I’m a firm believer in the power of energy healing for people and animals. It’s a tool I rely on regularly for my own animals, especially as they age and traditional medicine has less answers for them. My hope is these powerful methods will be used more often to help animals overcome trauma, anxiety, depression, immune conditions, allergies, chronic pain and more.
If you’re not familiar with energy work I encourage you to learn more about the various options and their benefits. To help you get started I asked Terry Chance if she’d tell us about Reiki’s use with animals. Reiki is the best-known energy modality and is quickly becoming more widely available. Terry is a Reiki teacher and practitioner who works with both humans and animals, and offers classes, workshops and other programs on mindful living at her studio in Dayton, Ohio. She graciously provided the following information:
Our animal friends come to us in a variety of ways. The lucky ones are born in a caring environment and placed in happy homes. Some are later injured, suffer from a disease or have surgery. Many animals are not as fortunate and have had traumatic events in their lives before they came into ours due to abuse, life in a shelter, injury, or neglect resulting in physical, mental, emotional or behavioral issues.
As the founder of Animals Recommend It! in south Dayton, Ohio, I am the only Reiki practitioner/educator that I know of who offers the healing energy called Reiki to animals. I love working with animals, they “just get it,” and accept energy. Their human companions need to know it is available. I have worked with dogs, cats and exotic birds; although, my practice is not limited and I will work with any type of animal.
Reiki is a holistic approach to healing that helps the animal release any negative energy and heal. Certain animals have physical injuries. Reiki helps the animal heal quicker than it might have otherwise. Your animal can benefit from the deep relaxation and sense of well-being that is achieved through Reiki. All animals benefit from Reiki: dogs, horses, cats, hamsters, birds, barn pets; the list is endless.
Some ask if there is a difference between providing healing energy to animals vs their caregivers. The difference is you do not bring the animal to me; I will come to where the animal lives. This is to ensure the animal is in an established environment where it feels safe and secure. The space needs to be free of distractions, so in a dedicated corral, pen, kennel or a room in your home where we won’t be disturbed. Otherwise, the treatment is the same. Animals have no pre-conceived ideas and relax and enjoy the time we are together.
Certain animals are shy or fearful, so the animal decides whether it wants hands-on treatment. Reiki is just as effective from a short distance from the animal if this is how the animal is most comfortable. Most animals lean against me or my hands, some settle themselves at my feet or lay across my lap. Otherwise, Reiki is performed in the same manner as human Reiki with the same positive results.
Having owners reach out to me to provide their animal companions with Reiki is rewarding and I have testimonials from my most recent experiences. All animals respond well to healing energy, and it should be considered more often by their human caregivers.
Animals Recommend It! receives calls asking when they should consider providing Reiki to their animals. Other than the obvious reason, pre-post-surgery, injury and illness, you should consider providing Reiki:
• When you bring a new animal into your home to reduce anxiety of being taken from its mom and litter mates or when it comes from a shelter or kennel.
• If you are kenneling your pet while you are away to reduce its stress and anxiety.
• When your animal suffers from a disease, to help provide comfort, pain management or cancer comfort care.
• Especially when you know your beloved pet is in its transitional stage, Reiki offers comfort and peace.
One way I give back to the Dayton community as a Reiki practitioner is volunteering once a month in a local shelter. Providing Reiki to the animals most in need of healing energy especially touches my heart. Some of the animals have been abused and know only fear. This fear makes them aggressive and biters. I remember vividly one older female canine, a pit bull, being brought in heavy chains to receive Reiki. The shelter staff cautioned that I not to go near her or touch her as she was too aggressive and they were afraid of her injuring me.
While working on her from a short distance, I had brief images of her being confined in her cage at the shelter. She was overcome with fear after she was rescued from a horrible situation where she lost her back foot. She “didn’t understand” why she was here. She “didn’t know what to expect next.” While I am not normally telepathic, I answered her questions in my mind hoping she would hear me. I moved closer to her and sat on the floor. She bumped her head against my hand accepting me. By the end of my time with her; she was lying at my feet as I sat on the floor next to her, gently moving my hands over her body.
The groomer and another shelter worker came in and they were stunned. Smiling up at the shelter workers when they returned, who she wouldn’t let touch her before, I softly said she is just afraid and a very sweet animal. The groomer was then able to handle her to clean her up.
In working with shelter animals, there is so much sadness and happiness, too. It feels great to show animals’ a kind hand, unconditional love and provide them with the healing energy of Reiki. It is amazing to watch them respond. Animals do not feel sorry for themselves; they just need to feel safe and loved.
Does Reiki energy healing work? Animals Recommend It!
