Of the therapies I practice, Reiki is the one that meets with the most confusion, often greeted by a mix of frowns, laughter and eye rolling! Whilst Shiatsu also works on an energetic level, many of the techniques used are closer to what people are used to seeing from physiotherapists and chiropractors. It is Reiki though that is a lot harder to understand and is often assigned to the realms of more hippy style beliefs. In recent years however, Reiki has increasingly been attracting attention in the West, being introduced into hospitals, care centres and other medical institutions around the world. As a result, it is now gaining recognition as a therapy in its own right.

Many argue that alternative therapies work as a placebo and I, for one, used to agree. With our daily lives becoming more hectic, we convince ourselves that booking into an hour-long session, be that a massage, a facial or a Reiki session, will give us a chance to stop and switch off, allowing our minds and bodies time to truly relax. Whilst this is generally the outcome, we have already convinced our minds that we will enjoy the session before we have even climbed onto the couch! The placebo argument however breaks down when it comes to animals.

Animals have no reason to accept Reiki, no reason to pretend they are enjoying it or that the money spent is worthwhile and so when critics see the way they react to a seemingly ‘invisible’ practice, they start to open to its possibilities. Kathleen Prasad has been a leading force in the world of Animal Reiki and, whilst Reiki on humans is growing in popularity, mainly from word of mouth, Kathleen’s videos and those of other practitioners help to show just how effective a therapy Reiki can be for our animals.

So, what is Reiki and how does it work?

As we all learned in Physics, everything we do is controlled and enabled by electricity. Our bodies are capable of generating electricity which is key to our health. The transmission of messages throughout the body is central to everything and without electricity you wouldn’t be reading this article now. Reiki works with this energy, like a radio tuner it tunes into our bodies’ energy, ensuring the free flow of energy to keep everything in working order. Key to Reiki is grounding, supporting our connection with the Earth.

Daily stress has an impact on our physical body, leaving us with tight muscles, tension in our joints and a general feeling of being ungrounded, ‘away with the fairies’. All this acts like a pull on our body (like two magnets being held together), depleting our energy, our body forced to use its resources to feed the imbalance rather than working on what it really needs to function normally. This is where Reiki can come in, focusing the energy to release the stress and ground the body to allow it to use its energy to keep itself healthy.

Stress is becoming as much of an issue for today’s animals as it is for humans. Whether it be from being domesticated and living how their human companions choose (however kind the intentions), or in the wild, fighting against loss of habitat, pollution etc, animals are succumbing to stress which in turn is leading to more illnesses and physical issues. This is where Reiki can come in, helping alleviate this build-up to restore balance within the body.

Few question how Wi-Fi works or how Bluetooth works, how the waves are tapped into – these things just work! We don’t ask to see anything physical happening between the wi-fi box and the computer, so long as we have internet etc, we’re happy. In a similar way a Reiki session must be witnessed to be believed. Over the years I have decided to go with the flow and not question how Reiki works. Having witnessed its effects both personally and with animals I have been lucky to practice with, I know it works. In the same way I’m happy to trust my wi-fi system will work to give me internet access when I upload this! With animals being so open to what they want and how they want it when it comes to their Reiki sessions, I am fortunate to be able to witness first-hand the incredible effects it can have.

I could go on and on extolling the virtues of Reiki but actions generally speak louder than words and no more so than with Reiki. The short video below shows Reiki in an Animal Shelter. Even though Kathleen may appear to be doing very little, the results are fascinating and more than able to speak for themselves. Enjoy…