What do you think of when you hear the words Animal Reiki? Do you think of someone that heals animals, woo-woo, angels, or crystals? If you do, you’re not alone. Many people believe that Reiki is a mystical practice and requires a practitioner to channel universal energy through their hands. There is another side to Reiki that you don’t hear about very often. SARA (Shelter Animal Reiki Association) is a professional organization that promotes and teaches this other view.
I began my Reiki studies over 20 years ago. I have studied from five different teachers and I’ve taken the different levels of Reiki more than once, but something was always missing. I have been on a quest to discover a teacher that could enlighten me. Then I found the SARA organization and the missing pieces were filled in for me.
I now understand that the secret to healing is in the quiet bond we share with animals, and the way we access this bond is through meditation. Reiki is not something I do, it is something I become and I invite the animal to become it with me in this sacred space.
People are on the planet to experience love, grow, and learn. We share our earth walk with 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. Animal Reiki helps us tap into the deep bond we share with the animals – allowing our journey to be filled with wellness, compassion and joy.