Animal Reiki is a practice that involves sharing a sacred space of energy healing with animals. This non-invasive technique allows individuals to provide healing and support to their animal companions through the use of Reiki energy. Animals are known to respond positively to this form of therapy, making it a popular choice for those looking to provide holistic care for their animal companions.
When our beloved animals are in need of comfort and relief, Animal Reiki can provide a solution. This gentle and non-invasive energy healing technique allows us to create a calming and healing environment for our animal companions. With Animal Reiki, we can respect their choices and preferences while providing deep relaxation and profound healing.
What is Reiki?
Before we get into Animal Reiki, let us start with Reiki. What is Reiki?
The word Reiki is a combination of 2 Japanese words – Rei meaning mystical or spiritual and Ki meaning life-force energy. Reiki is an ancient Japanese system wherein a practitioner holds the space for the mystical subtle energies to come into play for the highest healing benefit. While many lineages of Reiki have evolved over time, most will trace their history back to Mikao Usui. Usui Sensei was a Japanese Buddhist practitioner who when on a 21-day spiritual retreat came upon the mystical energies and symbols that eventually formed the practice of Reiki.
A traditional Reiki session involves the practitioner placing their palms on various points on the body to facilitate relaxation and healing.
Practitioners started noticing that animals too were responding to the soothing energies. My cats normally end up going into a Reiki-induced sleep when I practice Reiki for myself.
Animal Reiki Vs Reiki
So, if it is all about Reiki, what is Animal Reiki and how is Animal Reiki different? While Reiki is still Reiki, Animal Reiki caters to the unique sensitivities of our beloved animal companions.
Imagine a traditional Reiki session, where the person is lying down or sitting still and the practitioner is moving around placing their palms on various points. When was the last time your cat lay still and allowed a stranger to touch them?
Besides, animals are far more in tune with the energy fields than we are. What comes to us through years of practice, is a natural ability that animals have. The truth is we are all born with Reiki within us. We are Reiki. As we grow up, we forget our own inner nature while animals mostly do not.
After my first initiation into Reiki, I would very enthusiastically practice Reiki for my cat. And his reaction? With a look of absolute disdain, he would get up and walk away. I was heartbroken until I discovered Animal Reiki.
With Animal Reiki, I learned to let go of the need for hand positions and the need for touch. Instead, I learned to go inwards and remembered how to “be” Reiki instead of “do” Reiki. And once I started living in the state of Reiki, my cats naturally relaxed and were open to participating as well – as equal partners instead of recipients.
In this article, I write about the 5 distinct traits of Animal Reiki.
A Deeper Dive into Animal Reiki Techniques
What I love most about Animal Reiki is that there is no need for techniques. One of the first few things a practitioner is taught is to let go of the need for our fixation with different techniques.
At first glance, it may appear that the practitioner is meditating with cats and dogs and cows and sheep and horses. In some ways, meditation is the easiest way to explain Animal Reiki.
#1: Being Grounded
A teacher once told me, if you forget everything else, remember to stay grounded. I remember my first visit to the local shelter. As a new Animal Reiki practitioner, I was nervous. As I stepped in, I remembered those words and did my grounding. The dogs loved it. They leaned into the experience. All I had to do was remember to be grounded and be present with them.
Animals are earth-beings and remember that our cats and dogs have four paws firmly planted on Mother Earth. Any energy work that does not come from a space of being grounded, will trigger them. In Animal Reiki, we do not channel some other dimensional vibrations, we simply remember that we are all Earth beings and we are all connected.
#2: Being Reiki
Animal Reiki is about remembering that we are Reiki. Reiki does not exist somewhere outside of us. It is our inner sacred nature and all that we need to do is remember. Through simple practices of letting go of anger and worry and being in a state of gratitude and compassion, we train ourselves to come back home to our Reiki-selves. In an Animal Reiki session, the practitioner will use simple breathing practices to connect with that state of being Reiki.
In Animal Reiki we hold space for our beloved animal companions. We also learn to honor their choices and let them participate in whatever way they choose to.
