The following text and photos are abridged from Animal Reiki: Using Energy to Heal the Animals in Your Life:
“Over the past five years I’ve sent Reiki to the deer and other wild animals in my neighborhood to help them with the many challenges they face in a suburban environment. The deer face a lot of hardships: in finding food, avoiding cars and dogs, and dealing with hostility from people. They have felt the healing energy I sent, and gradually we have moved into a close relationship. They have come to trust me and to regard me as their healer. Whenever they are sick or injured, they come to my entry courtyard and wait until I come home or until I look out and see them there. Sometimes they even go from window to window looking in to try to catch my attention if I am home.
Over time they have brought all manner of injuries and illnesses to me for help. When a deer comes for help, I sit quietly in the courtyard with my hands in my lap and let the Reiki energy flow to him. Each deer decides how he wants to receive the treatment, moving around the courtyard as he sees fit and leaving when he has had enough Reiki.
When I scheduled the photo shoot for the chapter on wild animals in Animal Reiki, I was unsure how the deer would respond to the presence of a photographer. On the day before the shoot I sent Reiki to the situation and asked the deer to come the following day to be a part of the book, if it was comfortable for them.
The next day, just before the photographer arrived, I went outside and found that there were a dozen deer waiting for me. During the shoot the deer were calm and focused. Over the next hour and a half they took turns seeking treatments. They accommodated each other beautifully, with the majority waiting patiently off to the side out of the way of the photos or on the ledge until each deer was finished with Reiki and it was time for the next deer to step in.” The following photos are from the shoot that day:
Click the first image to launch the slideshow.
The deer’s desire to help me gave me enormous joy, and, as we worked together and Reiki filled the courtyard, I could feel the excitement and delight rising for all of us, the deer, the photographer and me.
After we had completed the photos with the deer, we moved inside, expecting that we had completed all the photos of wild animals that we would get that day. However, the squirrel, Reepicheep, had a surprise for me and was waiting on the deck to offer his participation as well. Reep was uncertain about the photographer, but he stayed long enough to contribute some lovely photos of a treatment of a squirrel.
At the end of the shoot I felt that Reep and the deer had really extended themselves to help Reiki reach other animals and to give something back to me and to Reiki for what they have received in the past.”
When I first learned Level 1 Reiki, I didn’t have much success in treating my dog, Zoe. She was then about twelve and had begun to develop symptoms of kidney disease. When I placed my hands directly on her, or even six to twelve inches away form her, she moved away after only a minute or so, as though Reiki felt too intense for her. Eventually, I concluded that she just did not like it and stopped offering her Reiki. Meanwhile, her kidney symptoms increased.
One day when I was standing at the kitchen sink, I suddenly felt my hands heat up and tingle. When I looked around, there was Zoe about four feet away, looking intently at me. I put aside what I was doing and stood with my hands out, Reiki pouring through them. Soon Zoe lay down on the hardwood floor, which was unusual for her since the hard surface was uncomfortable for her elderly body. But she stayed there for thirty minutes, lightly dozing.
The next day she drank less, needed to go out less frequently, and looked happier and more comfortable. When we went to the vet, her lab tests showed that her urine was more concentrated. Now when she comes to me and lies down nearby with a certain look on her face, I know that she wants Reiki, generally at a distance of three to four feet. With treatments when she seeks them out, her kidney disease has shown very little progression.
For six years I lived with several herds of wild deer who came to our house daily for healing and companionship. At the time of this story, one of the herd, Hector, was a young stag slender and frail, with the small, thin antlers of a yearling. His skin was dull, and his breathing was always very rapid and shallow, as though his heart and lungs were in some way compromised and working very hard to power his frail body. He was shy and timid and always stayed in the group with his mother, other does, and the fawns instead of joining the group of young males his age. Encouraged by how well other deer had responded to Reiki healing, I began sending healing to Hector at every chance I got.
A transformation began to take place in Hector. Over the course of several months, Hector began to come into himself at the innermost level. He became a much stronger presence, at first arriving in the forefront of the group, later in advance of it, and finally coming on his own for visits and treatments. He began to hang out with the other young stags and roam in a group with them. His respiration slowed, and his sides no longer heaved all the time. He began to put on weight and fill out, and his coat took on a healthy sheen.
