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Approaching Animals with Reiki

By Kathleen Prasad

The approach is key when working with animals and Reiki. Animals appreciate being given control of the treatment: in other words, being allowed to say “yes” or “no” to the treatment as well as determining the way the treatment will unfold. This means the practitioner needs to follow a few basic rules to be successful in the treatment:

  1. Always begin by asking permission of the animal directly OR by setting your intention that you are open to facilitate the healing process for the animal for as much energy as they are open to receive, or none at all (this is a form of permission).

  2. It’s best not to initiate hands-on contact when working with an animal. Always allow the animal to be the one to initiate contact.

  3. Allow the animal to move freely in the treatment space. Pay attention to what your animal is telling you by their behavior about how he or she wants you to give the treatment.

  4. Animals appreciate a passive and open approach.Do not “beam” or “send” energy to the animal or to a specific health issue the animal has that you “think” needs healing. Instead, try “offering” the energy in a non-assertive manner. Imagine you are creating a Reiki bubble around yourself which the animal can move into and out of freely, or build an imaginary “Reiki bridge” which the animal can cross if he or she wants to participate in the healing treatment. In this same vein, your body language should match this passive intention: in other words, don’t initiate and hold eye contact, don’t make yourself “big” and dominant in your body position. For example, try to stay on the same physical level with the animal and remain in a non-threatening pose -ideally, don’t stand up over a small animal on ground level or have your hands up and palms facing out like a predator about to pounce.

  5. Let go of your expectations about how an animal should behave during the treatment (they usually do not behave like humans, lying down motionless for 60 minutes). The typical treatment consists of an ebb and flow of hands-on/short distance Reiki as well as short periods of movement and relaxation. Also, let go of your expectations about what healing result the animal should manifest.

  6. After you finish the treatment, always thank the animal for participation in the treatment.

Republished with kind permission from


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