Many people would be surprised to learn that practitioners of alternative and complementary medicine not only focus on people’s pets, but also wildlife, zoo, and farm animals. It’s important to not forget about them, or take them for granted. They are living beings with feelings and emotions just like us, and deserve to be treated with kindness and respect.
This wonderful story about offering reiki to sheep comes to us from Caroline Thomas, who was our featured practitioner in the Bach Flower Remedies post. Caroline, founder and owner of Hoof and Paw Holistic Therapies, lives and works in Chelmsford, England, where she practices a variety of complementary therapies such as Crystal Healing, Reiki, Bach flowers, Alaskan Essences etc. She is a Reiki Master, Bach Flower Practitioner, soon-to-be Animal PsychAromatica practitioner, and a founding member of SARA (the Shelter Animal Reiki Association). Caroline is also one of our expert contributors here at AWG.
Caroline is a long-time volunteer at Remus, a horse and farm animal sanctuary in Ingatestone, England, and this story takes place at the sanctuary.
Offering Reiki to Sheep
by Caroline Thomas
I woke up on a very cold day to howling winds and rain falling hard against my window. I was going to Remus and I needed to bundle up: when doing Reiki healing outdoors, you can quickly become too cold and start focusing on your own discomfort rather than the Reiki.
It was raining so hard that a river had burst its banks and the road to Remus was flooded. I kept thinking about the animals I was going to get to work with – there are so many wonderful animals at Remus including pigs, horses, goats, sheep, and cats.
I met up with Sue, founder of Remus. Remus is very open to holistic therapies, especially Reiki. Sometimes, Sue sends me a text message asking me to send Reiki to an animal or a situation. One of the many wonderful qualities of Reiki is that it can help even when I can’t be present in person.
We talked about the past week and I asked if any of the animals needed Reiki. Sue said, yes, three of the sheep, Guiness, Mum Sheep and Peep, were not well. All three were old and frail and suffering from chronic arthritis. As sheep are farm animals and part of the food chain, they don’t often reach old age, but these three had been lucky enough to end up at Remus and allowed to grow old with dignity. People think sheep are all the same and cannot think for themselves. I can assure you that they are all individuals with big or small characters. It is such a misconception that a herd of sheep are all the same.
I have offered Reiki to the sheep many times before, and they are very clear about accepting it or not. When I entered the sheep shed, all 20 sheep were looking at me as I walked through them to the sheep I was going to work on. The three of them lay in a circle in the middle of the shed. I’m not sure if they knew I was going to offer them Reiki or if this is what sheep do when they feeling poorly. Lying down is a vulnerable position for all prey animals.
I closed my eyes and asked them if they would allow me to offer Reiki. My intuition came back with a resounding yes; these three sheep were definitely in need of Reiki.
I centered myself and offered healing support to the animals, allowing them to take whatever energy they needed. While the Reiki was flowing, many of the other sheep entered this healing circle, staying for a short or longer time depending on their needs. Peep, Guinness, and Mum Sheep, lay peacefully in the energy while it ebbed and flowed. At one point Mum Sheep lay her head gently on the floor sighing as she lay. The Reiki treatment session went on for about 40 minutes. Naturally each sheep got up one by one and moved away from the energy.
It is important to remember that it is the animal who is in charge of their healing and not to force the Reiki onto the animal even though you have best intentions. Observing the animals’ body language and behaviour are also a key part of having a successful Reiki session.
Each time I have visited Remus, I have offered Reiki to the above sheep. I have observed that whilst offering Reiki, the other sheep have become more inquisitive of the energy and are quite happy to bask in the Reiki. They seem less fearful of my presence in their company and more accepting of the lovely Reiki energy.