The healing art of Reiki is an Eastern spiritual practice of healing through the hands, channeling the energy and life force that is present everywhere in our universe. (See What is Reiki? by Chuck Boe) Although Reiki is often practiced with the intention of restoring balance to the bodies, minds and spirits of humanity, we can also share this gift with the plant and animal kingdoms. Reiki for animals, in particular, is becoming a growing practice for animal-loving practitioners. We teach Reiki here at the Eye a couple of times a year. Reiki I – Become a Practitioner and Reiki II – Distance Healing
Reiki sessions have great benefits to our animal friends—be they cat, horse, dog, rabbit, parrot, or any of our many cousins. Animal Reiki can be used for relieving stress, anxiety and behavioral issues through relaxation, or as an added compassionate treatment for physical ailments such as arthritis or kidney stones. You will likely also experience a closer relationship with the animal you are working with, too!
During a session with your animal, it is also beneficial to welcome in the spiritual presence of animal totems, guides and/or familiars to assist you in your healing work. I often invite in Bast (Bastet), the Egyptian cat goddess, when working with my feline friends.
Reiki is both a hands-on treatment and form of distant healing, so if the animal you are working with isn’t physically present, Reiki energy can still be successfully used. This option would be especially helpful in working with animals who may be injured, very ill, or have been abused. A practitioner is also able to ‘beam’ Reiki in a circumstance where the animal is close by, but prefers not to be touched.
The following site provides additional information on specific hand positions in treating particular animals: http://reiki.topcities.com/animals.html)
A Community of Animal Healers
Reiki practitioners worldwide have organized to advocate the use of Reiki for supporting animal health. The Animal Reiki Alliance currently offers a directory of practitioners and tools for starting an Animal Reiki business, along with newsletters and workshops. For more information, check out their website (http://www.animalreikialliance.com/)
SARA, the Shelter Animal Reiki Association, is a nonprofit organization providing Reiki to animals in rescues and shelters. The organizers of SARA are in the process of finalizing educational programs and materials for prospective Reiki practitioners wanting to learn Reiki for animals and how to become involved on a local level. Learn more on their website: http://shelteranimalreikiassociation.org/