Meet Charlie 12 years old, Kettering, Ohio
Charlie is exceptional. I was asked to come to help with a paw after his surgery. It wasn’t healing and the vet was having trouble controlling the bleeding. After one Reiki session, the paw wasn’t as raw, the bleeding was under control. When the owner took him back to the vet, they were amazed at how well he was recovering after only a couple of days. All animals just get it without question and Charlie was happy to enjoy Reiki, and became more alert, began eating again and made his owner very happy. We performed Reiki on Charlie again, and his paw only required a very small bandage.
Meet Anonymous Shiba Inu, WPAFB Area
(Not her real picture)
This Shiba Inu recently had surgery for the second time for an ACL tear on her opposite leg and was suffering from depression. She was in a cast when we first met. I worked with her once, but her owner reported she was no longer depressed after our visit. She began to put pressure on her back casted leg “toe touching” that evening. When she returned to the vet a couple days later, the cast was removed and she continued to toe touch putting weight on her leg immediately. The owner and vet were very surprised. It took several weeks to begin using her leg with her first surgery. Another happy owner!
Meet Oliver 9.5 years old, Bellbrook, Ohio
Oliver is special to me. Here he is seen recovering from a disc rupture. Several months before his surgery, as I would sit on the floor, he would back himself up to my hands, which just happen to be the location where his disc ruptured later in the year. He is currently receiving a lot of Reiki. He is amazing, guiding my hands, pushing them with his nose and telling me exactly where he wants me to treat him. I love to watch him get into the moment, snoozing away in total relaxation. When the animal is relaxed, the body is able to heal much faster. Oliver’s caregiver is a big believer in holistic care. He receives Reiki three times a week, and will continue to do so until he can walk again on his own. He turned over for the first time with his last Reiki session. We are all very happy.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Reiki?
Reiki is a Japanese holistic healing modality, but medical science associates it with “Bio-field medicine,” which relates to the energy fields within and surrounding the body. Bodies are made up of cells that on a deeper level contain elementary particles that emit electromagnetic forces. Reiki is a vibrational healing practice that promotes balance on every level through stress reduction and relaxation (mind, body and spirit).
Practicing this art affords an effective integrative delivery system for healing and overall health and well-being for the animal that complements traditional medical therapies.
I thought only humans received Reiki.
When many hear the term Reiki they immediately think of it as a service offered only to humans and I offer that service, too. However, few have thought to use it on animals. My practice is unique in that I started out treating animals and then humans. It is a nice blend. Animals benefit from Reiki in the same way their caregivers do.
Should I consider Reiki before I seek veterinary care?
No, if your animal is currently ill, or if they have been diagnosed with a disease, Reiki does not take the place of recommendations and treatments prescribed by your personal veterinarian. I am happy to work with your veterinarian to provide your animal with Reiki’s benefits only as a supplement to your veterinarian’s treatment regimen.
What qualifications should a Reiki practitioner have?
Any practitioner who is working at a professional level and charging you for services should be Reiki II certified and should have insurance. The two major Reiki lineages are USUI-Rand (Western) and USUI-Franze (Eastern/Traditional). Both of these organizations are national, have a code of conduct, and ensure consistency of training.
Is Reiki a massage?
No, while I will stroke the animal to comfort them at first, Reiki energy is self-guided by the animal. I lay my hands on the animal at the crown, forehead, throat, heart, major organs and the spine. As a Reiki practitioner, I provide a connection through which the healing pulsations called Reiki activate; spontaneously triggering the body’s natural healing capabilities according to the needs of the receiver.
How often should my animal receive Reiki?
The full effects of Reiki may be felt immediately or over a few days following treatment. For injuries, chronic issues, depression, and illness, it may take several sessions for the optimal results to manifest themselves.
You are able to observe your animal’s behavior before and after each session. Some animals respond quickly. Other animals with severe issues take longer. In most cases, this is not a one-time event and multiple visits are required depending on the issue (whether it is physical, mental, emotional or behavioral). However, I have heard of remarkable results from owners after the initial visit.
How long are the treatment sessions?
Each animal is unique. I take my cue from your animal. Each session runs between 20-45-minutes. The first time your animal receives Reiki plan for 45 minutes. As the Reiki energy begins to move through your animal at set intervals, they may let me know after 20-30-minutes they have received enough energy that day. How does the animal let me know? They become more alert; they may begin grooming themselves, or simply get up and move away. Historically, each session averages 30 minutes.
Can I learn how to perform Reiki on my animal?
Absolutely! I teach Reiki Level I & II. To learn more about Reiki and upcoming classes and service fees, call or visit my website.
To Schedule Reiki for Your Animal Companion
Contact Terry Chance, Reiki Practitioner/Educator
NOTE: Services are limited to the south Dayton community.
Many thanks to Eileen for allowing me to share Reiki with her readers. – Terry Chance