When I suggested that we consider having my rescue Milo receive Animal Reiki – after trying method after method to help combat his marking habits my husband balked at the idea. To him, and many others Reiki for people, let alone animals is all Woo Woo nonsense to them. Since I’ve explored so much about how animals can assist others with their ailments through effective pet therapy, I was curious if there were also treatment methods out there that help animals manage their anxiety/stress.
For those that are not familiar with Reiki, it is an alternative palliative care treatment method. According to the International Center for Reiki Training.
“Reiki is a Japanese technique for stress reduction and relaxation that also promotes healing. It is administered by “laying on hands” and is based on the idea that an unseen “life force energy” flows through us and is what causes us to be alive. If one’s “life force energy” is low, then we are more likely to get sick or feel stress, and if it is high, we are more capable of being happy and healthy. The word Reiki is made of two Japanese words – Rei which means “God’s Wisdom or the Higher Power” and Ki which is “life force energy”. So Reiki is actually “spiritually guided life force energy.”
Reiki is often used in hospice or those struggling with painful or terminal illnesses as an additional treatment method in conjuction with western medicine.For those out there who think of it as nonsense- At minimum it can be viewed as meditation. Which helps many people to manage their stress levels.
SO- how can this help animals or service animals?
According to Healing Hands Reiki Master Ingrid King:
“Benefits of Reiki for pets:
- Enhances overall well-being
- Strengthens the immune system for cancer therapies.
- Accelerates healing following surgery or illness.
- Increases trust and bonding between you and your pet.
- Can help with behavior issues by promoting relaxation and stress reduction.
- Provides comfort and relieves pain, anxiety and fear for terminally ill animals”
The Blissful Dog had this great image regarding animal chakras and a variety of other information on their site as well if you are interested in learning more about the subject.
Locally in Las Vegas there are several businesses that practice Reiki on humans and pets and I will be honest, everyone that I know that has been open-minded enough to try it, enjoyed it and felt some form of relief to their stressors after. Worth checking out!
Either way, my thoughts are… whether you believe that Reiki is actually effective or not- who cares. Even if there isn’t scientific evidence to prove how effective this treatment method is, it does not cause any physical harm to the person or the animal. So why not try it? If it doesn’t work for you or your pet- no harm/no foul.
I think any alternative treatment methods that have the potential to ease someone’s suffering are absolutely worth exploring!