Conducting Healing rather than Channelling Healing

In praise of conductors

I was watching a student doing a healing the other day when I suddenly noticed her personal energy reserves were being accessed.

It only lasted for a moment and then stopped, but it alarmed me because this is something I don’t want my students to do; drawing from your own field to heal others can be draining and it’s entirely unnecessary when we can access unlimited sources (sources that are like never-ending packets of tim-tams!). This forced me to take a closer look at her process so I could give her the feedback she would need to ensure she didn’t become drained.

As I scanned her field, I realised she wasn’t actually channelling healing energy at all because she wasn’t ‘plugged in’. Some of my students have training in modalities like Reiki where the central healing concept is to access and channel healing energy. Some students without this training find their own unique ways access sources of universal healing energy whereas others, like this student, don’t seem to channel at all.

Normally I would reiterate the ‘through me not from me’ intention when a student accidently draws from their own energy field, but in this instance, it wasn’t relevant. Instead, I ran simulations in my own mind-body while empathetically connected with this student to check whether it would be best to teach her how to ‘plug in’* or leave her to her own devices. Two points became apparent:


This student’s instinctive healing technique is beautiful as is. She is a natural ‘conductor’ of energy, rather than a channeller. What is the difference you might ask? Channellers plug into a healing source and act as a go-between or conduit between source and client. A conductor moves energy around inside the client’s field, and between the client’s field and the universal energy field, without needing to run this energy through themselves. This student uses her intent (eg visualisation, faith, feeling, prayer etc) and her hands, to move and direct energy. Rather than channelling the orchestra, she conducts the orchestra.

This made me think about my own healing process. Sometimes I don’t channel healing energy at all. In most healings I only channel 20% of the time. Far more often, I am clearing blockages, repairing energy lines, counselling (eg dialoguing with the field), educating (role modelling for the field) and mediating between the conscious mind of the client and their field/body/subconscious.

One of the techniques I have learned from watching this particular student at work, is that of ‘opening’ the field, using a hand movement that puts me in mind of ‘parting the horses mane’ in Tai Chi. Another is her glorious ability to hold awareness of the client’s entire space, or in other words, to stay aware of the bigger picture. She doesn’t lose herself in detail, but rather, concerns herself with the overall balance of flow.

Conductors are beautiful to watch in action- they orchestrate an overall harmony of flow, often dancing their hands throughout the aura gracefully, gently, calmly and with great respect for the individuality of the client. If they need to draw an external source of energy into the clients field, they do so, but it never occurs to them to draw this energy in via their own energy field. They plug their client into universal healing energy without using themselves as a go-between.

I asked this client to be aware of her natural inclination to keep the work in front of her, rather than channelling energy through her, and for the time being, to quite deliberately keep it this way, whilst being careful not to feed energy into the client from her own field. We decided she would come up with her own mantra, something like ‘I direct energy with my hands and intent, rather than using my personal energy to heal others’.


While running my simulations, one of the questions I asked was ‘Should I be helping this student establish channelling as part of her repertoire of skills?’. I immediately felt her energy field weaken and her boundaries issues become more confused. The conclusion was no. At this stage of her personal growth, it would be counterproductive. She was instinctively doing what was best for her, because, due to the boundaries issues, channelling healing energy through herself for others was more likely to disrupt her field than support it.

I don’t believe in pushing clients and students beyond where they are at. We need stability in order to function and flourish. This student needs the healing to happen ‘out there’, in front of her, at the end of her hands. To have the healing energy flow through her would be far too personal- it would further blur the lines between self and other.

To some extent, this client doesn’t have the structure in her aura to support a channel. What structure she does have needs to be reserved for establishing and maintaining personal boundaries in her relationships. I know there are those who say we are all one, so why do we need boundaries, and I agree, we are all one, but we still need to retain a sense of self in order to function effectively in this very real world we live in.

Do I think any less of this student because she has boundaries issues? No, I don’t. She is an incredible healer and an integrity-filled individual facing her own unique challenges in life, as we all are. Who doesn’t have challenges with boundaries in some shape or form? To me, having challenges with a particular self-care skill isn’t a weakness, it’s a source of potential strength, because it forces us to master that skill very deliberately and consciously. This student will be a veritable boundaries-genius at some stage in her future.


So is channelling healing a skill we all need to rein in when we are struggling with fuzzy boundaries edges? While I agree that for initiated healers who have had their channels opened, the process can be quite automated and detached, I wonder how necessary it really is. Instead, we can set up channels that are external to us, plugging the client directly into their own healing resources. This exercises our capacity to separate self from other when we are struggling with boundaries, as natural healers so often do.

*While channelling is a method I do teach, I don’t insist: I want my students to be individuals who discover their own unique healing style from experimenting, observing the approaches used by other students and practising. For updates on healing classes, check my site. 


  1. Thanks Om – great observation. The whole time I was reading this I had the image of plugging the clients power cord into the universes power cord – as an example of how I can plug people in without using myself as a channel. I think ill be using this from now on! Thank you xoxo

    • Yes, it was a good reminder for me too- I think those of us with a Reiki background have been conditioned to think in a particular way. I love working with students who have no training background because they don’t have preconceived ideas about how to ‘do healing’ and that helps open my mind to other ways of thinking.

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