into a position of greater respect and recognition in the coming decades long after I'm gone. My comments may ruffle some feathers but that's a small price to pay for progress!

I work quite closely with a number of doctors and consultants - if you've been a patient of mine you'll know that I use a loose healer/doctor network that I've developed over the years. Sometimes my success has less to do with my healing and much more to do with getting my patient to the right consultant!

As I wrote in my original post, I've never used any label to describe myself - other than 'healer'. I believe this has helped me gain the trust and confidence of many of the wonderful doctors I cooperate with. I'm not bound by describing myself as a 'spiritual' healer, or a 'reiki' healer (which I'm not).

So here are a few ideas I'm pondering for our future as healers:

* Whatever labels we choose to describe our work, is there a case for dropping them? We are all using the same energy even if we have different frameworks of belief or understanding of it. At end of life, possibly in a hospice, people are much more likely to reflect spiritually. At the moment a 'spiritual' healer cannot help them (because of that very word) yet a reiki healer can. Hospitals and hospices don't seem to accept the 'spiritual'.

* I feel that healing is a great deal simpler and more straightforward than many of the different organisations teach. I'm honoured to be a patron of The Healing Trust but I believe this applies as much to some of their training as it does to reiki. Perhaps some of the more esoteric teachings should be dropped. I'm certainly not convinced they are relevant. Healers wanting establishment recognition need to be able to communicate their therapy in simple easy to understand language, using words that make a bridge to the hospital or hospice. Ultimately, healing is about empathy, compassion, care, understanding, energies, an open heart and good listening skills.


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This week Matthew Manning, a patron of The Healing Trust, wrote a Facebook post about the dangers of poorly trained reiki practitioners working with ill and vulnerable people. We would not criticise reiki as a modality in its own right – and nor has Matthew. But it's clear from the overwhelming online support for Matthew's post that inadequate reiki training poses a risk. That's why at The Healing Trust we insist on a minimum of two years with numerous face-to-face tutor and mentor sessions before students reach healer status. We are sharing Matthew's post here – and we welcome your opinions on this important subject.

A guest post by Matthew Manning

In order to try to understand something of which we have little knowledge, the use of labels seems to help. I have worked as a professional healer for 40 years and in the early days I was frequently asked what kind of healer I was.

Faith healer, spiritual healer, Christian, crystal, colour, mental - the list was endless although 'faith healer' seemed the most commonly understood.

Working in America in the early 1980s I began to hear of a new healing model - reiki - that had originated in Japan. By the time I was in Australia in the early 90s it was all the rage even though it hadn't fully reached Britain. But that was all about to change.

It became enormously popular here very rapidly. This may have been because the courses were so much shorter than other established healer training courses such as those offered by The National Federation of Spiritual Healers (NFSH), now known as The Healing Trust. It was easy and quick to obtain a certificate stating you were a 'reiki healer'.

Today if I tell someone that I'm a healer, the response is almost always, 'Do you mean a reiki healer?'

I'm not criticising reiki as a healing model as I believe that all healing, however it is labelled, is essentially the same. But I have increasing reservations about the way in which it is being marketed and presented.

This morning a slick video appeared on my Facebook feed inviting me to: 'Discover the power of Reiki to heal emotional, physical and energetic imbalances in yourself and others in this bestselling course with over 57,052 students!

'You'll learn how to perform Reiki sessions, administer attunements, heal unwanted patterns and much more."

All this for just 4 hours of online video content - and you've got a certificate saying that you're a qualified reiki healer! I probably wouldn't have so much of an issue with this if the word 'healer' was replaced with 'practitioner'.

And here is the problem. I recently met at a lady who is a very experienced healer of 40 years and originally trained with the NFSH. She was unable to work (unpaid) in a local hospice as they only accepted reiki practitioners. In a possibly emotionally-charged environment that needs sensitivity a dying person and their loved ones could find the 'healer' permitted to work with them has very limited experience.

Another healer, recently qualified after a long course with The Healing Trust, told me that one of her clients "went over to her Reiki hairdresser who charged nearly double because she claimed to cleanse the air!"

I've also heard a reiki practitioner claim that reiki is the only 'powerful' form of healing whilst spiritual healing works only on babies and the elderly!

Training as a healer involves so much more than many people appreciate. It's also learning about compassion, empathy, understanding, humility and service, opening your heart, human physiology, medical treatments - and probably humour too - all in absence of ego. It's not something learned or gained after a 4 hour or 24 hour course - especially if it's online. If you intervene in someone else's health, you are taking on a huge responsibility.

I'm increasingly concerned at peculiar claims made by some inexperienced reiki practitioners, whilst highly experienced and trained healers are being denied access to work with people who are in real need.

You may have trained and qualified as a reiki practitioner, but if you or a loved one was extremely ill, would you feel comfortable being treated by someone with very limited training even though they have a certificate?

I'd be interested to hear your views.