About this time we experienced a series of acts of vandalism, and it appeared for a short time that someone was targeting our house with ill intentions. This worried me, and the deer picked up my worry and took it upon themselves to help me with my concern. For several weeks, at all times of the day and night there was always a stag on “guard duty” in the courtyard. They challenged they didn’t recognize when they entered the courtyard, including the UPS driver. Stags of all ages took turns. And Hector often bravely took the “night shift”, positioned alone in the courtyard, ready to take on any danger that presented itself. He had become a true hero, thus growing into his name, that of one of the great heroes of the Trojan war.
As animal communication becomes more widely known and accepted within our culture, a growing number of people are interested in learning how they can talk to their four-footed companions. One effective way to open the intuitive channels necessary for animal communication is through the ancient healing art of Reiki. Like acupuncture, homeopathy, Qi Gong and flower essences, Reiki is part of the emerging field of energy healing, an ancient practice that is being rediscovered for use in modern times. If you look into the backgrounds of many professional animal communicators, you will often find they are also Reiki practitioners, and the two skills are frequently practiced hand in hand.
The following story describes my introduction to animal communication through my Reiki practice. At the time, I had been healing animals with Reiki for about a year, but this was the first time I was aware that I was communicating easily and naturally with a member of another species.
A doe at the door
Early one morning, my husband burst into the bedroom, astonished and upset. He said that each time he tried to take our dog out for a walk, he was charged by a doe outside our front door. Unbelieving, I went to the window and looked out. Indeed, there was a very agitated-looking doe standing just outside the door, eyes wide, nostrils flaring, breathing rapidly.
As I looked at her, the word “baby” formed in my mind. At first I thought she was pregnant and about to give birth. I told her it was all right, that no one would hurt or disturb her, and that she was safe. As I spoke, she visibly relaxed, and the thought that the baby had already been born came into my mind, with a very blurry image of a small, curled-up being. I looked around our yard and saw a fawn, still covered with amniotic fluid, lying curled up in the wood chips a short distance away. I realized that these ideas and images had come from the doe, and was incredibly excited by this brief exchange with such a glorious creature. We left the doe and her fawn undisturbed, and my husband and our dog left by the back door.
The next morning, I ventured outside to see if I could have another encounter with the doe. I roamed the area near our house, sometimes calling out softly to the doe, sometimes calling her internally. After a while I gave up, but as I turned abruptly back onto the sidewalk, I almost knocked the doe over. She had heard me and was standing right behind me! We gave each other a tremendous scare, and she leaped to the other side of the street. We stood looking at each other for a long time. No words or images passed between us, but a gentle, vibrant energy connected us and feelings of love passed back and forth along this connection. I felt that both of us were re-evaluating our ideas about inter-species relationships, and a bond was being forged between us.
Deepen your intuitive communication with Reiki
Animal communication, or telepathic communication, can also be described as deepened intuition. All of us have intuitive capabilities, and these can be deepened and expanded to become telepathic communication. Two of the biggest obstacles many people face when developing their telepathic skills are learning to access the energetic or intuitive “frequency” of animal communication, and putting aside their preconceptions about animals so they can “hear” what the animals have to say. People who meditate are already able to enter the quiet inner state where animal communication can take place. For others, Reiki training and practice is an effective way to begin to access that inner space. For many Reiki practitioners, finding the “frequency” at which animals communicate evolves as an integral part of giving treatments.
The Reiki practitioner is naturally drawn inward as part of the treatment, and her mind quiets in a way similar to meditation. By letting her mind remain still and unattached, the practitioner allows the animals the space and opportunity to be heard. What the practitioner hears will be different for each animal since, like people, they each have an individual communication style. Some communicate more often through visual images while others use feelings, sensations, thoughts, or ideas. Many communications will combine several of these aspects.
In addition to accessing a quiet inner space, the successful use of both Reiki and animal communication involves learning a new “language” of energy. In the process of learning and using Reiki, people begin to feel subtle physical sensations of energy in their hands or bodies and then to perceive subtle phenomena on other levels as well. They find that visual images, feelings and thoughts arise in their consciousness during a Reiki treatment, and gradually they understand that these images, feelings and thoughts often are not their own but come from the being they are treating. If people develop this awareness, it can become full-fledged telepathic communication.
