Updated: Jan 3
I have to admit that plants are more my thing than animals. I’ve been a plant lover and gardener all my life. Animals are cute, but they are also unpredictable and smelly. Cats are kind of my style. They are sweet and snuggly once in a while and the rest of the time they ignore your existence from the other side of the room. I would get a cat if I knew I could train it to use the toilet instead of the litter box (without drinking in it as well).
But I digress.
I should be talking about animals and Reiki. Which I am, in a way. Despite being a dedicated plant person and non-pet owner, I love doing Reiki with animals. It is such a rewarding experience. Many people think you do Reiki TO an animal, but you actually do it WITH them. Animals tend to be less complicated than humans and more intuitive. They know what they need and aren’t afraid to ask for it. Of course, you may have to earn their trust first, but once you have it, they know who to come for when they need help. That in itself is rewarding.
The best part, though, is the experience of unconditional love flowing between you. You see, Reiki is pure love. Most humans have many fears and layers of stuff covering our capacity to love unconditionally. Animals rarely have much blocking their ability to give and receive love. That’s why so many people feel more love from their pets than the people around them. In doing Reiki with animals, I may be the one channeling the Reiki, but the animals are participating in the sharing of love as much as I am.
You can do Reiki with any animal, assuming they allow you. Just as with humans, you cannot force Reiki on them and they are not required to accept anything you send. Many Reiki teachers instruct you to hold your hands on the animals in various positions to treat them. Some animals accept this, but not all. I’ve been hugely inspired by Kathleen Prasad’s work with animals and Reiki. She encourages practitioners to approach Reiki more as a meditation. You create a safe, flexible space in which the Reiki flows and the animals choose to participate in any way that is comfortable for them. So if the animals want you to touch them, they will come to you. If they wish to be nearby and take a nap, they can do so. No matter how the animal choses to receive the energy, it is still a beautiful exchange between the two of you. As I said, animals are much more intuitive. They know what they need and, when you give them the option to choose their own healing, they will do what is best for them.
Animals are so intuitive, they know where to go to get help. I’m guessing you’ve seen the videos of the wild or abandoned animals approaching humans asking for help. They are ridiculously heart-wrenching to see. I’ve actually had similar experiences where animals approach me in parks and practically pull the Reiki out of me. I may be walking along and suddenly I feel the Reiki tingling in my hands. If I look around there is always an animal nearby who somehow knows that I can give them what they need. Which I do, of course. I love being able to share that healing with them. Most of the time I don’t know what they want or why, I just let the Reiki flow freely and trust that they know what to do with it. One time it was the world's cutest puppy who asked for Reiki. I have no idea what it could possibly have wanted, but it was fun to share that with him. I'm not an animals person, but I would have happily taken that little puppy home with me that day.
I’ve also worked directly with dogs, cats, horses, and bunnies. Sometimes we work on specific issues while other times I really don’t know what we are doing, but the animal is requesting and accepting the Reiki. A number of times I’ve worked with animals who were rescued or had traumatic pasts. I’ve seen some remarkable changes in pets who are finally able to let go of past baggage and settle in with people who love them. Katheleen Prasad writes, “Reiki brings the true nature out to the surface so that people can easily see it.” She has many experiences with animals in shelters who work with her to clear the past so they can find their forever homes. As a result of her inspiration, I’ve watched every single video that comes across my news feed about animals being rescued. What would it be like to do Reiki with them? Sometimes I send Reiki to them remotely because it feels right to me, but I’d love to work with animals in person and see the changes for myself. This is something I'd like to do once the pandemic is over and shelters are looking for volunteers again.
Similar to humans, if your pet has a medical condition, take it to the vet! However, if your animal friend is exhibiting aggressive behavior or acting abnormal, energy work could help. Most of the time we are working on physical or emotional energy that needs to be cleared and/or healed. Sometimes the animals can even share images or feelings with me to help me know what is going on. Sometimes the pet is reacting to a person or energy in the house and can help me locate the source of the problem. I’ve shared Reiki with animals in person or remotely and there has always been change in the animal. The change isn’t always what I expect, but forward movement does happen.
If you are a dedicated pet owner, a professional who works with animals, or you work with rescues in any form, I would highly encourage you to learn Reiki yourself. Even the first level of Reiki can be a transformative gift for the animals in your life (and yourself!). If you live with pets, learning Reiki yourself can help clear and heal your own life which makes you a better conduit for the sharing of Reiki love with your pets.
Read more about Reiki, where it came from, and what it actually is in my blog post Introduction to Reiki.
I hope to post some more stories of my animal work soon. Until then, contact me if you want me to work with your animal. If you are interested in doing Reiki with animals yourself, definitely check out Kathleen Prasad’s website and her books. Also, stay posted for Reiki classes I’ll be teaching soon!