Reiki for Dogs: Is it real?

If you know your enemy, you will win most of the time. If you know yourself, there is no enemy

Sun Ysu, 500 B.C

Have you tried or heard of Reiki for dogs?

Reiki for Dogs: Is it real?

If you have ever experienced Reiki, you probably found it relaxing and beneficial I first became aware of Reiki from my human physical therapy patients, who had sought this type of treatment for medical issues.

I was skeptical about it until I entered the veterinary world and observed it used for animals.

Dog therapies: Reiki

I became intrigued and scheduled a session for myself.

The Reiki practitioner explained that this system of healing was lost for many centuries but rediscovered by Dr. Usui in the late 1800s.

Dr. Usui was a religious teacher who had an enormous amount of scholarly and technical information about healing, but he lacked “spiritual” power or ability needed to heal.  He went on a 21-day pilgrimage of meditation and fasting. During the journey, he lost consciousness and was filled with energy and healing powers. After this, he began to heal many people in Japan and started to pass along his gift to other healers through a ceremony and “attunements”.

Reiki continues to be passed along to students who study and receive it and are attuned by a Reiki Master.

My session consisted of lying on a table, fully clothed, while the practitioner placed her hands gently in various positions on and just above the body.

The hands felt warm and sometimes even hot. She told me I might experience “waves”, “vibrations” or see images, different colors. I asked her “you mean like in the sixties”? (Just kidding, I had to say it!). Though I did not have any of those sensations, I did feel a deep relaxation and sense of well-being.

This same practitioner worked with me at a shelter I service weekly and sensed that I had natural healing energy.

She said that being attuned to the first level Reiki would be an added benefit or dimension to my skills. There are 3 levels of Reiki and the first is a hands-on type, the other 2 are distance-level.  I finally did receive an attunement, after studying and receiving Reiki over the course of a few weeks.

The attunement was a little “freaky ‘Friday” for me, being a Western, traditional type of medical professional, but I enjoyed the experience.  It involved positions, hand placement, drinking water and contracting certain body areas, symbols “drawn” over me with the hand, etc.  In the end, there was a type of “thumping” on the top of my head, where the Reiki is supposed to enter. But honestly, I did not feel anything.

The practitioner advised me to eat lightly and drink a lot of water the few days prior, as my body would want to cleanse itself afterward.  I promptly ignored this advice, thinking it sounded a bit silly.  Well, it wasn’t so funny the next day when I was driving to a PT Conference and I became in serious need of finding the nearest bathroom STAT!  I will spare you the details, but just know I became a believer right then and there!

So, is Reiki “for real”?

Well, my answer is: I don’t know for sure, but I think so”.  Hopefully, I am not offending any Reiki Masters who might be reading this. This is an account of my own perspective as a novice.

I do use the first level Reiki during many PT sessions, usually after massage or trigger point releases.

I lay my hands lightly on various places of the animal’s body (using recommended placements and my intuition).  I close my eyes and try to relax and just let the energy flow through me.  My hands feel warm and sometimes tingly.

The animals usually love it!

It relaxes the patient and other pets in the house become quiet and still.  Whether it is Reiki, the Holy Spirit, my love for animals, or all of the above, it seems to be very effective.

I’ve also seen some amazing effects of Reiki treatment, given by the Master Practitioner I work with at the shelter.

One time it was was in the medical recovery. She stood outside of the cages where animals were coming out of anesthesia from spay/neuter or other surgery.  With her hands raised in the direction of the animals, I would observe the initial whining and crying from the semi-conscious animals start to wane and even stop when she started “flowing” Reiki toward them.  They couldn’t “see her” but they obviously sensed her presence or the Reiki energy or both, and it comforted them.

Another time involved some injured cougars that arrived at the zoo from Texas, who were anxious and aggressive.  The Reiki Master gave them distance energy from the other side of the barn, through thick walls and they became quieter and calmer.

So, it seems there is some evidence that Reiki is “real”.

I understand it from a biofield perspective, where charged particles in atoms produce currents of energy on and around the body surface.  I don’t have an understanding of “Chi”, “Chakras”, etc. but respect those who have this knowledge.  Health practitioners working with animals need to keep an open mind regarding Reiki and other holistic forms of healing, for the benefit of an animal’s health and well-being!

Related articles:
Gotta Try Everything Once (Or Twice): On The Quest To Figure Out Jasmine’s Episodes

Further reading:
Reiki for Dogs: 5 Techniques You Can Do At Home:

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