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If you're looking for Animal Reiki Information, you've come to the right page!

Not only have I (Kathleen Prasad) been practicing Animal Reiki for 25 years, but I've also worked with thousands of animals (especially shelter animals who are usually very stressed and traumatized) using my own method of Animal Reiki—the Let Animals Lead® Method—AND I've taught thousands of people Animal Reiki as well!

This page explains a lot of common questions I get about Reiki, Animal Reiki, in general, and also explains why my Let Animals Lead® method of Animal Reiki is so completely different (and so much more powerful, IMHO) than other methods of Animal Reiki and animal energy work that I've been around. 

Animal Reiki Information

Click on the pdf below to see the timeline of how Animal Reiki & the Let Animals Lead® method evolved from a human-based method to a completely animal-centric approach!  

a banner that says chronology let animals lead history as part of animal reiki information
a young white girl with brown hair snuggles her face into an owl on her shoulder with what is animal reiki written beside her


Reiki comes from the Japanese words Rei, meaning spirit and Ki, meaning energy, so really, it translates to spiritual energy or (as some like to think of it) universal life-force energy.


A lesser-used definition of the word Reiki that I’ve come to really appreciate is Soul Power.


For me, this really speaks to the innate healing power that comes from the essence of our being—a power that cannot only heal us, but is also capable of healing others, including animals. 

Reiki is not just a word to describe our inner healing light, it is also a spiritual healing practice created by Mikao Usui in Japan 100 years ago and, when it’s used properly, many animal lovers have noticed that animals are drawn to the peaceful, calming energy that Reiki creates. 


And so, Animal Reiki, to put it very simply, is an energetic way to connect with animals (from that innate place of healing within us) that allows them to relax and feel safe enough for their bodies and minds to begin healing from within. 

Animal Reiki methods come in many forms and, TBH, most of them involve humans putting their hands close to or on animals and beaming or sending healing energy at them. For many reasons, using this type of approach with animals can come across to them as intimidating, forceful, and—especially in anxious and distressed animals—actually MORE detrimental to their well-being.


And, in my 25 years of working with animals and Reiki, there is a definite negative pattern when we try to force anything, including healing, on animals. In these cases, their extreme sensitivity to energy works against us and they often end up worse off, despite our well-intentioned efforts. 

With my Let Animals Lead® method, we put all healing power in the paws of the animal. We never use hands unless we receive an invitation to do so through body language. We never send or beam any kind of energy at animals, even the receptive ones. And we promote animal agency in all things—it is at the core of the LAL® Code of Ethics.


Instead, we cultivate a calm, peaceful, and inviting Reiki space of healing WITHIN ourselves and we give the animals the choice to join us. And, when they choose to step into that calm, healing space, their bodies and minds finally have the ability to help them heal.

a blonde woman sits meditating next to a horse paddock with white light shining from her heartspace
a 30 something hispanic woman meditates next to a relaxed dog in a shelter offering it reiki healing

Not only can the Let Animals Lead® method of Animal Reiki help domestic animals—pets, rescues, and shelter animals—but it can also help wild animals.

Because we abide by the golden rule of hands off and the method is completely meditation based, we can cultivate a Reiki mindset and offer a peaceful, healing space to ALL animals without ever having to touch them or even be near them. 

This outside the box approach to Animal Reiki creates incredibly strong energetic trust bonds between humans and the animals we are trying to help. It allows them animals to relax in our presence (or within the presence of our energy, even when we are distant) and let down their guard and wariness. And, when an animal is able to fully relax in the space of healing energy, their body and mind are able to facilitate the healing process. 

With the LAL® method, we create the healing space within ourselves and all around us and the animals choose to use that healing space to help themselves find peace, calm, and whatever kind of healing they need. 

It may seem a little bit like woo woo magic at first, but once you witness it in action for the first time and you see a sick or injured or distressed animal fall into a peaceful sleep and wake up a different animal, it all makes perfect sense!

Reiki healing in animals doesn't always look like we would expect it to. 

We humans usually think of healing as "getting better" from a sickness or an injury or something that has caused us mental or physical distress. Healing to many humans usually looks like a progression back toward good health and vibrancy.

Reiki healing for animals doesn't always look like an animal getting better and it's not always outwardly obvious that things are well. But if you learn how to pay attention to the nuances of animal behaviour, you'll see the healing that Reiki brings.

Sometimes Animal Reiki healing looks like something as simple as an animal visibly relaxing for a few minutes after spending days or weeks or months being tense and anxious and unable to settle or sit still in a shelter environment.

Sometimes Animal Reiki healing looks like an injury "miraculously" mending in only a few days after months of no progress.

Sometimes Animal Reiki healing looks like an old coyote curling up in the sun on my lawn while I meditate on my deck. 

And often, healing animals with Reiki also includes the death journey—a journey that sees a sick, injured, or dying animal finally surrendering and letting go of life with a calm, relaxed energy in the presence of its caregivers.

a young red haired boy offers animal reiki to his dying dog as their spirit leaves the dogs body
a 30 something thin woman wearing a tshirt and jeans is followed by a horse as she offers let animals lead reiki

The approach is key when working with animals and Reiki. Animals appreciate being given control of the session and a choice in whether or not they participate: ie. being allowed to say “yes” or “no” to the session, as well as determining the way the session will unfold.


Although when she first learned Reiki, Kathleen tried adapting the human-led Reiki approach to animals (which was the only method taught at the time in the 1990s), she found limited success, often having sensitive or traumatized animals reject the session because of the nature of human Reiki being so "hands on".


Over the past 25 years, and with the help of many species of animal teachers with a myriad of backgrounds, health issues and sensitivities, she has created a groundbreaking method of animal-guided healing through meditation, not hands!


Here are just a few basics to guide you to Let Animals Lead® Reiki success:

  1. Intent: Always begin by asking permission of the animal directly OR by setting an open intention.

  2. Touch: Always allow the animal to be the one to initiate physical contact (including where you should touch, if at all).

  3. Movement: Allow the animal to move freely in and out of the session space.

  4. Focus: Animals appreciate a passive and open state of mind from you. Do not “beam” or “send” energy to the animal or to a specific health issue. Relax your mind and focus on your meditative practice, rather than on what needs to be “fixed.”

  5. Body Language: In this same vein, your body language should match this passive intention: in other words, don’t initiate and hold eye contact, don’t make yourself “big” and dominant in your body position. For example, try to stay on the same physical level with the animal and remain in a non-threatening pose -ideally, don’t stand up over a small animal on ground level or have your hands up and palms facing out like a predator about to pounce.

  6. Release Expectations: Let go of your expectations about how an animal should behave during the session (they usually do not behave like humans, lying down motionless for 60 minutes). The typical session consists of an ebb and flow of hands-on/short distance Reiki as well as short periods of movement and relaxation. Also, let go of your expectations about what healing result the animal should manifest.

  7. Gratitude: After you finish the session, always thank the animal for participation in the session (however it unfolded was perfect).

ARS Animal Reiki Code of Ethics

page 1 of the let animals lead animal reiki code of ethics
page 2 of the let animals lead animal reiki code of ethics

Learn Animal Reiki with me!

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