My relationship with the doe has grown and deepened over time and has led to relationships with other deer in the area. They have become my friends and guides in developing my intuitive communication skills and in deepening my understanding of animals and healing. Both the deer and other animals have demonstrated to me again and again that the assumptions we make about them are erroneous, and that animals are far more similar to us than most of us think.
The rewards of animal communication
The culture of animals differs from ours, and their communication is more exclusively telepathic. But, in so many ways, their intelligence, emotions, and spiritual lives are similar to our own. If we put aside our preconceptions about the intelligence of animals and what they are capable of feeling and communicating, they are freed to share with us.
Communicating intimately with animals is immensely rewarding and exciting. Their insights reveal a beauty, depth and generosity far beyond what most humans are conditioned to believe is possible. People who learn to use Reiki with animals find that many animals that are right for their unique paths come forward to guide them. Through learning and practicing Reiki, your intuition and sensitivity to subtle, energetic phenomena can be heightened and refined, along with your ability to rest inwardly so the voices of animals can be heard. Reiki and animal communication are natural allies, each contributing to the other to bring deep healing and to strengthen the bond between animals and humans.
What is Reiki?
The word “Reiki” (pronounced Ray-key ) is Japanese and is usually translated as “universal life energy.” It is a gentle yet powerful energy healing method that treats the whole individual, not just the symptoms of a disease. The practitioner acts as a conduit for the healing energy of the universe to flow through her hands to the animal or human client, causing a shift towards health at the deepest levels. It restores balance and harmony to the patient’s entire being: physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. Reiki is also a powerful tool for personal growth and transformation. Until recently, Reiki healing was available only to humans, but increasing numbers of practitioners are establishing practices devoted exclusively to animals.
Elizabeth Fulton is a Reiki master and professional animal communicator. She offers a combination of Reiki healing, animal communication, and flower essences to all species of animals and their human companions, and teaches people how to heal animals with Reiki.
One day when I asked the staff at the local shelter which cat needed Reiki, they immediately led me to a twelve-year-old Russian Blue cat, Smokey. He was feral and had been brought in three months earlier by a woman who had been feeding him for quite a while. She was moving and feared there would be no one to feed Smokey.
Smokey didn’t do well in the shelter and tried to escape several times. Soon after he arrived he became very sick and would have died if one of the staff had not force-fed him and nursed him back to life. As he grew stronger, however, he continued to be very wary of people, often biting volunteers who tried to handle him. About a month after he arrived, a staff member found a tooth on the floor of his cage, and when they looked in his mouth, they found a horrendous situation of pervasive gingivitis and infected teeth. The vet extracted several teeth, cleaned them all, and put him on medication for the infections. For about a week after this he was a little friendlier but then returned to his old ways.
When I met him they were very concerned because after three months in the shelter he sat hunched in one corner, never moving from that spot, severely depressed. He started at every noise and movement, and, although he could be taken out of his cage by a few of the most experienced volunteers, he would try to bite people¹s faces as soon as he saw them. I worked with Smokey over a period of several weeks, always sitting on a chair outside his cage, my hands in my lap. For the first treatment, Smokey accepted Reiki readily and allowed himself to doze lightly during the treatment, but each time there was a noise, or even the slightest movement of my hands, he would start and jolt himself awake.
During the second treatment, while I was deep in the meditative state often induced by giving Reiki, I received a strong impression of a blow to the head. I also felt certain that Smokey was very sensitive to light and that this vision problem and his dental problems were related to this blow to the head. I thanked Smokey for communicating this to me and told him how sorry I was that this had happened to him. I praised him for his courage in reaching out to me with this communication. I told the staff my intuition about Smokey and suggested that they try working with him with the light off, in just the dim light from the adjacent room. When they tried this, it made an amazing difference. Smokey came out readily and no longer lunged toward faces. There were no more biting incidents. He was still a cat to be handled only by the most experienced volunteers, but with them, he was an angel. He began to move around his cage, come to the front, and roll over on his back playfully and touch people gently with his front paws when they came to visit.
