Many dog lovers feel the relationship forged between human and canine contains a mystical connection. After all, doesn’t your dog sometimes know what you’re thinking? When it comes to caring for our furry friends, some believe the Japanese technique of Reiki can be a helpful tool.
The word “Reiki” is derived from the Japanese terms “higher power” and “life force energy,” and was popularized in the early 20th century in Japan. It’s used in human circles for spiritual healing, stress relief, and self improvement—but what about Reiki for dogs? Can it help canine conditions, and what do you need to know to get started?
This list of basics should—like Reiki itself—give you a hand.
1. It’s not for everyone
Before we address using Reiki on dogs, let’s acknowledge the elephant in the room. Just as there are critics of acupuncture, some chiropractic applications, and healing services at religious institutions, some believe Reiki is tomfoolery at best. It is not considered a legitimate medical intervention, though it can be used in concert with traditional treatments.
For more on the controversy, pop over to our friends at Wikipedia.
2. Potential benefits of Reiki
The intended benefits of Reiki are for physical healing, psychological treatment, and general wellness. It may relieve tension or alleviate fears, giving your dog a sense of peace.
On top of that, some note that pain relief and rapid recovery result from treatment, aiding the body’s natural healing process. Whether it’s a behavioral disorder, injury, or arthritis, your dog’s malady may be helped by Reiki.
3. Energy transfer to the willing
It’s not the same thing, but Star Wars wasn’t far from the concept Reiki proposes, in that it involves life energy that is not from you, but channeled through you.
It’s traditionally something offered, not forced, on the recipient, so even with dogs there should be invitation, then administration as they’re receptive and accepting.
4. Will your dog like Reiki?
…that is the question. Maybe you’ve seen Reiki on humans, where a healer’s hands hover over the person but don’t actually touch them. This might seem fascinating, but hands-hovering and hands-on Reiki are both acceptable forms.
It may depend on the animal. You may have a new dog who is timid and fearful of touch, or you might be helping at a shelter with a new, skittish arrival: hands-hovering may be the best way to start. If it’s your dog, or one who obviously loves touch, the light hands-on application is welcome.
5. Hand positions for dog Reiki
Dog Reiki hand positions aren’t extremely different from human hand configurations, simply modified. At a basic level, you want to match hand positions on both sides of the dog, starting at the shoulders and working your way down their body at energy points (chakras).
For an injury or ailment, you can also put your hands together, thumbs touching, and focus on the particular area or organ affected.
As Rob Fellows explains in the video below, you also have to work with whatever time the dog will give you:
6. When to get help
Don’t know if you’re doing any good? The internet isn’t your only source of help to apply the principles and power of Reiki. There are professionals across the country, probably a master nearby who can work with your canine companion.
If not local, some practitioners profess the power and impact of distance Reiki to affect your pet, sending energy to them from afar. If those options are too expensive ongoing, some offer Reiki for dogs courses to get you on the path from learner to master, with books and tutorials available online.
7. Side effects may include bonding
You’ve learned some techniques, acclimated your best buddy, and now you spend sessions together in close proximity with light touch and a positive energy in the air. It may be considered a pseudoscience, but taking the above factors into account, it’s hard to imagine a downside: reduced stress for both of you, a tranquil setting, and a general peace just being in each others’ presence. Sounds quantifiable to me.
8. Supplement, not replacement
Many report positive effects in general health and disposition for their dog with the use of Reiki. Others have stories that offer hope for reduction in chronic pain, even reversal and remission of severe medical issues. However, Reiki’s application and outcomes are not a replacement for routine veterinary care, or a reason to disregard needed medicine or medical procedures.
It offers a non-invasive assistance that serves as one line of loving defense for your dog, but don’t source all hope in one practice: even in healing sessions for ailing animals, teachers explain that it may only ease an inevitable passing. Time heals all wounds: Reiki does not.
Bearing the concepts and cautions in mind, you might find Reiki for dogs something you’d like to explore further. Approach it seriously, have fun along the way, and you might find your dog enjoying a serene, healthier lifestyle. Check out a variety of stories and outcomes from a Reiki Master at animalreikisource.com.
The information provided in this article is not a substitute for professional veterinary help.
Top Image Courtesy of Flickr