More and more people recognize the benefits of Animal Reiki for their animal friends but hiring someone can be challenging. There are a lot of practitioners that offer Animal Reiki and there are different methods to choose from. Here are six questions you should ask before hiring any Animal Reiki practitioner.
1. Do you use human Reiki techniques on animals or offer a unique method specifically for animals?
Many Reiki practitioners use human Reiki techniques on animals; however, these techniques are not always accepted by animals. Human Reiki is a hands-on method of healing. It also involves focusing on the problem and directing energy to heal that problem. If the animal’s leg is hurt, the practitioner will put their hands on the leg of the animal and focus on sending their healing there. This type of Reiki can sometimes be effective but if your animal doesn’t trust strangers, is traumatized, ill and/or not able to move away from the practitioner, the session can do more harm than good.
Look for practitioners who practice hands off Animal Reiki. Make sure the practitioner you choose has been trained specifically in Animal Reiki – not human Reiki adapted for animals. Which leads us to the next question.
2. Do you touch the animals during the session?
This question will allow you to fully understand whether or not the practitioner is using human Reiki techniques on animals. Animal Reiki practitioners should never start with or force touch on an animal. As we stated above, for some animals, being touched by someone they don’t know or feel safe with can be unsettling and traumatizing. Touch should always be animal initiated, especially if your pet is a rescue. Be sure to ask the Animal Reiki practitioner if they use touch or wait for the animal to ask for it.
3. What role does the animal play in the Reiki session?
This is a very important question to ask and can tell you everything you need to know about the practitioner. Their answer should be that the animal controls the session. They should understand and share with you that the animal decides if they will accept the Reiki, how they will accept it, how long the session will last, and if they want touch. The Animal Reiki practitioner should never focus on the problem or beam energy. The role of the practitioner is passive. They should become still, create a very calm, meditative space, and invite the animal to step into it. Animals always have a choice to accept the Reiki or not.
If the Animal Reiki practitioner truly respects animals, they will understand and share all this information with you. If they do not, this is a red flag. We highly recommend you keep looking for a practitioner who understands that animals lead the session – always.
4. How long have you been working with animals?
The techniques and methods of offering Reiki to animals differ from offering Reiki to people. It’s important to find out how long the practitioner has been working with animals, not just people. Some Reiki practitioners may not have had any formal Animal Reiki training and may have only worked with their own animals and animals of friends. It is important to find a Reiki practitioner that has at least one year of practice with a variety of different animals. A very good Animal Reiki practitioner will have at least 100 hours of practical experience with animals they do not know.
5. Do you adhere to a professional code of ethics for working with animals?
Making sure the practitioner is guided by ethical standards is important for your pet’s safety. Practitioners who follow a strong code of ethics will be respectful of the advice of your vet, honor the choices of your animal, have a daily commitment to self-practice and be dedicated to the virtues of humility, integrity and compassion. Ask to see a copy of their code of ethics before hiring any Animal Reiki practitioner. If they do not have one, this is another sign to find another practitioner who does.
6. Do you belong to any Animal Reiki professional organizations?
Belonging to professional organizations can be a positive sign the practitioner is a professional and takes their business seriously. If they belong to an Animal Reiki specific organization, this can be an indication they care enough to continue their training and be a leader in the Animal Reiki community.
One organization that indicates your Animal Reiki practitioner is one of integrity is the Shelter Animal Reiki Association (SARA). SARA is the first professional non-profit Animal Reiki association and the only organization that has a global reach. Membership in SARA is only open to practitioners that practice the Let Animals Lead® method of Animal Reiki. We highly recommend visiting their website to find a practitioner in your area.
For more information on the Let Animals Lead® method of Animal Reiki and SARA, please read below.
Asking these six questions is a great way to interview any potentional Animal Reiki practitioner who will be working with your animal(s) and find the perfect fit!
At Animal Bonds, we practice and recommend the ground breaking Let Animals Lead® method of Animal Reiki. It is a hands-free, meditative method created by Kathleen Prasad in 2006 specifically for use with animals. It has been field tested on thousands of animals and is currently practiced around the globe at animal shelters and sanctuaries.
We also follow the Animal Reiki Practitioner Code of Ethics that were created by Kathleen Prasad in 2007. Our method of Animal Reiki and the Code of Ethics are practiced and followed by thousands of practitioners around the world.
We belong to and are an integral part of the Shelter Animal Reiki Association (SARA). SARA was formed by Kathleen Prasad and Animal Bonds partner Leah D’Ambrosio in 2008 and is dedicated to bringing meditation techniques to animal rescues, sanctuaries, and shelters around the world. Members in SARA are trained in the Let Animals Lead® method of Animal Reiki and are dedicated to the wellbeing of animals.
Both Jamie Lee and Leah D’Ambrosio are Teachers of Excellence in the Let Animals Lead® method of Animal Reiki. This distinction is only given to Animal Reiki teachers who are dedicated to their practice, have extensive experience with animals and strictly follow the Code of Ethics. If you’d like to study with Jamie and Leah, be sure to visit our upcoming classes. Many of our classes are eligible for CEUs from the International Association of Animal Massage & Bodywork/Association of Canine Water Therapy.
Want to learn more about the Let Animals Lead® method of Animal Reiki? Sign up for our self-study class, Introduction to Animal Reiki, at http://animal-bonds.com/self-study-animal-reiki-classes/
By studying with us, you are also giving back to animal causes. For every class taught, we donate a percentage of the class fee to animal causes and rescues.