Healthy Pets
  • South Central Wisconsin
  • April 2011
Written by  Amy J. Pikalek

Treating animals with Reiki

Literally meaning "Spiritual Energy" in Japanese, Reiki is one of the oldest and most powerful natural healing methods in existence today. It is based on the teachings of Dr. Mikao Usui and is passed down through the generations from Master to student. Reiki has become an accepted practice today in many medical settings, such as hospitals, cancer centers, hospice facilities and clinics. As understanding and word of Reiki’s success in humans catches on, Reiki has begun to receive recognition as a holistic healing system for animals by veterinarians and animal owners nationwide.

When an animal is sick or injured, his/her energy is ‘imbalanced.’ Reiki works on spiritual, physical, emotional and psychological levels to bring about a more balanced energetic state. A non-invasive form of natural healing, Reiki can be given in person or at a distance, addressing the issues that need it most. Reiki is ideal for animals because it is gentle and non-invasive and physical touch is not required for healing to occur. During the treatment, the animal is in control of the treatment process by accepting the healing intent the practitioner offers.

Reiki practitioners do not diagnose conditions or prescribe medications. But Reiki works well in conjunction with other therapeutic or medical techniques prescribed by a veterinarian. For healthy animals, Reiki can maintain that level of health, provide relaxation and increase the human/animal bond.

For ill animals, Reiki can be a wonderful complement to traditional Western medicine, Chinese medicine or other holistic methods. For example, Reiki can help reduce the side effects of medical procedures or medications. Consider the case of Pistol, an 8-year-old Jack Russell/beagle mix that was suffering from severe allergies — to the point that he had chewed his paws raw and left them infected. His veterinarian prescribed a series of antibiotics and other medications, including Prednisone, to clear up the allergies and the infection. While the medications worked, they left him nauseated, bloated and lethargic. But 30-minute Reiki treatments once a week boosted Pistol’s energy level and reduced the side effects of the medication. The sessions also helped maintain Pistol’s energy level once the course of medication was completed.

For animals nearing the end of their lives, Reiki can relieve pain, ease fear and anxiety — for both human and animal — and ease the transition to death. When Jesse, a 14-year-old cat, was diagnosed with a rare form of terminal cancer, there was little that his veterinarian could do for him outside of providing pain medication. Very brief daily Reiki treatments assisted Jesse and his human family greatly during the last month of his life. Reiki reduced Jesse’s pain, eased anxiety and fear and also strengthened the bond between Jesse and his caretakers.

In sum, Reiki can:

Reduce stress

Accelerate healing from an illness, injury or surgery

Reduce pain and inflammation

Help with behavioral problems

Lessen the side effects of medication

Support the end of life process

Reiki treatments can be offered to animals in many ways, from a distance session—where the practitioner is not physically present — to a fully hands-on session. A qualified Reiki practitioner will be able to assist you in selecting the right delivery method and treatment frequency for your specific situation.

Amy J. Pikalek is a Reiki Master, specializing in animal Reiki. She is owner of Hikari Natural Healing, located in MaRiLa Veterinary Clinic, Cross Plains.

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