Caroline Thomas is the founder and owner of Hoof and Paw Holistic Therapies in Essex, England.
Cattie: I met Caroline several years ago when she was the featured practitioner in the Bach Flower Remedies post we collaborated on on Animal Massage Guide. We have stayed in touch, and Caroline has since shared a very moving story about doing Reiki with sheep, and I also interviewed her in the post about SARA, the Shelter Animal Reiki Association, of which she is the European Regional Manager. Caroline does amazing work and I am thrilled that she has agreed to be a regular contributor and our Reiki and flower essence expert.
Finding me and learning how to be the Holistic me
I am so excited to be asked to be guest ‘expert’ on Flower Essences and Reiki for the Animal Wellness website. Being a huge fan of the work Cattie does to promote Holistic Animal Therapies worldwide, it is a huge honour for me to be asked. I will share over the coming months different topics relating to Flower essences and Reiki plus how they can bring about positive change to your animals, both emotionally and physically.
From the moment I can remember, my love of animals was huge, ranging from dogs, cats, horses, mice, rabbits to crazy biting terrapins. They taught me from a young age, love, responsibility and probably the hardest lesson death. They were there to share my life’s ups and downs; a divorce, a marriage, four house moves, loss of a job, birth of two sons, the death of my youngest brother and sadly now, monthly visits to my dad in Ireland who has dementia. My life story is probably the same as most, as we all walk a road filled with happiness and sadness. Through my own passage, it has always been filled with animals and my love and respect of animals.
The big turning point in my life came when my brother died. It hit me very hard and I suppose for a few years I was lost in my own grief and sadness. That was 15 years ago, when the fog cleared and I realised that I had to get my life back on track, it ignited my passion in Holistic Therapies and the start of my journey to ‘find me’. With my animals at my side and massive enthusiasm to learn, my path has been filled with the meeting of many animals, people, and learning my trade from some of the best teachers in the world. I have certificates from; Frans Steine, Kathleen Prasad, Nayana Morag, The Bach Flower Centre in Oxford and the Natural Animal Centre in Wales. However for me, my certificates where only the start, it was my apprenticeship; listening to the Remus animals and letting them teach me, where I have learnt most.
The biggest lesson for me has been to teach from my own experience and to listen to the animals I work with. I have been working with the Remus Horse Sanctuary animals for over 7 years and have gained much respect from Sue Burton, who is the Sanctuary owner. I have been able to offer Reiki to many of the animals when they are being put to sleep, made 1000’s of flower essences and offered 1000’s of Reiki sessions to her other animals. I have worked with 100’s of different emotional issues ranging from; Agoraphobia, Autism, fear, grief, OCD, self-harming to lacking confidence, over confidence, dominance, fear of the dark, the postman, the husband, the cat and so much more. I have animal clients from all over the world, which I have been able to help find peace and tranquillity.
I approach my holistic animal therapies by working from a place of no ‘ego’ and listening to what the animals have to say and then listening to what their human has to say. As humans we think we know best but sometimes we truly don’t. For example, I had a client who insisted on showing his dog at shows. His dog had not been socialised and got really distressed at the dog show. In honesty the entire range of flower essences in the world were not going to get to the root of the problem. In human terms, how many of us would want to be on stage, being looked at and prodded? There may be some but there would be a lot who would hate the whole process. My Holistic role is to bring understanding on both sides. Is the owner listening to his dog? Is it for his benefit or for the benefit of his dog? Approaching the problem with experience, empathy and understanding and most of all listening to the animal promotes change. Unless you deal with the root of the problem, holistic therapies are nothing more than a sticking plaster. Your animal will feel chilled and relaxed for a time but sooner or later the stress, anxiety will come back. The more we move away from what is natural and instinctive for our animals the more likely they are to have emotional and perhaps physical problems.
I promise to write my blogs with integrity and hope you will enjoy reading them as much as I will enjoy writing them.
Read posts by Caroline
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