Reiki for animals - raw content

Reiki for Animals by Susi Henshall

Reiki, Reiki, Reiki – what on earth is it and what does it do?


Before I begin discussing Reiki with animals let me give you a brief explanation of Reiki in general.


The term Reiki is a Japanese word, made up with two syllables

  • Rei  - “God guided and Universal”
  • Ki  -  “Life Force Energy”


Reiki was originated by Dr Mikao Usui who was a Japanese Buddhist Priest (1865-1926), who practiced Reiki and passed down his teachings throughout his life, through to the Reiki we know and use today.


It’s an holistic healing system, meaning that it treats the whole being, addressing problems and healing at all levels: physical, mental, emotional and spiritual.  Along with other natural therapies, such as acupuncture, homeopathy, aromatherapy and flower essence therapy, Reiki is part of an emerging field of energetic healing, rediscovered from the wisdom and knowledge of ancient cultures for use in modern times.


Every living thing in the universe is made up of and connected by energy, for example; people, animals, birds, fish, plants, trees and you can use Reiki’s healing energy on all of them.


By transmitting the healing energy of the universe along energetic pathways and through the practitioners hands to the client, Reiki heals as deeply as needed and goes to where it is needed most.


A Reiki treatment can be given in person, with the hands of the practitioner placed on the client, a short distance away (approximately 4/6 inches), or, since Reiki is energetic in essence, it can be sent across a distance, across a room, (or field) or to another geographic location.


Reiki can be used to help maintain health and energetic balance, to heal illness, injuries, emotional and spiritual problems, and to ease the transition between life and death.


The client does not take the practitioner’s energy, and it is not ‘pushed’ by the practitioner, but is ‘pulled’ by the client.


Reiki does only good; works for the highest good of the client, animal, plant, tree, or whatever it is used on – the word is that it has even worked on a computer, but maybe that is a step too far beyond belief!   …and now for MY experiences with working with Reiki on Animals 



I arrived at the stables to work with ‘H’.  His ‘human companion’ told me he was an ex-racehorse, who suffered from an attachment disorder.  When she took her little girl to Pony Club, she had to take him along too, or “he would just die”, or at the very least, kick down his stable door and injure himself.


I went to meet ‘H’ in his stable.  Given that I’m only 5’ in my boots, ‘H’ was huge (don’t know how many ‘hands’, but still HUGE.  


He eyed me, I eyed him, his owner asked me if I was OK with him in the stable and did I feel scared – she must have seen the look on my face.  I thought for a whole second, and no, I wasn’t – Reiki was working already, to give me confidence!


I began the Reiki session.  ‘H’ walked around his stable for a while, coming to me, then walking away, and back again.  Soon he walked over to me, looked at me closely, put his nose into my hands, and stood still.  


He allowed me to place my hands on him, in various positions on his body, and drew the Reiki into him.


He turned round a couple of times, so he could take the Reiki in different parts of his body.  His head lowered, with his ears in ‘neutral’ position and his eyes half closed.  One of his hind legs was resting, relaxed mouth and drooping lower lip.  These are all signs of him becoming very relaxed.


After about 40 minutes, ‘H’ started moving around the stable again, which was an indication that the Reiki session was over.  His human companion came into the stable and said she had never seen him so relaxed, and so much so that she felt she should put a horse blanket on him, and gave him some food.


He walked up and stood directly in front of me. He looked at me and I looked into his beautiful large silky brown eyes.  They say that a horse’s eye is the window to their soul, it is so true………  He raised his head, higher and higher, looked straight at me out of his large eyes and began to lower his head.  The image of him opening his mouth and swallowing me in one go passed through my mind.  He continued to lower his large head until he rested his forehead on my chest.  He then looked at me once again and then moved away.


This was a very moving moment for me and I like to think that he was saying ‘thank you’ to me for his Reiki.



B is a rescue horse, who had been badly neglected by his previous owner, who was an elderly gentleman, who could no longer look after the horse, and left him in a field to fend for himself.  When the gentleman died, ‘B’ was sold for slaughter.  There was a neighbour, and although she was frightened of horses, she did feed him some tasty grass and some vegetables, when she was able.  When she learned of his plight, she contacted an animal rescue centre, who hightailed it down to the location and bought ‘B’ back from the slaughter house, at a highly inflated cost, just at the ‘ninth’ hour.


