3 simple ways Reiki helps animals with cancer

Here are some sobering statistics for you: In companion animals, about 50 percent of all disease-related deaths are attributed to cancer. One in four dogs will develop cancer. And cancer strikes about 30 to 40 percent of all cats.

Some of you may be struggling with this issue right now. Know that you are not alone. In fact, May is Pet Cancer Awareness Month, a time dedicated to raising awareness and funds in hopes of one day curing this terrible disease.

My dog Dakota suffered from cancer in the last months of his life. Though it was a painful time for our family, I learned something invaluable: that my daily Reiki meditations gave me the strength to cope even when I started believing I had no strength left. (My meditation practice also helped me on my personal cancer journey, which I’ve written about here.) Now that I’ve had time to reflect, I’ve realized that it’s because:

1. Reiki creates relaxation and a feeling of well-being for the animal. This, in turn, allows for better conditions for us to navigate this journey. It reduces the suffering of both the animals and us—which gives us the fortitude to be able to help them. In this article, veterinarian Carolina Kliass of Sao Paulo, Brazil, discusses how Reiki extended and improved the quality of the life of one of her clients with cancer. (Don’t forget: Reiki helps people suffering from cancer, too!)

2. Reiki relieves the caregiver’s feelings of compassion fatigue. As many of us know (some of us even firsthand), compassion fatigue is an occupational hazard for those working with sick or traumatized animals. But we must remember: Animals are extremely sensitive to our inner state. If we aren’t feeling well, if we fall apart because of their cancer diagnosis and treatments, it will bother them—adding to their distress. If their caregiver feels supported, on the other hand, they can breathe a sigh of relief and focus on getting well.

3. Reiki can create peacefulness for transitioning animals and also relieve grief for caregivers. As difficult as it is for us to grasp, death is a natural part of life. Thus, there will always be a time for Reiki. Whether the animal recovers, or whether it is their time to pass on, Reiki can embrace each moment with the compassion and gentle peace of true and lasting healing.

The best part is, animals love Reiki. You can see in the following video the positive healing responses that occur during a Reiki treatment. Here, Nattie, a horse with advanced cancer who recently passed away at BrightHaven holistic animal sanctuary, responds with peace and relaxation to the Reiki being offered:

Tapping into all that Reiki has to offer starts with slowing down, connecting and rediscovering your center. Here’s a good breathing practice to try.

I hope one day we can cure cancer forever. But until that time, cancer will continue to be an unpleasant reality for many of us and our furry friends. Always keep up with wellness checks, watch out for troublesome symptoms and follow these five tips for cancer prevention.

How has Reiki helped your companion animals cope with illness?

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Kathleen Prasad

Kathleen Prasad is an entrepreneur, author, educator, spiritual seeker and animal advocate living in beautiful Marin County, California, with her husband, daughter, dog and two horses. She loves being with animals, listening to hip-hop, eating out at vegan restaurants, riding dressage, hiking in the redwoods and traveling the world to meet animal people.
You can learn more about Kathleen here.

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Comments (7)

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    Jason

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    I have just today found out one of my dogs probably has leukaemia. Still awaiting further test results. I have just learnt reiki so will be supporting her along the way but truth be told I’m pretty scared for the journey ahead. She is 13 and seems fine but it was picked up after a blood test last week.

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    Pam

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    My dog, Baarlo (a 3 year old Keeshond), was diagnosed with lymphoma in February. He’s getting chemo treatments at the University Veterinary center near me – one of the best in the country. He’s fortunately already in remission. I’ve also taken him twice now for Reiki sessions to supplement his other treatments. He seems to really love them and has definitely benefitted from them. I also feel better knowing I am doing all that I can to help him feel as good as he possibly can. He’s fortunately not been sick even once from the very strong medicines and has responded remarkably well to all of this; I’m not even sure that he realized that he was even sick! One thing was very interesting was that the Reiki practicioner mentioned his left back leg having energy blockage that was quite stubborn during his first session. I didn’t think that much of it, then it dawned on me the next day… that is where his chemo injection had been! It made total sense in retrospect. I truly believe we (all living creatures) are energy beings and just because we can’t “see” energy it doesn’t mean that it doesn’t exist and we need to try to understand, use and benefit from it and also to help heal our energy just like we do our physical body.

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      Kathleen Prasad

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      Hi Pam, Thanks for sharing your story. I am glad to hear Baarlo is doing so well! And to hear that Reiki has been a part of his recovery process. I agree, we are truly just energy beings, and Reiki supports balance and harmony. Blessings!

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    Kathy H.

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    One week ago today, we got the news of the passing of my parent’s 13 year old Shih Tzu. She had cancer, but she never acted like she was in pain. I took her to the vet on a Friday morning for exploratory surgery, (because the treatments for her spitting up wasn’t working) said good-bye, not realizing that would be the last time I would see her. I believe she picked her time to leave the physical world because I wasn’t with her and that she was staying here because I wasn’t ready to let her go. I really feel guilty for being so selfish, when she obviously was so sick. I did send her Reiki the evening before she passed, and I hope that helped her in her transitioning. Now I’m using Reiki on myself, even more than before, to help with the heart-ache of missing her so much. I know everything takes, time, but it sure seems like forever right now.

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      Kathleen Prasad

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      So sorry to hear about your parent’s doggie, Kathy. I know that Reiki helped support her and I am so glad you are practicing Reiki for yourself now. Wishing you and your family Reiki love and light to your hearts, and peace and harmony to your dog’s journey over the bridge. Blessings!

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