Just like humans, animals can benefit from a calming and nurturing space to heal. Whether our animal companions are recovering from an injury or illness or simply need a peaceful retreat, creating a healing space can help them feel more comfortable and relaxed. In this guide, we will explore some tips and ideas for creating a healing space for our animal companions.
When Amadeus, a handsome grey tabby, returned home after a critical surgery, it became imperative that Amadeus be provided a safe space of his own where he could recover. Creating a safe healing space in a quiet area did not take much time or preparation. This healing space, coupled with energy healing support, allowed him to get back on his paws much faster. And it wasn’t just Amadeus. There were other cats as well, who needed their personal healing space when they were dealing with stressful situations. Here are some tips and tricks on how to create such a safe and calming healing space. These are based on all that my cats have taught me over the years.
When creating a healing space for our animal companions, it is essential to choose a location that is quiet and comfortable. This could be a spare room in our home, a cozy corner of our living room, or even a designated outdoor area. It is better if the space is well-ventilated with fresh air circulation. The space needs to be free from loud noises, bright lights, and other distractions that could cause stress or anxiety for our beloved animal companions.
Animals in the wild often wander off to be on their own when they are coping with health challenges. Our animal companions also know how to harness the body’s natural healing abilities, and this happens best when they do not have to deal with external triggers and disturbances, such as the presence of another animal. And hence it is vital to provide a quiet and comfortable healing space for our animal companions.
When creating a healing space for our animal companions, we also need to consider the colors we use. Soft, muted colors like blues and greens can help create a calming atmosphere, while bright, bold colors may be too stimulating for our companions.
In fact, color therapy, also known as chromotherapy, is a holistic healing modality where specific colors are used to treat various physical and mental issues. And in the Indian Ayurvedic system, it is believed that certain colors can be used to stimulate and balance the chakras. And just like humans, our animal companions have similar chakras too.
I tend to surround my cats in shades of healing blue when they need a healing space.
Nothing exudes comfort more than a familiar snuggly blanket. Providing comfortable bedding and furniture is another essential aspect of a healing space for our animal companions. This can include a soft bed or blanket for them to rest on, as well as a comfortable chair or couch for us to sit on while spending time with them.
Familiarity always helps, and the scent of familiar blankets and mats enhances the effect of the healing space. All bedding and furniture need to be clean and free of any irritants or allergens that could cause discomfort or health issues for our beloved companions.
A touch of their favorite toys and catnip helps embellish the healing space, as these will trigger familiar associations with happy moments and will help in reducing stress
This healing space needs to be cleaned on a regular basis. Used litter, the scent of medicines, and accumulated wastes are a deterrent to healing.
I also recommend clearing the energies along with physical cleanliness. When our animal companions are in a state of distress, they may start attracting similar heavy and unhealthy energies and may also be releasing some of their own. Energy clearing will remove all heavy energies that can become an obstacle to creating a calm environment.
Regular smudging helps get rid of all unwanted energies. Smudging involves the burning of one or more plants known as “medicines” that are gathered from the earth. Sage is a common plant medicine and has healing powers. Read more about how smudging is used for animal healing.
Our animal companions are tuned into us and hence are very aware of our state of mind. So if we are worrying about them, it adds to their sense of distress. If we can stay calm without the energy of worry, it will be easier for them to remain calm as well.
I use this simple visualization technique to ensure that I am fully present for the cats, and you can give this a try too. Before you enter the healing space, imagine you are depositing your worries and other heavy emotions in a locker at the entrance.
Spend time with your animal companions in that space of healing, free from distractions and being fully present. I also smudge myself regularly.
Duchess, another of the cats who benefitted from a healing space, would insist that I take care of myself first. On the days when I was relaxed, she would sit next to me, and we shared a serene and sacred healing space. And on days when I had worry written all over, she would not be so forthcoming. Duchess taught me how important it was for me to take care of my stuff before I could help her.
And if you are a practitioner of Animal Reiki, EFT, or other modes of energy healing for animals, this is one of the best ways to augment the healing space. I add Shamanic practices and Reiki into the space, and these turbo-charge the healing process. Energy healing is gentle, non-invasive, soothing, and has no side effects.
What’s more? A practitioner can also do this over a distance. I often work with clients across the ocean, and the results are the same. Energy healing modalities such as Scalar Waves, Animal Reiki, or Shamanic healing can work wonders in aiding a faster recovery. EFT tapping for animals has the power to transform lives when dealing with a scared, nervous, or reactive cat or dog.
Your animal companions will appreciate access to a little nook of their own. This will be a healing space they can retreat into whenever they feel the need for some me-time. However, there are also certain situations when such a space becomes an absolute necessity.
Recovering from surgeries and illnesses – Our doctors often tell us to get plenty of rest, and sometimes hospitals restrict visitors. It is the same with our animal companions. They need a space they can go to when they need to be on their own, as this healing space of calmness accelerates the body’s natural healing process.
Guest or new family members – Not all animals are friendly. And if you have a highly sensitive cat or dog, they are likely to find guests and visitors intrusive. A cat I live with is one such highly sensitive being. He needs a space where he knows no guest or visitor can intrude. Additions in the family – animal or human, also take some getting used to. And at times like this, a calming healing space helps and can prevent our animal companions from being overly spooked.
Fireworks or other loud noises – If you live with animal companions, you are likely to have experienced the discomfort that fireworks bring. Having a secluded healing space where noises are muffled is the first step to helping them stay calm. This also helps if there is loud machinery nearby as this can also adversely affect our animal companions. A cat I was working with was living in an area where there was construction going on in a nearby patch. While this cat was disturbed and confused by the clamor, her source of comfort was a spot inside a carton box where she felt the noises were muffled.
There are some misconceptions about what is healing for animals. These are some common things that, while being desirable in a healing space for a human, can be toxic and even fatal for some animals. And it is crucial to ensure that these are not part of the healing space (or any other space) for our animal companions.
Essential Oils – Essential oils have become increasingly popular in recent years, but many may not realize that some oils can be toxic to our animal companions, especially cats. Oils such as tea tree, peppermint, and citrus can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and even liver damage in cats. It is important to keep these oils and any products containing them out of reach of your feline friend.
Plants – Many common household plants, if ingested, can be toxic for our animal companions. Some of the most dangerous plants include lilies, azaleas, poinsettias, tulips, and daffodils. Lilies are one of the most toxic plants for cats, with even small amounts of ingestion potentially leading to kidney failure. It is vital to research any plants we bring into our home to ensure they are safe for our animal friends. If you are unsure if a plant is safe for your cat, it is best to err on the side of caution and keep it out of reach.
Incense – Incense is a common addition in many spiritual practices, and many use incense on a regular basis. However, this seemingly spiritual instrument can be dangerous for our animal companions and especially cats. Burning incense on a regular basis can cause serious health problems in cats, including a damaged respiratory system. In addition, most incenses are mass-produced and come with heavily laced chemicals. Not only is the smoke an irritant that is toxic, but it also overpowers our animal companions heightened sense of smell and prevents them from using their natural sensing abilities. Some mass-produced incense also releases harmful chemicals into the environment.
We have all had moments when we needed a go-to space – a space where we can retreat and feel relaxed and rejuvenated. Our beloved animal companions need such a healing space too. I have witnessed how animals who were provided with such a healing space have a greater sense of assurance and confidence, knowing that if they needed to retreat, there was a space they could go to and where they would be left undisturbed. I hope this article has helped you find some practical ideas and inspirations or how you can create or enhance a calming healing space for your animal companions.