During his sixth Reiki treatment, he allowed himself to go deeply into a relaxed state and sleep, oblivious to the noises and movements around him. Afterward he got up and ate with his back to me, something he never would have done earlier. The next time I came, he was sound asleep, so much so that the volunteers had to tap on the cage bars and raise their voices to get his attention, and then he just opened his eyes briefly, stretched out toward me, and went back to sleep.
As I continued treating him, I kept getting the intuition that his dental problems had not been fully dealt with and finally shared my feelings with the staff. When they looked in his mouth, they found a large white area of abscess under a front tooth and several areas of gingivitis. For the week preceding his vet appointment, I continued to offer daily Reiki treatments. When Smokey went to the vet, there was no sign of the abscess or gingivitis. In examining Smokey the vet determined that he was almost blind and that his vision and dental problems had been caused by a blow to the head. There was a large area of calcification on the side of his jaw, where the vet felt the blow must have landed. Amazingly, Smokey’s blood work was perfect, not just for his age, but even for a young cat.
When the staff and volunteers learned that Smokey was nearly blind, they began to understand his point of view. They could see that as a formerly feral cat, who had been seriously injured by a blow to the head, he was understandably wary of humans. This wariness was compounded by his limited vision, which left him feeling vulnerable at all times. When people took him out of his cage onto their laps and he looked up at their faces, he was blinded by the strong fluorescent light just over their heads in the small room, became frightened because he couldn’t see, and reacted defensively by attacking in the direction of the light.
Now there was an outpouring of love and sympathy toward Smokey. Basking in this love and feeling that his situation was finally understood, Smokey relaxed and became positively affectionate with his favorite people. He was never at ease with just anyone who wanted to interact with him but was much more relaxed with his favorite people and no longer attacked anyone. I became unusually attached to Smokey and often let him lick baby food off my fingers, something I never do, but somehow Smokey was extra special. Smokey loved his Reiki, however, and more often than not, chose to have Reiki first and the baby food treat after his treatment was finished. For a cat who was very possessive of his food and had difficulty allowing people to remove his food dish and refill it, this was a high compliment indeed!
Heidi was a large white cat with tortoise shell patches and beautiful big green eyes. When she was picked up by the animal control officers and handled initially at the shelter she was so aggressive that she was placed in the back room of the shelter, where the cats deemed too dangerous for contact with the public were housed. She was a terror her first couple days at the shelter, hissing and lunging at everyone who came near her cage. A couple of days after she arrived I began to give flower essences to the shelter cats. The day after she received a flower essence she turned around completely; she was gentle and easy to handle and was moved into the front room, where she was available for adoption. There she interacted well with the staff and volunteers and found a new home within a few weeks.
Farley was a big, muscular, black cat who had been the feline bully in his upscale hillside neighborhood for over a year. The residents were kind-hearted and tolerated his attacks on their cats until he began to come into their homes through their cat doors, attack their cats and spray. He was wild and untouchable but was eventually trapped and brought to the shelter, where he was housed in the back room away from the public. Within a couple of days of receiving his essence he had completely changed; the staff could pick him up and hold him, and he was interested and interactive with people. He was moved to the front room and became available for adoption. The woman who had trapped him came to visit him to make sure he was adjusting to the shelter and was astonished at his transformation; she could hardly believe he was the same cat!
1) Your animal is intelligent and has emotions much like you do.
Far from being a “lower order” animals are really members of cultures different from our human ones. Animals have emotions and intelligence just as we do. They have strong feelings for their parents, children, friends and the significant people in their lives and react emotionally just as people do. Their intelligence goes far beyond instinctual drives. They often have an astute understanding of other beings, human and non-human, and of complex emotional and spiritual matters. When we see animals in this way we can be far more effective in understanding and assisting them.
2) Your animal understands you better than you may think.
Animals understand much more of what goes on around them than most people think they do. They are very sensitive to the emotional states of those around them, human and animal. They monitor the emotions of loved ones closely. Your animal knows you as well or better than your intimate human friends. He (or she) understands your best qualities as well as the things with which you struggle. One of the wonderful things about animals is that, although they see all of our qualities, even those we dislike, they are endlessly compassionate and loving toward us and focus on the best in each of us.
3) Your animal has a purpose in your life.
Animals want to be of help to us in our own development and benefit when their people allow them to become close friends and confidantes. Some animals develop their own ideas of how they want to be of help to us; others would like to know more from their people about how they can be of help. Animals are very good at holding the energy for things to come to their people if their people let them know what they’re working toward. These can be material things, like a house or career advancement, or matters of personal development, such as overcoming a tendency to depression or anger. While animals don’t necessarily get every word we say to them, they’re very good at filling in what they don’t get from words with the emotional nuances they pick up; so many animals understand much of what is said to them. Talking to your animal increases the understanding and bond between the two of you and helps your animal know how he can be of greater help to you.
4) Your animal loves you and needs to know you are well and safe.
You love your animal and want him to be well and safe, and he has the same concerns about you. One of the things you can do to help your animal to stay healthy and strong is to take good care of yourself, physically, emotionally and spiritually. Like people animals can become ill out of concern for human loved ones. Similarly they can develop emotional and behavioral issues from worry or in an attempt to help a loved human by taking on matters that are troubling their person. Our animals also look to us as an example of how to handle things so taking good care of our selves helps them to do the same.
5) Your animal will cooperate much more fully with you if he knows the reasons why you want him to do things.
Just like people animals are much more willing to cooperate when they understand the “big picture” in a situation. When their person explains how their cooperation will contribute to their safety and well-being or that of others, animals are often much more willing to offer their cooperation.
Animals readily understand and seek out flower essences when they need them. I saw dramatic evidence of this several years ago when I was volunteering with the cats at my local shelter. Reiki was bringing wonderful healing to the most sick and distressed cats; but it was frustrating to be able to treat only one or two cats in a visit when there were so many wonderful cats in need of healing. I began to wonder what the flower essences could do in this setting. The shelter agreed to let me give flower essences daily to all of the cats for ten weeks. During this period the shelter was full almost every day, with the full capacity of 36 cats in their care.
Many of the cats quickly understood the essences’ action and, as soon as I arrived, several would stand by their water bowl and meow for their essences, looking back and forth from the water to the essence bottle until I gave them their essence. Then they would immediately drink from the exact spot where the essence landed in the water.
The flower essences brought remarkable improvements in the physical and the emotional/spiritual health of the cats. Some of the improvements were rapid and dramatic. The benefits were especially impressive considering the often challenging backgrounds the cats had come from and the constant stresses of being in a shelter.
In a shelter many animals, even comparatively healthy ones, will become depressed and lethargic eventually if they remain there for a long time. With the essences, the cats who remained at the shelter for a protracted period were able to maintain a state of relatively good emotional health for a longer period of time, and the effect of the essences on cats who were depressed at the start of the study was often dramatically beneficial.
During the period in which the study took place many of the cats contracted a highly contagious respiratory infection. It became quite severe in several cats who had been weak when they arrived at the shelter. The essences, sometimes combined with Reiki treatments, brought about effective, rapid healing for the sickest cats.
Shelters can be places of genuine healing for animals. The period an animal spends in a shelter can become a time of profound healing while he waits to be restored to loved ones or to find a new and loving home. With the assistance of dedicated volunteers, many shelters are moving increasingly in this direction.
Sharon Callahan, founder of Anaflora, explains some of the reasons why flower essences are especially well-suited for use in healing animals:
“Animals are also intimately attuned to the music, or vibration, of nature: the flowers and the trees dancing rhythmically in the wind, the murmuring of the breeze, the whistling of the wind through trees, rocks, and mountains, the harmony of movement of sun and moon, stars and planets, the rhythm of the days, months and seasons. In their essential state animals and plants communicate by means of the music of nature, so it is natural for flowers and animals to work together, and likewise natural for us to extend the healing properties of flower essences to animals.
Animals respond more quickly to flower essences than do adult humans, and often with greater results. Their response is often immediate and sometimes borders on the miraculous. Animals don’t have the complex mental overlays that impede their multi-level functioning by questioning and doubting, and they are closer to flowers both physically and energetically than are humans. In many ways, humans have become disconnected from their point of origin, whereas animals have maintained a firm link with it.”