#3: Seeing with Reiki-Eyes
Kathleen Prasad, my teacher and one of the leaders in the field of Animal Reiki and also the founder of the Let Animals Lead © method of Animal Reiki talks about the All-Is-Well mindset of Animal Reiki. We see the animals in their true spiritual selves – perfect just the way they are. In Animal Reiki, we do not dwell upon a specific illness or condition. I believe that when we start dwelling on illnesses in a Reiki session, then we simply add more energy to that illness. Even as humans, we may have experienced this. When we are ill, many of us do not want our loved ones to take pity on us. We want to be recognized for all that is good within us. When I am ill, I would rather hang out with a friend who would make me laugh instead of someone who would hover over me, reminding me how ill I was. It is the same with the animals.
You can read more about Reiki-eyes on Kathleen’s site.
Animal Reiki volunteers at shelters often report back how the animals respond with relaxation and trust when they practice the Let Animals Lead© Animal Reiki meditations. Pity for another being is one of the biggest obstacles for an Animal Reiki practitioner.
A Closer Look at the Benefits of Animal Reiki
Animal Reiki is safe, gentle, soothing, and non-invasive. Through Reiki, we activate the parasympathetic nervous system and thereby the body’s natural ability to heal physically and emotionally.
I have seen animals coming out of surgery get back to normal much faster when offered Animal Reiki.
Animal Reiki is not a cure or a treatment. Animal Reiki facilitates healing through the power of being in a deeply relaxed state. Reiki healing happens because the animals are finally in a state where they can get out of their stressors and fight-or-flight responses and allow their own healing potentials to take charge.
How Practitioners are Using Animal Reiki to Benefit Animals
Animal Reiki is steadily gaining acceptance as a complementary wellness therapy. Animal Reiki is being used to accelerate recovery from acute illnesses, manage chronic conditions and induce calmness when dealing with an emotional challenge.
#1: Accelerated Recovery from Illnesses and Injuries
Theo was a 2-year dog, who had sustained an accidental fracture and was struggling to recover post his surgery. After Animal Reiki was added to his treatment plan, Theo made a quick comeback and was back on his feet within a week.
I have seen my own cat Amadeus, who had undergone a critical surgery and had a deep open wound. Like most cats, Amadeus did not take to his collar well. Fortunately, we had Animal Reiki on our side. With the support of daily Animal Reiki, Amadeus’ surgery wound healed in less than 10 days. The doctor was surprised at the quick recovery and Amadeus of course was happy to be off that collar and get his freedom back.
#2: Ageing Support for Senior Animals
Animal Reiki also works wonders with senior animals and supports them through the aging process. Sophie had reached out because her dog was diagnosed with a critical kidney condition. Sophie believed the last days were near and the vet had asked her to consider options. With the support of Animal Reiki and energy healing, Sophie’s dog surprised everyone. It has been over 10 months at the time of writing this and he is still bouncing around leading a life filled with happiness and contentment. Reiki is not a miracle cure. Instead, Reiki creates a space where our senior friends can lead a life filled with peace and joy.
#3: Animal Reiki for Death and Dying
And Animal Reiki is my go-to when it comes to those final days. With Animal Reiki, I have seen cats and dogs make that final crossing, in a state of profound calmness. And though they may be suffering in body, you can see in their eyes, that bright light of their true spiritual essence. I have been blessed with Animal Reiki, which allowed me to walk with my cats right up to the gates of Rainbow Bridge surrounded by the energies of grace and beauty
#4: Animal Reiki at Shelters
All around the world, volunteers are now offering Reiki at shelters. The Shelter Animal Reiki Association (SARA) has a growing list of practitioners and teachers whose mission is to spend time with the ones in need and offer them that space of unconditional love and healing. At SARA, we learn to see all animals through our Reiki-eyes, in their true spiritual perfection, and not bogged down by current circumstances. And animals love it.
What to Look for When Choosing an Animal Reiki Practitioner
There are Reiki practitioners who also practice Reiki for animals. And there are Animal Reiki practitioners, who have specialized training in Animal Reiki.
I believe it is essential to find a practitioner you can trust and with whom you feel a connection. When I work with an animal, I also work and connect with the human companion and as a practitioner, I choose to work with those I am meant to work with.
If you are searching for an Animal Reiki practitioner, you can search the Animal Reiki practitioners directory on Animal Reiki Source Academy. This one has the list of all practitioners who have been trained with Kathleen Prasad in the Let Animals Lead© lineage and with this directory, you are likely to find an authentic person.