The Let Animals Lead® Approach with Reiki
The approach is key when working with animals and Reiki. Animals appreciate being given control of the treatment: in other words, being allowed to say “yes” or “no” to the treatment as well as determining the way the treatment will unfold. We recommend following Kathleen Prasad’s Let Animals Lead® method to always be successful, professional, and most importantly, ethical. Although when she first learned Reiki, Kathleen tried adapting the human 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 treatment. Over the past twenty 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 new way of being Reiki with animals. Here are just a few basics to guide you to Let Animals Lead® Reiki success:
- Intent: Always begin by asking permission of the animal directly OR by setting an open intention
- Touch: Always allow the animal to be the one to initiate physical contact (including where you should touch, if at all).
- Movement: Allow the animal to move freely in and out of the treatment space.
- 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.”
- 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.
- Release Expectations: Let go of your expectations about how an animal should behave during the treatment (they usually do not behave like humans, lying down motionless for 60 minutes). The typical treatment 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.
- Gratitude: After you finish the treatment, always thank the animal for participation in the treatment (however it unfolded was perfect).