I'm an Advanced Reiki Master Teacher, Spiritualist Approved Healer and Medium amongst other things that people call me.
I'm often asked if I receive messages for people I don't know when I'm out and about and the short answer is yes, sometimes I do and I also 'pick up' or sense a person's mood or energy or an event that is close to them either in the past or coming in the future.
Many fledgling mediums or people who are sensitive but don't recognise their abilities have a habit of telling people when they sense something around them. It's hard enough gaining respect in the field of metaphysics and paranormal activity without acting like a fruit cake when in public. Telling people everything is always a mistake but novice mediums make it time and time again, never learning when to keep quiet or more to the point, never asking their guides if they should speak up. A medium should always question the source of their information.
Just because a medium/sensitive has sensed something about someone does not give them the right to comment on it. People like their privacy and like to believe that their thoughts are theirs alone. Some people are terrified of the idea that spirit people can watch them and dip into their lives when they choose. More people than you would believe have had difficult lives or tragic losses and clumsy attempts at mediumship and advice giving by someone they barely know or is a stranger to them can do more harm than good. Others are deeply religious and view mediumship as coming from the devil himself. That's fine, they're entitled to their opinions. However, telling someone that you sense something or a spirit around them, that they have a message for them, or to be careful when they are driving etc., is an invasion of their privacy.
The only time a medium/sensitive should interfere and tell someone what they are feeling is if they are asked to. There is no grey area, no maybes, the answer to the question of should I? is a straight no. Do not meddle however strongly you feel that you should - you will not be thanked for it.
The same discipline should be applied to absent healing.
Many healers hear of someone in need and are indeed often asked by a well meaning friend to send absent healing to a person in need. That's alright I hear you say. Yes it is - up to a point.
The one thing I learned when I did my Reiki courses after I spent six years as a trainee spiritualist healer is that healing is the same, from the same source, with the same intention and neither method is better than the other, it is merely choice. But the difference in teaching varies drastically and one of the teaching elements of spiritual healing is to attune to the spirit of the person who is asking for healing. This was not taught in Reiki and I have never yet heard of if being taught to Reiki healers (if I'm wrong please correct me, I am interested to know). I did my Reiki courses like everyone else - quickly, but my spiritual healing required me to work with people at healing sessions and I did so for at least three hours per week for years and have a mentor who answered my many questions over that time.
Reiki is taught as a benign source of energy that we can manipulate in our auras and physical bodies in order to bring about balance and well-being. Anyone can access the source because the intention of healing someone or self cannot cause harm hence the benign description. There is no need to attune to the patient, it is not even mentioned but in spiritual healing it is a critical part of the process between patient and healer and one that takes practise to get right (hence the training period - now reduced to two years).
The spiritual healer will sit with the patient and meditate until they connect with the spirit of that person which resides in the heart chakra. Then the healer will ask the spirit if healing should be given and will be received. Permission is sought from the higher self of the patient because there is the possibility that the person should not receive further energy and there could be many reasons for this that the healer and even the patient themselves could be blissfully unaware of. If the healer then proceeded to channel energy anyway it may cause harm in the long term. e.g. A patient asks for healing, the healer attunes with their spirit and it denies acceptance of energy. The healer channels anyway believing that they know best. The progress of disease is accelerated or delayed, causing disturbance to the natural flow of events and experiences for the soul of the patient leading them to have to start the process again, causing the soul anguish. The soul being the highest part of the person and therefore of ultimate knowledge regarding their path and fortune, it is linked directly to the spirit which is linked further to the physical body - making a chain of energy and contact. Therefore the spirit of the person has the answers to their physical life path and events it should contain. The exploration of psychic and spiritual realms may not be in their remit and a distraction from the physical existence they should be experiencing for example and the spirit is the contact the healer should make to determine if hands on contact healing should be given, absent healing where the person does not know they are in receipt of energy at all or none to be given by a healer.
A healer should remember that just because they are not to channel healing to a person does not mean that higher beings are not giving help and energy where it's needed. Perhaps the healer is not developed enough to channel the frequency needed or maybe is just not the right person for the job? The healer may never know why, but must always trust.
In my experience a usual Reiki healer will miss the attunement step and channel the energy anyway without any knowledge of if they should.
I'm not down on Reiki, don't get me wrong, I have after all invested in it myself, I'm just pointing out that the attunement step is vital if healers are going to be effective and successful in improving patients and changing their health and therefore the medical perception of healing practise. Without attunement patients may feel the benefits of restful relaxation and healing energy but their improvement progress may be fleeting and they could return to their previous state of illness and dysfunction if not even worse for the experience. The healers job is to facilitate the healing process for their clients/patients and sometimes this means not giving them what they ask for but instead being a listening ear and support whilst they experience the journey of the soul - however unpleasant or difficult that experience may be.