Fairfield County Edition

Working Energetically with Animals

Animals enjoy energetic work, regardless of the modality. They do not have the walls up that some people may have surrounding these types of therapy. They know it works, no explanation is necessary and they let us know when they’re done receiving.

Working energetically with animals differs from working with people in approach and technique. While it is recommended to train with a practitioner that already works with animals, there are no special animal attunements required prior to working with animals.

Unlike working with people where the practitioner can answer questions and explain the procedure, communicating what is going on to the pet is through allowing the pet be a part of the set up. 

Start with Setting the Right Mood

Animal hearing is far more sensitive than ours. Sounds in the higher or lower spectrum can be irritating to them. However, the right music is soothing and healing. Examples that pets seem to enjoy are classical or harp music, as well as music designed specifically for animals. All can be easily found online. In addition, artists such as Steven Halpern, WholeTones and others have created music that is healing. Some pets love singing bowls and gongs, others do not. We will find that, just like people, they have their own individual preference. 

When an animal is not well, it creates tension within the household. Space clearing of the therapeutic area is a must. But, just as pets have more sensitive hearing, an animal’s sense of smell is greater than ours. Before using anything with an odor—such as clearing sprays, sage or palo santo—let the animal sniff it. Watch their reaction. If they don’t like it, don’t use it. Space cleaning can also be accomplished with selenite crystal wands. The goal of space clearing is to move the stagnant energy and get it flowing again.

Essential oils can be used around dogs and horses if they are diffused in the air from a water-based diffuser or applied to strategically placed cotton balls. Essential oil can be denatured and release toxic fumes if used on anything heated, such as on open flame or hot plate, without being mixed in water. The National Association for Holistic Aromatherapists’ guidelines recommend not using essential oils in any form around cats or birds.

Crystals are a wonderful addition to any therapeutic session with pets. Most pets will approve or disapprove of the selection in the same manner as scents. If they don’t like the crystals, the pet will move away from them. The pet should never be left unattended with crystals within their reach, as they can be a choking hazard if swallowed or poisoned if the crystal contains heavy metals. Cinnabar and malachite are examples of crystals with heavy metals. 

Many animals will come and go during the session, as they need a break from any hands-on therapy; however, they still may want to participate. Creating a den satisfies that need. It can simply be a space to move away from their person. For smaller pets, a covered crate at the other side of the room works well.

Work at Their Pace

Shorter but more frequent sessions work well with animals. It’s also helpful to have a proxy on hand, such as a stuffed animal, as a physical substitute for the animal. It does not have to be similar in appearance. The proxy can be connectd to the animal by physical touch or intention, or add a cord. It can be used for any or all of the session. It is especially handy for those pets that are not safe to have physical contact with.

Pay Attention to Body Language

Working first with a practitioner that is familiar with the body language of the animals to be worked with is a good idea. Pets in pain, or ones that simply have had enough of us touching them, may become a bite risk or worse; larger animals, such as horses and farm animals, can inflict serious bodily damage if we don’t pay attention to their signals.
Working with animals is rewarding and allows us to align the entire family. We cannot truly help people when our beloved pets are in need. 

Mary Oquendo is a Reiki Master, advanced crystal master and certified master tech pet first aid instructor. She can be reached at MaryOquendo.com. See ad, page 55.

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