If a healer or energy worker charges for their services does that make them greedy? Is it ethical for healing arts professionals to charge a fee for the work they do? And if they offer healing sessions because they want to be of services to others, then is it right for them to accept money in exchange for these services?
Some clients and customers in the wellness industry have self-limiting beliefs or negative programs about money when it comes to healing work. Many of these people believe that healers shouldn’t charge for their services. It’s important not to get sucked into this mindset or energy and here’s why…
I know this is a controversial topic, and you’ll likely have your own opinion and ideas about it. I want you to know that I honor whatever you feel is right when it comes to this subject. However, I do have some pretty strong opinions of my own (which I’m about to share with you). I want to let you know that I value your ideas, even if they differ from my own.
I think this is an important thing for members of our community to discuss. In saying that, I’ve also seen this topic spark some heated conversations. All I ask is that if you disagree, you please keep your comments respectful and in the spirit of sparking enlightening, positive discussion. 🙂
First I want to be SUPER clear about something…I personally do believe that healers should charge for their services.
I’ll tell you exactly why that is in just a bit. However, I also want to acknowledge that there ARE some clear ethical violations around healing work and money. I’ll address these at the end of this post.
So, let’s dive into why I think it’s SO important that healers charge for their services. Also, why doing so doesn’t make them greedy or unethical.
Here’s a biggie right off the bat… if we want to see more of this kind of work in the world, then we need to support it. Truthfully, nothing speaks louder than backing things up with cash. Think about something like organic produce and grocery items. They used to be incredibly expensive and difficult to find. Although they often still cost more than conventional items, the more people that purchase them, the more affordable they become. Conventional grocery stores were encouraged by their patrons to meet the demand for healthy, organic foods. Eventually, larger producers started to take notice and offered these products at more affordable prices.
Backing up your ideals with your wallet helps to send a message to the larger industry about what is important in your life and about what you value.
I think the same can happen for alternative wellness practices. If more and more people start paying for these services because they place value on them, then perhaps some day soon insurance companies may start to take notice and offer coverage for these therapies as part of their plans. For example, many insurance plans now cover things like massage, reflexology, chiropractic, and acupuncture. This wasn’t always the case. However, insurance companies could see a measurable trend in the growth of those industries. Therefore it was obvious that more holistic services were valued by their patrons.
Someday soon insurance companies may be encouraged to pick up the cost of other alternative healing practices. This will only happen if we’re willing to put our money where our mouths are. We need to pay a living wage to the people offering these services. More money in a small industry means major growth. That’s when people really start paying attention.
Here’s another thing to think about… healers have often sacrificed a lot to step into their dream job.
They’ve likely paid lots of their own money for training – I myself have invested over $50k in my crystal healing education! Additionally, they’ve invested in tools and supplies (everything from crystals and essential oils, to massage tables, to rented space). Now, you may be thinking, “Well, that’s just the cost of doing business and those healers SHOULD have to pay those costs.” You’re absolutely right, but then there needs to BE a business. This means there needs to be an exchange of money from the client to the healer.
I think it’s an unreasonable expectation to think someone should have to invest tons of money into their own education, supplies, and space and then not ever ask for anything in return. Another example here… if you believe that a healer should not expect payment for their services, would you say the same for a doctor or a surgeon? Would you tell them they should offer all of their services without any pay just because it is morally right? Even though they’ve invested thousands and thousands of dollars into their own education and training so that they CAN be of service and help people? No way!
Not to mention, many healers do give back to the community. Whether that be through sliding scale appointments for low income clients, volunteer work or free sessions to people in need.
Many of Love & Light’s own students have gone on to volunteer at places like VA hospitals, AIDS treatment clinics, and hospice care centers.
Trade and commerce are just how things have been done by humans for thousands of years. And yes, it has flaws. But when good people are doing good things, it almost always ends up with positive outcomes. Again, I realize that some people abuse this system and I’ll be addressing some unethical practices at the end of this article.
Ok, let’s move on to an especially important point here…
When you financially support the kind of people that do this work, it frees them to do more to give back.
The time they’re paid for allows them the support and freedom to create and offer beautiful things to the community in other ways. For example, here at Love & Light, I wouldn’t be able to provide all of the free training, videos, articles, podcasts, and more that I do now if it weren’t for the clients that supported the school by paying for classes. That has allowed me to offer some truly extraordinary free training as a public service, but it wouldn’t be possible if I weren’t being paid for my work.
