guest author REX collective member: Julie Bousfield - Vintage Soul Wellness
Reiki (pronounced ray-key), is a Japanese holistic energy healing modality in which the practitioner channels energy through themselves and into the client (you or your pet). This energy allows the body to enhance and accelerate its own healing abilities and is an excellent complement to traditional western medicine or other non-traditional modalities. Normally, with human clients, we use a series of hand positions either on your body or just slightly above to channel the energy into the client, but it can be little different with pets. Some animals enjoy touch and some do not and that is completely ok! Reiki practitioners can (and should) still provide the energy to animals who do not like touch very easily to ensure complete comfort and relaxation to all involved.
How can Reiki help your pet?
Here are the top five reasons I use Reiki with animals:
1. Stress & Anxiety
This is the number one reason I personally use Reiki in my home with my dogs. Summer is a wonderful time of year, unless you’re like me and have a pet that is afraid of thunderstorms. With the use of a few natural or alternative aides, including Reiki, I have been able to prevent full-fledged panic (panting, high-pitched whining, shaking and drooling) and can keep the fear response to a minimum. This, in-turn, keeps the stress level of everyone else, including us humans, really low and turns into a cyclical effect. The lower our stress level is, the lower the stress level of both the dogs, even the one that’s not afraid of storms. If you have a pet that suffers from anxiety or stress related issues, like traveling in a vehicle or sound phobias, receiving Reiki Level 1 training yourself can provide you with the skills and tools to help your pets on a regular basis whenever they need it!
This would probably be the second most popular way Reiki can help your pet. If a pet is going to have surgery or is ill, Reiki can help prepare the animal for the surgery and aide in recovery. It can also be applied through an illness and after during the recovery period. I have seen Reiki help senior dogs come through complicated dental surgeries, puppies recover from parvo, and a myriad of issues in between.
I have spent a lot of time working with dogs in rescue and I have found that generally, Reiki helps fearful animals with their transitions and learning to trust. When we offer Reiki in a non-threatening way, respecting the animal and their comfort, trust and bonding with humans can often happen at an accelerated rate.
4. General Well-Being
Just like us humans getting regular massages, acupuncture or taking Yoga classes, Reiki is incredibly useful for an animal’s general well-being. Our lives are busy, stressful and hectic and our pets feel this tension and strain as well. We also put a lot of pressure on today’s canine companion; everything from busy households, daily daycare, sports, training classes, being out in the community; it all adds up. I’m not saying these things are bad, it’s wonderful to see so many people participating in these types of activities with their dogs and providing their dogs with all kinds of different outlets for their energy and talents, however, it is also important to remember that regular relaxation opportunities will help create an even more well-rounded pet.
Image: Deposit Photos
5. Life Transition
As sad as it is, our pets can’t be with us forever. Reiki can offer physical and emotional comfort to us and our pets as we go through the death and dying process. I have been privileged to provide Reiki support to two dogs while going through this transition. I found that it was incredibly calming for everyone to start the vet visit with Reiki and continue offering the Reiki energy throughout the entire process. Both transitions were peaceful, filled with love and compassion and, while sad, the Reiki helped everyone feel closure and acceptance with the process.
As you can see, there are several ways Reiki can help your pet and it is a great addition to any health and wellness plan. Although Reiki should not replace traditional veterinary medicine, it can be an excellent support to that veterinary care. One important note to make is that every animal Reiki session can be, and usually is, different. All animal Reiki sessions are held in the animal's home to keep overall stress and anxiety to a minimum, and they can last anywhere from 10 minutes to 1 hour. The average length of a session is about 20 to 30 minutes. It is always a good idea to anticipate the appointment time to be at least one hour.
Julie lives in Calgary with her two senior dogs and is a Usui Reiki Practitioner (Usui Reiki Levels I, II & Master/Teacher) at Vintage Soul Wellness. She is available to offer Reiki to your pets if they are experiencing issues. Having completed a comprehensive certificate program in Canine Behaviour and Handling and with extensive experience dealing with many common canine behaviour challenges, Julie is uniquely qualified to offer this service. Julie only utilizes scientifically proven training methods and is happy to work with you and your reward-based trainer for more complex behaviour issues.