‘B’ was very undernourished, and his hooves had overgrown until they had turned up at the ends.  The carers at the centre said he wasn’t really interested in food and they had to coax him down from the field to eat his feed, and when he did try, he struggled because of teeth problems.


I began offering ‘B’ Reiki.  He was happy to receive the Reiki and became very relaxed during the session.  When I visited him for a second session, the carer asked me what I had said to him as he practically broke into a gallop when called for his feed the next day.


I worked with Ben on several more occasions, one time he lifted his back leg to scratch his tummy, I guess because the Reiki was tickling him, and accidentally kicked my thigh – it didn’t hurt too much, and didn’t put me off working with horses.


I went to work with ‘B’ one day and he was in a field with other horses.  As horses are naturally herd animals, I didn’t want to separate him from his friends, so I sent distance Reiki to him.  Over the session, the other horses also sensed the Reiki and began to become relaxed.  By the end of the session, all the horses, around seven of them, all shapes and sizes.  Large, heavy, tall short, quite a mixture, they wandered down to where I was standing and all of them were relaxed.  It was quite a funny sight, Seven resting legs, seven lowered heads, with eyes half shut, with ears in netural position, and seven drooping lower lips.  I left them to enjoy the relaxation.


As I was walking back to my car, I passed the sheds where the cats were housed.  Each of them in a separate compartment with Perspex windows, so they can see out.  I stopped to talk to them each for a few minutes, and as I passed them by, each of the cats closed their eyes, and went to sleep  -  it was like sending them sleep on the wind! 



‘W’ is a beautiful bay gelding and was bought by his human companion and had a behavior known as crib-biting and wind sucking.  This behavior is induced by stressful experiences.  His previous owners had put a collar on his neck to try and prevent this behavior.  The collar had begun to rub on his neck causing a sore to develop.  


His new owner ‘W’ told me that he was also very nervous when he was being ridden in open countryside.


I worked a session of Reiki with ‘W’, again he displayed all the typical signs of relaxation and his owner also put a horse-blanket over him after the session when she gave him his feed.  


When I contacted her a couple of weeks later she reported that his wind-sucking and crib biting, although had not ceased altogether, had decreased, and he was not so nervous when they were out riding. 



‘T’ is a beautiful Manchester Terrrier, and was imported as a show dog.


I was contacted by her human companion as ‘T’ is very nervous around people and especially the judges, which doesn’t bode well for her or her career.  She told me that ‘T’ had only been in the country for around 4 weeks, and she was very nervous of everything.


When I first met ‘T’ she was in the corner of the room and nervously bounding around and trying to hide.  She didn’t know what to do with herself, and was obviously nervous.


I sat down on the sofa and ‘T’s human companion sat next to me.  Initially I used distance Reiki and when the energy began to flow ‘T’ cautiously came closer, until she came and sat on her owners knee.  ‘T’ started to relax and became calm.  I could then use ‘hands-on’ Reiki.  ‘T’ became so very relaxed and went to sleep.


The next session, ‘T’s human companion told me that ‘T’ was very wary of her husband and always hid behind her legs when he was around.  He was very upset by this and had not even been able to approach ‘T’ closely, let alone stroke her.


Before the session, ‘T’ was again nervous, but came to lay again on her owner very quickly once the session had started.  During the session the husband was in the room and could not believe how quickly ‘T’ relaxed.  I suggested that he approach ‘T’ softly and slowly, ‘T’ watched him approach, and did not jump up and run away.  Once ‘T’ had accepted his close proximity, I asked him to slowly and gently stroke ‘T’, which he did, and which she let him.  I do believe there was a hint of tears in his eyes.


‘T’ was entered in a dog show the next day, somewhere in Wales, and she won 2nd prize in her class.  She can now be entered in ‘Crufts’.


‘M’ is a Snowy Owl.  ‘M’ is what is known as an ‘imprint’ bird, which means that she has been amongst humans from the moment she was hatched.


‘M’ lived in an aviary in the garden and had started to cause some problems, in that she was started making a continuous high pitched ‘squawk’ whenever her human companion was out of sight, which didn’t please the neighbors.


I was called in to work with ‘M’.  After a couple of sessions ‘M’ quietened down and the noise she was making, although didn’t stop altogether, became a more acceptable level.  She also allowed me to stroke the feathers on her back, and under her beak, and seemed to enjoy the closeness and the sensation.  Her owner said he was quite jealous, as she had never allowed him such reverence!

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