Today’s post comes from Kathleen Prasad, who was our featured practitioner in the very first post in this series (Alternative Healing Modality: Reiki). I went into more detail about what Reiki is and how it works in that post so I won’t repeat it here, but just quickly for those who are unfamiliar with it: Reiki is an energy healing method that can be done hands on or hands off. The practitioner sets the intention and acts as a conduit for the healing energy which flows through the practitioner into the person or animal being treated. You don’t have to know exactly what it is you need to treat, the energy will go where it is needed, and you will know when it is time to stop the session, because you feel the flow subside.
Kathleen, as mentioned in the previous post, is the founder and owner of Animal Reiki Source, and President of the Shelter Animal Reiki Association. She has written several books on Reiki and teaches classes and workshops in the San Francisco area. Since writing this post, she has also become one of our contributors here on AWG.
This case study talks about something that is easy to forget when you are eager to start treating an animal: the importance of asking animals for permission first, and also to allow them to choose how to receive the Reiki (the “Offering Reiki To Sheep” post is a similar example of this).
Kay and Clarence
by Kathleen Prasad
One treatment I gave to a horse taught me the value in allowing animals to choose whether or not to receive hands-on Reiki. This particular horse was a beautiful dark bay mare named Kay. She had a difficult past and needed Reiki to help her release some emotional memories. During the first treatment, I treated her from inside her stall, a few feet away. By the end of the treatment, she had pushed her chest into my hands and fell into a deep sleep, her nose lightly touching my shoulder.
However, when I approached her stall a week later for her second treatment, she moved to the far side and faced away from me, instead of greeting me as before. I decided to do the treatment sitting just outside her stall. As I began the treatment, I asked her permission and she came over to me and touched her muzzle to my hands. Then she moved back against the far wall again, lowered her head and relaxed.
At the same time, the barn cat Clarence, with whom I rarely interacted as he was so independent, suddenly appeared at my feet, meowing to come up into my lap. I placed him gently on my lap, and he immediately began purring and kneading his claws. He remained there for the entire treatment, purring loudly, while Kay periodically moved in close to touch my hands.
By the end of the treatment we were all very close together, Kay standing with her nose just above Clarence’s head. It was the most peaceful experience, where I felt Reiki connecting the three of us in a beautiful healing circle of energy.
Excerpt from Animal Reiki, Ulysses Press 2006, with the permission of Kathleen Prasad
Learn more about how to use Reiki with animals in Kathleen’s other articles here on AWG, and in her books: