Question: I regularly give Reiki to dogs and cats. When I wanted to give Reiki to a very old, demented Schapendoes, my hands turned ice cold. The dog kept shaking its head and walking around the room. I gave it a distant treatment instead, but my hands remained cold and the dog remained restless. I interpreted it as “the dog doesn’t want Reiki.” Is that correct?
Elizabeth: Your interpretation of your experience, namely “The dog doesn’t want Reiki”, is a common one for people when they encounter an animal that doesn’t settle down easily into receiving Reiki. However, the animal’s experience is probably more like “I don’t know what to make of Reiki yet, and I’m conflicted about receiving it”. Some animals are open to Reiki immediately, especially our own animals who trust us already. Others, especially those with even temperaments and who have had positive experiences with humans, may settle down easily into receiving Reiki. But, like humans, animals are individuals; some are more nervous and sensitive by nature, and some have had reason to be distrustful of humans.
Animals seem to feel Reiki more intensely than humans, especially older animals who can be sensitive and frail in general. At first Reiki can feel invasive to animals and be experienced as something that is being done to them without their consent. Distant Reiki seems to be experienced as less intense and so can be useful in this kind of situation for people who have Level II Reiki. But this situation is very manageable with Level I Reiki as well.
Animals are more open to Reiki if they are given a choice about whether to receive it or not. When I give a Reiki treatment to an animal for the first time, I set aside 45-60 minutes and find a quiet space of a good size (at least a small room if possible). I let the animal roam freely in the space, sit down, and let the animal know who I am and why I am there. I ask the animal to take only what it wants in the way of energy, and then I put my hands out and let the energy flow.
At first the animal will continue to move around the room or even move as far away as possible. However, as they get used to the feeling of Reiki and trust that it is their choice about whether and how much of it to take, they settle down into an appreciation of it. They usually end up positioning themselves close by or even under my hands and taking quite a lot of energy. Some will actually move through a series of positions on their own, like a human treatment, offering the parts of their bodies most in need of healing. Sometimes it will take 30-45 minutes for an animal to settle into the first treatment, but in subsequent treatments they will settle down more quickly.
The feeling of cold in your hands is information like any other sensation (such as increased heat) you may receive in the course of giving a treatment and does not mean that Reiki is not flowing. Generally, cold is a sign that the area or being has a higher need for healing. As you know, it’s not necessary for you to do anything with this information since Reiki has its own intelligence and will go to the source of the problem on its own, giving the animal or human what they need most at this stage of their journey.
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.