When I first learned the Reiki symbols and the mantras, I learned how to “give them” to my client or put them “on” or draw them “over” an area that needed healing. Working on self-practice and humans I found good results, but as I found myself working with more and more animals, I had less positive responses. The animals would often get up and walk away when I drew a symbol or visualized a mantra. Over time, I stopped using symbols and mantras when I was with animals, as they seemed to be disturbed by them.
I’d like to talk about physical touch and the animal Reiki session, because I receive a lot of questions about this topic. People often ask me, “What are the hand positions for animal treatment”, or if they’re going to take a class they inquire first, “Are you going to teach the hand positions for dogs and cats?” Or they’ll see a photo of a Reiki session where I’m outside the kennel at a dog shelter and they’ll think it can’t be Reiki because I’m not touching the animal.
1. This method is founded upon traditional Japanese Reiki techniques and philosophy.
In 2006, I read The Japanese Art of Reiki by Bronwen and Frans Stiene. This book opened my eyes to the ways Reiki complemented my martial arts practice. I was very excited to learn that Reiki was about meditation and an internal mindfulness practice, as I had originally learned it as an energy therapy using touch. When I first trained with Frans in 2007, I was absolutely blown away by the simplicity and power of the Usui Reiki Ryoho meditation-based Reiki system. So many things I had experienced with animals wanting me to just sit still and hold the space, suddenly fell into place. Since then, I have done hundreds of professional training hours with Frans to practice and develop my understanding of these traditional Japanese techniques. These techniques and philosophy are the foundation for my Let Animals Lead™ method, and I am so grateful to Frans for his research into the origins of the system of Reiki, and his generosity in sharing these techniques with his students.
Leah D’Ambrosio (VP of The Shelter Animal Reiki Association (SARA)), Kelly McDermott (Director of SARA’s East Coast Projects) and I just returned from a wonderful trip to Glasgow, Scotland, where I had the honor of speaking on “Reiki for Dogs” at the Natural Canine Care Convention, alongside other amazing speakers such as Dr. Karen Becker and Dr. Isla Fishburn. I learned so much about caring for dogs holistically! What I didn’t realize when I arrived in Glasgow, was that I was about to embark upon a journey of culinary yumminess that rivals any trip I’ve ever taken! It’s sometimes a bit tricky, trying to eat gluten free/vegan while traveling, but not this time 🙂