Note from Kimberly: Reiki and dogs have gone hand and hand for me since my first experience. Rodrigo was limping and I wanted to give him some relief until we could get him to the veterinarian. The results were astounding and today, Rodrigo is a happy, active dog who takes a daily supplement for joint support that has given us our happy dog back! So I was excited when Rob Fellows offered to write about his experience with Reiki and dogs. Thank you, Rob.
If you are interested in finding out about a simple natural way to enrich the lives of your canine chums then, hopefully, this short article will show you how you can achieve this through the natural therapy of Reiki.
About 13 years ago my life dramatically changed for the better thanks to a chance conversation at work. A colleague noticed me hobbling around trying to cope with the pain of a lower back problem and suggested I try a session of Reiki – a hands on healing therapy. A few days later I found myself lying flat on my stomach, fully clothed on a therapy couch with a pair of hands resting gently on my lower back. The warmth was sublime and I didn’t want the session to stop as I could feel the pain lift away. It felt fantastic …. my back pain had subsided and my mobility had improved.
Ok .. so, I hear you cry, what’s this got to do with dogs? Well …. I was not the only one in pain in the Fellows household. My precious Springer Spaniel Joe was in his twilight years at 13 and his arthritis was getting progressively worse. It was so distressing to see him sometimes drag his paws on the sidewalk especially when they bled. He was no longer the active Springer who loved running in the fields.
If you are now one step ahead of me you’ll have guessed that it was at this point that I decided to train to give Reiki so that I could help Joe with his pain management to support his strong (and unpleasant) meds.
So Joe was my motivator to become a Reiki Practitioner.
What is Reiki?
Reiki is a gentle hands-on healing therapy which can be used to help people and animals. It works by transferring energy from the Reiki giver to the Reiki receiver… in this case my dog Joe. This energy is taken in by the receiver which is then used to support the body’s natural ‘self-healing’ process. So there is nothing more natural than Reiki therapy as it involves no pills or potions of any kind and, thankfully for me, involves no needles, or any form of manipulation.
How did I train to give Reiki?
In order to give hands-on Reiki healing you need to be qualified to Level 1, also called First Degree Reiki. You don’t learn Reiki in the traditional way of going to college and studying for exams, instead you are ‘attuned’ or trained by a Reiki Master Teacher which you can do at any time and at any age.
So I did a little research and found a Reiki teacher that I felt I had some resonance with. I booked myself on the short course and a couple of weeks later off I went to the community hall and found about 25 other people there. I was amazed how many were on the course!
The course was great and the attunements gave me the ability to give Reiki. I call this the ‘gift of healing’ which I believe sums it up rather neatly. Hope you agree?
There were no exams or tests and once I’d left the course I could give Reiki healing, forever.
Whilst the course was good it was aimed at helping people. The practise on another person was very useful but we didn’t do any work with dogs … and after all this was the main reason I was on the course.
So, I took all the guidance I could and adapted my learning so that I could work with Joe. The great thing is that Reiki is very simple and gentle. So on a regular basis from then on I gently cupped my hands around Joe’s painful front paws and using a number of different hand positions, which I held for a minute or so, I gave him Reiki where the pain was most intense. Often I would give him a head to tail Reiki session to help him enjoy total relaxation. He loved Reiki and would often fall asleep as the healing warmth enveloped him. Now we all know that nothing cures arthritis but I’m convinced I eased some of his pain and certainly his mobility was improved too.
Joe lived for a further two years and I was happy to have helped him.
What can Reiki be used for?
Reiki is holistic in its benefits and so it can help simultaneously on a number of levels. As I covered above Reiki can be used to ease physical pain not only caused by arthritis but it is possible to help with any pain. It can be useful to help speed up recovery from surgery too.
Reiki can also help with emotional problems too. Many dogs suffer from stress related conditions, just like us humans. In fact many a stressed human can be the cause of the dog’s stresses! With Reiki being so calming it is useful to be able to comfort your dog when it’s needed. Scrummy, our rescue dog is a typical terrier, into everything. But when she first came to us she was frightened of many things including traveling by car, the vacuum cleaner, people walking past her and basically anything associated with noise. But I’ve been able to calm her with plenty of hands-on Reiki and no drugs being required.
I find that a lot of dog groomers use Reiki to help calm stressed dogs on the grooming table. This makes the ‘haircut’ more pleasant for the dog and an easier life for the groomer too!
Reiki can be used alongside all prescribed vet meds and you can’t overdose either.
Practice Practice Practice
As soon as someone has been attuned to Reiki they are able to start giving healing straight away .. it’s that simple … but like with most things in life the more you do something the better you become. Reiki is no different as you more you give Reiki the stronger the energy becomes and the better the healer is.
Sessions can be sort of formal, they have to be at a set time for my paying clients, but with my own dogs I give them Reiki whenever they need it. Monty, my current Springer, also has arthritis, this time in the base of his spine and he usually comes up me a few times a day, points his back end to me so I can lay my hands on him. Then, when he’s had enough, he trots off again. He’s done this whilst I’ve been writing this article. It still makes me smile!
Even when I lay my hands on my dogs whilst they snuggle on my lap I’m still giving them a beneficial Reiki session. … so I reckon this makes Reiki one of the best ways to build a loving bond with your dog.
It might seem a crazy thing to say but having a back problem proved a good thing for me … as it opened up a whole new way of life to the benefit of my own dogs, the many other dogs I’ve worked with and all the people I’ve trained to give Reiki to their own dogs.
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Author Bio: Rob Fellows is a Reiki Master Teacher with animal and human clients all over the world. He gives talks and demonstrations on animal Reiki and has developed a simple Home Study Course Reiki for Dogs so that anyone can quickly learn to give Reiki healing to their own dogs. Details can be found at www.reiki4dogs.co.uk/#!home-study