Have you wondered what the distinct traits of Animal Reiki are and what exactly is the need for specialization? Is Animal Reiki different from traditional Reiki? The elementary answer is that Animal Reiki is also Reiki. The universal energy is the same – there is simply one universal energy. And at the same time, Animal Reiki is about the animals and is practiced honouring the unique sensitivities of the animal kingdom.
Why is Animal Reiki Needed?
When I first started learning Reiki, I would enthusiastically want to practice Reiki with Amadeus, my cat. And on several occasions, he would simply get up and walk away and I would wonder why. With time, I appreciated the need to tune Reiki to suit the quirks and demands of my animal companions. Eventually, the cats gave their seal of approval and were content to sit in the shared Reiki space – as partners.
The initial Reiki teachings were intended for humans. Both the practitioner and the recipient knew the norms – e.g., lying or sitting still and positioning of hands. Now, recall what happens when you ask your cat to sit still so that you can do some Reiki? And in that feline trait of simply being who they are, lies the distinction of Animal Reiki. With animals, Reiki is practiced as per the terms and conditions set by each animal and not as per conventions. Practitioners have a deep appreciation and empathy with the animal kingdom and see animals as equals in the healing process.
Evolution of Animal Reiki
As animal lovers got initiated into Reiki, there was a sense that most Reiki training did not cater to the unique sensitivities of the animal kingdom. Consequently, there emerged a new group of leaders and teachers who had learnt and discovered the distinctions of energy healing with animals.
5 Distinct Traits of Animal Reiki
These are 5 notable traits that are unique and special to Animal Reiki practices.
Animal first, Reiki second
First and foremost, it is about the animals. Animal Reiki practitioners share a deep bond with the world of animals. We respect the choices our animal companions make. Sometimes that includes honouring their decision, when they would prefer to be left alone.
Animals show the way
Animals have a natural affinity to the flow of energy and a much higher level of sensitivity. At a very primal instinctive level, they know where the energy is needed, how much and for how long. Animal Reiki practitioners will let the animals take the lead in a session and never force or send Reiki. One of the foremost leaders in the field of Animal Reiki, Kathleen Prasad, the founder of Animal Reiki Source has developed the Let Animals Lead® method. This provides a very supportive structure and guidance for practitioners.
No touch unless the animal asks
Very few animals are comfortable with strangers intruding into their space and are often skittish about physical contact with unknown humans. Animal Reiki allows the animals to move around and do their own stuff while the practitioner holds the space. Touch is included only when the animal initiates it. For instance, a cat or a horse may wander next to the practitioner and position themselves asking for physical touch.
Formal hand positions not needed
Animals intuitively know and do not depend on formal hand positions to receive the energy. In fact, some animals may find the frequent movement of hands disturbing. They prefer the space of stillness which they feel is more suitable for energy work. In Animal Reiki, both practitioner and animal share a space of stillness, which allows the Ki to work for the highest good without much intervention from the practitioner.
Animals teach us
Animal Reiki practitioners work in equal partnership with the animals – there is no sense of a giver and receiver. Instead, there is a deep connection of love in a shared space that leads to healing. Working with animals can often be a healing experience for the practitioner too. We also honour the animals as our teachers and guides and see the world from their point of view. Each animal comes with their unique teachings and we grow wiser for the time spent with them.
“Reiki energy healing can assist you in supporting your animal companion’s well-being, foster deeper connections with the Other Nations we share this world with, and help facilitate your healing and balance as you walk your path in life.” – Rose De Dan, Wild Reiki Shamanic
Animal Reiki practitioners are a bridge between the majestic wonders of the world of animals and the compassionate power of the world of Reiki. We simply love animals; are often animal empaths and animal ambassadors; and are immensely grateful when an animal chooses to share a part of their journey with us in the shared space of Reiki.