If I did all of this work for free and had to have another job that supported me financially, I wouldn’t have ANY free time to create all of the great free things I’m able to now. So the more financially supported I am for some of my work, the more I am able to give back to the community in other ways.
If healers did everything for free, they would absolutely burn out.
When you give and give and give without ever receiving, you’re not living in balance with the laws of giving and receiving. There needs to be even energy exchange to maintain balance. For those that give and give and give without EVER receiving anything in exchange, they aren’t able to support their clients as fully because their well is dry. If there’s no energy coming in, it’s near impossible to send any back out.
So if you’re a healer, it’s important to keep firm boundaries about your self worth and the value of what you provide. If you give away too much of yourself or your business for free, then you’ll become depleted and burn out. This will result in you not being able to help anyone at all! You need to have balance between giving and receiving. As one of my amazing mentors once told me, you can’t give if your chalice is empty. Fill your chalice first – it’s a form of practicing self-care and self-love. You are worthy and deserving of the abundance that comes to you, so be willing to receive it. Fill your chalice, and then give of yourself to others.
Ok, so now let’s dig into when it IS unethical for people to accept money in exchange for healing work.
I’ve been in this industry for a LOOOOONNGGG time now, and I’ve seen a few gnarly (and super disappointing) things along the way. Although this doesn’t happen often, and these unethical healers are definitely in the minority, there are a few red flags you can look out for to keep yourself from financial harm.
Ethical Financial Violation #1 – The “Only I Can Do It” Routine:
This first ethical violation is one of my biggest pet peeves and something that truly makes me cringe when I see it happening. When a healer disempowers their client by making the client reliant upon their healing, they are being unethical. If the healer makes the client feel like only the healer can solve their problems or help them, then that’s a BIG violation of trust and ethics.
The job of a healer is to facilitate and assist the client on their own healing journey, and EMPOWER the client to create positive change in their own life. So if a healer ever tells you that you can’t do it on your own, or that ONLY THEY can help you, run for the hills! A good healer can help you get where you’d like to go (maybe a little faster and easier than on your own – because, hey, we all need help sometimes)… but they should never make you RELIANT on them for help. A good healer empowers you to heal yourself – never forget that.
Ethical Financial Violation #2 – Using Fear to Manipulate People:
An even worse ethical violation happens when a healer, psychic, or other wellness practitioner uses fear to manipulate you. For example, many years ago there was a psychic reader in my town who was up to some pretty shady stuff – billing people for thousands and thousands of dollars by telling them that they had curses or bad juju and that only she could fix it (yes – this one is often combined with ethical violation #1 to really double down on bad practices). She would do a reading or two for a client and tell them great things, but then by the third or fourth reading, she’d give them some horrible news and offer to fix it all… for a price.
The price? As MUCH as the client could possibly afford. I even heard stories of her talking some clients into taking out second mortgages on their homes just to pay her what she “needed” in order to lift the curse/shift the energy/keep the spouse from cheating/keep children safe/tons of other horrible things. Since she was doing readings just a few blocks away from my new age shop, Mimosa Books & Gifts, I often had people walk down to my store with a dazed look, and then they’d completely break down, cry, and tell me what had happened.
After a few times, I saw the pattern in what she was doing and made it my personal mission to educate people about how unethical this was.
I also made it a point to share that they weren’t the first person she had said these horrible things to. The whole situation was outrageous – it was so hard for me to believe that someone could treat people this way. But, we are human. We have moments of weakness and vulnerability in our lives. Unfortunately, there are some people (although very few when compared to the people out there doing good!) that will exploit these vulnerabilities for their own gain.
So…is it unethical for healers to take money in exchange for their services? Nope – not one bit…
Unless they’re up to some pretty shade stuff like I mentioned in the two examples above. It’s important to remember that most people are lovely and want to do this work to be of service. They genuinely want to help. But they also deserve to be treated with respect and compensated for the services that they provide.
Receiving fair compensation for their work doesn’t make them greedy or money hungry, nor does it make them less focused on the importance of the work that they are doing. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. When they’re living in balance with the laws of giving and receiving, they’re better able to serve those in their community, give more of themselves, and share their gifts with those in need.