Reiki for Animals

Cochise moves slowly, clearly in pain, as his Reiki therapist approaches the corral. The elder horse looks up from nosing the ground and comes right over to the fence line, as if to say, “I’m ready for some healing energy.” As the therapist takes a moment to become quiet and open to the energy of Reiki, Cochise edges closer. Pain and stiffness is emanating from his hips. From a place of attunement, the therapist opens their hands and allows Reiki energy to flow to Cochise. Hand positions are used to channel the energy where it is needed, lightly touching Cochise or hovering over his beautiful brown coat. He quiets, and his breath becomes less labored as he receives the Reiki energy. After about 20 minutes, Cochise signals that the treatment is complete by gently moving away.

Participating in a healing relationship with animal companions like Cochise fills one with a sense of wonder and appreciation. The word Reiki derives from two roots: rei, meaning spiritual wisdom, and ki, denoting life force energy. This spiritual life force energy flows through all of us, and can be channeled and directed by Reiki practitioners to reopen and balance energy pathways, promoting healing and relaxation. Animals are naturally sensitive to energy and tend to respond particularly well to Reiki.

Health problems occur when vital life force energy is disrupted, weakened or blocked, often through illness, injury or mistreatment. Emotional distress and behavioral issues often accompany such a disruption. Animals can find relaxation, recover more quickly from surgery and health challenges and experience relief from pain, fear and anxiety. Reiki works on all levels to promote healing; physically, emotionally, spiritually and mentally.

Many people sense a deeper connection with their animals as a result of working with a Reiki practitioner. Reiki can have powerful effects on behavioral problems associated with previous maltreatment or abandonment. Because Reiki is a healing energy, it can do no harm to the pet. It can be used safely in conjunction with other modalities and as a complement to veterinary medicine, enhancing overall well-being as animals move toward greater health.

Cochise’s human companion says that the horse has been moving more freely since his last treatment, even doing some short trail rides. We all want our animals to experience freedom from pain, enhanced vitality and greater peace in challenging times. In supporting our pet’s physical and emotional well-being, consider contacting a local Reiki practitioner to support their journey to wellness.

Nancy McDonald, a certified canine massage therapist and Reiki master, is the owner of Animal Ally of Arizona. Contact her at 520-591-2950 or

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