Reiki for Our Animal FriendsJan 31, 2022 11:00AM ● By Sheila LaSella
Over the past few decades, the Japanese energy healing modality of Reiki has become a well-known and popular technique to help people reduce stress and anxiety, improve fatigue and depression and relieve physical pain. It also promotes relaxation and healing on many levels. Reiki is gradually moving into mainstream health care as an adjunct to Western medical approaches.
At Yale New Haven Hospital, in New Haven, Reiki is offered alongside meditation, Tai Chi/Qigong, yoga and massage at the Integrative Medicine Center in the Smilow Cancer Hospital. Patients receive these services to complement the Western medicine approach to treating cancer.
Now, traditional Reiki has evolved and blossomed into the practice of Animal Reiki. It can help animals relieve anxiety, stress, trauma and many physical ailments. Just as with humans, Animal Reiki heals on all levels—physical, emotional, mental and spiritual.
Reiki was created in Japan by Mikao Usui in the early 20th century as a form of spiritual healing. However, Reiki is not a religion. It has no dogma, and there is nothing one must believe in to give or receive Reiki. When working with humans, practitioners will either lightly rest their hands on the recipient’s body or hover slightly above the body. Universal life force energy will flow through the practitioner and into the client to support healing of the mind, body and spirit.
The process of sharing Reiki with animals is often different than it is with humans. Some animals may not want to be touched for various reasons. Because they cannot verbally express their preferences, it is important to honor their agency and freewill, and not force anything upon them.
Kathleen Prasad, a leading expert in the world of Animal Reiki, created the Let Animals Lead method specifically for the sensibilities of animals. It is a compassionate and heart-centered approach to share healing with all creatures. This method respects their choices and places the decision with them as to whether or not they would like to receive the Reiki healing. In this way, the animals can remain empowered.
Over her many years of Reiki practice, Prasad realized that animals require a different approach than humans do. Her method is based on creating a compassionate, non-judgmental meditation space that the animals may move into only if they wish. Let Animals Lead practitioners enter into a deep meditation, while allowing the Reiki energy to flow through them and out into the environment, creating a sacred space for healing.
Touch is only given if an animal approaches the practitioner and indicates that they would like to receive it. In this way, the animals are essentially leading the session and acting as guides, which creates a beautiful partnership between giver and receiver.
Animals are highly sensitive and intuitive and may respond adversely if Reiki is “beamed” in their direction or if the practitioner is focusing on what is wrong or broken with the intention of “fixing” them. Animals can sense this type of energy and may move away from the person, even though that person has good intentions of helping them.
Animal Reiki is wonderful for rescued animals, as it helps resolve abuse, trauma and neglect. Often, animals who have experienced these situations can become shut down or highly anxious. Reiki creates a peaceful and harmonious energy that can assist in shifting these conditions into a more positive place. Sometimes, results can be seen in just one session, while other times it may take a series of sessions for the animal to respond. In either case, this gentle, non-invasive technique offers compassion to an animal who may never have experienced it before. This compassionate energy is powerful medicine for body, mind and spirit.
Geriatric issues and the end-of-life transition can also be helped with the power of Animal Reiki. As animals age, they may encounter many different health issues as their bodies begin to deteriorate. As a result, they may become frail or incapacitated. The gentle, non-invasive techniques of Reiki can be a perfect complement to traditional veterinary medicine they may be receiving and help to relieve pain and discomfort.
As animals approach death and come to the end of receiving medical treatment, the peaceful Reiki energy can comfort them as they make their transition. Many Animal Reiki practitioners offer their services to dying animals and to their human companions during this very difficult time. Not only does Reiki ease the animal’s dying process, but it can help alleviate the family’s grief and sorrow.
Alternative and holistic medicine is being utilized by more and more people as the years go on and now its benefits are spreading to the animal kingdom. Along with acupuncture, massage, herbal medicine and more, Animal Reiki is another way to love and support our animal friends along their journey.
For more information about the Let Animals Lead method, visit AnimalReikiSource.com.
Sheila LaSella is a Reiki practitioner, Polarity Therapist, Massage Therapist and Intuitive Card Reader. She owns Stillpoint Healing Therapies, located at 1885 Post Road, in Fairfield. Connect at 203-927-4055, [email protected] or StillpointHealing.abmp.com.