Shelter Animal Reiki Association

Shelter Animal Reiki Association

Animal Reiki the SARA Way

What reaction do you get from people when you mention Animal Reiki?  Do people assume that you were born with a gift to heal and communicate with animals? Do people immediately think woo-woo, angels, or crystals? Many people believe that Reiki is a mystical, whacky thing that hippies or witches practice, and it shouldn’t be messed with. Other people may tell you must receive the ability to practice Reiki from a Master – it is something that is given to you.

There is a great deal of misinformation about Reiki in the world.  Many people see it as something that challenges their spiritual beliefs and they avoid it, making it difficult for SARA teachers and practitioners to share this healing energy.

I’m sure we all have experienced this reaction from people. I know I did and it was discouraging, but I knew I had to find a way to reach people and the animals. I decided to change the conversation. I now use research and stories to explain what I offer. Here is how it sounds.

The secret to healing is in the quiet bond we share with animals, and the way we access this bond is through meditation.

People are on the planet to experience love, grow, and learn. We share our time on earth the animal beings. They are here to teach and to guide us on our journey. Their ability to help us is all around; we only need to pay attention. Research has shown what animal lover’s already know – pets are good for us! For example:

  • Stroking or petting an animal decreases blood pressure and/or heart rate.
  • Stroking or petting an animal decreases blood pressure and/or heart rate for the pet.
  • The presence of a dog in a nursing home resulted in happier, more alert and more responsive residents.
  • Pet owners are significantly more likely to still be alive one year after a heart attack than non-pet owners.

Everyday we hear stories about pets saving the lives of people. Today I read the story of Army Sgt. Josh Marino. Josh was left permanently scarred from his service in the military. He suffered a brain injury in Iraq and had severe post-traumatic stress. His pain became too much for him, and he decided to kill himself.  He wrote a good-bye letter on his computer, took out his knife and went outside to smoke one last cigarette. That’s when he heard a little meow.

“He just walked up and started rubbing up against my leg and let me pet him and I burst into tears,” Josh said. “Maybe he knew there was something I couldn’t quite handle. I stopped thinking about all my problems and started thinking about his problems and what I could do to help him,” Josh added. Josh named him scout and credits the kitten with saving his life.

We hear stories like this everyday, but unless we experience it, we don’t always understand the importance of our relationships with animals. Meditation helps us tap into the deep bond we share with the animals – allowing the journey to be filled with wellness, compassion and joy.

When I discuss my classes and the word Reiki comes up, I let people know that this is no ordinary Reiki training. We won’t talk about angels or crystals or past lives. We discuss the fundamentals of the traditional Japanese system of Reiki. We will learn to experience energy.  We will learn to meditate. We will learn to access healing in the quiet bond we share with animals.

This is the SARA way.

Jamie Lee
SARA Teacher


  1. Jennie. Gore
    November 11, 2017

    I have found this interesting my partner and have two rescue dogs called Hunter and C J
    they are our family and loved to bits.

  2. Beverley Poynter
    February 16, 2018

    Very interesting article, and put very simple for all to understand. Yes I agree very important to stick to traditional system. I am currently training in Animal Reiki which uses different symbols and im not entirely sure how comfortable i am with that.I have read some SARA book and find them very inspiring. Thank you for this lovely article x

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