Animal Reiki – Begin With a Hands-Off Approach

I recently received an email from a potential student, with a link to a video showing a demonstration of Animal Reiki. Though it was through a Reiki Center that works with shelter animals, the method shown looked more like the way we do Reiki for people. The Practitioner was demonstrating Reiki only in a hands-on way. And then she added, “We can also do scanning.” (body scanning or Byosen scanning which is a way to scan for blockages in the energetic field.) She proceeded to wave her hands wildly over the dog’s hind quarters.

I was a little surprised by this demonstration, as the method I learned — and now teach — is clearly different. We always begin with a hands-off approach. “The Animal Reiki Code of Ethics” was developed by Kathleen Prasad and it guides us to consider animals as partners in the healing process. Sitting near an animal, gaining the permission and trust of the animal, are key factors as one begins to offer healing energy. Many animals, especially shelter dogs, may be wary of being touched by a stranger, even a well-meaning one. Scanning is something best only used for people Reiki. To move one’s hands above an animal may constitute a threatening gesture to some fearful 4-legged ones.

Sitting nearby in a non-threatening, eyes-gently-averted, palms-up-on-one’s-lap position is an ideal way to begin a Reiki session with an animal they have never met, or one they don’t know well. (Of course, if the recipient of Reiki is one’s own pet, be ready for your own furkid to quickly sense the energy and want some up close and personal hands-on attention.)

When you begin offering hands-off, it is up to the animal to decide if they actually want to move closer. He/she will usually clearly indicate if they want a hands-on session, so you won’t have to guess whether or not they are open to it. Just watch the animal for cues as to how they would like to receive Reiki, and know that each animal is unique in how they choose to participate in a treatment. Remember to be open and flexible, and release all expectations of outcome — and this will help the treatment be more effective!

Comments are closed.