Posts Tagged ‘brighthaven’

5 powerful reasons why senior dogs need Reiki

If you’re like me, dogs have always been the loves of your life and at the center of your heart. They never live long enough, and as they get older, it can be hard to admit that they are indeed “seniors,” entering their twilight years. Older dogs often develop certain chronic conditions, and besides finding the support of a caring, holistic vet, sharing Reiki meditations with your dog can help both of you navigate the twists and turns of your aging dog’s health journey. Here are five powerful ways Reiki can help your beloved senior dogs:

1. An improved appetite. Older dogs often get finicky about eating in their old age. Besides getting creative with food choices, Reiki is a wonderful way to support senior dogs when they just don’t seem interested in food. Many times, I’ve had the beautiful experience of the dog going over to his food bowl and finally choosing to eat, either during or just after a Reiki session. It’s amazing!

2. Physical and emotional comfort. Old dogs deal with a multitude of unsettling physical symptoms, either from disease or just old age: an unsteady gait, a tilted head, nausea, arthritis, deafness and blindness—to name a few. Sharing Reiki sessions can address these issues and help dogs feel more comfortable in their aging bodies.

When Dakota suffered from a bout of vestibular disease when he was about 12, I remember sitting with him and sharing Reiki. Although it was very difficult to see him struggling, sharing a Reiki meditation with him each day gave me a way to keep a positive mental focus of peace and healing. He improved much quicker than the vet expected, and I was able to keep a much calmer state of mind throughout the healing process. This article offers some tips on keeping a positive state of mind while sharing Reiki with your animals.

3. Renewed sense of connection and belonging for the dog. Blindness and deafness can lead to fear and a sense of isolation. Dogs with one or both of these issues may begin to lie on their beds all day instead of interacting with the family. This is where Reiki can play a very important role.

Reiki shows us that connecting with our hearts is a profound way to communicate with and relate to our dogs.

Reiki meditation is about connecting from the heart. We learn to breathe and focus into the heart of our being, to uncover the central core of who we are. When we remember our inner heart, we realize that although we often rely on our eyes and ears to connect us to our world, these senses don’t define who we are. When these senses dim, Reiki helps us to heighten our most important awareness—the awareness that comes from an open heart—in order to stay connected. Reiki shows us that connecting with our hearts is a much more profound way to communicate with and relate to our dogs!

4. Improved mobility. Arthritis is one of the most common chronic conditions present in senior dogs. But when dogs receive regular Reiki treatments, they often show significant signs of improvement in comfort and mobility. It brings me great joy to see many of my arthritic clients getting a spring back into their steps after some Reiki. Some clients will show a renewed emotional sparkle, bringing me toys to play with after a Reiki session, even if they haven’t shown interest in play for a very long time. (See how Reiki helped a senior donkey at TOLFA in India here.)

5. Additional support during hospice. I remember how devastated I was when my dear companion Dakota was diagnosed with lung cancer at the age of 16. I did everything I could to help him—including sharing Reiki with him every single day. Reiki was a wonderful way to improve his comfort level during hospice, as well as my own mental/emotional state in caring for him.

The medications he was on supposedly caused stomach upset, but he never showed any of these symptoms. In fact, to his vet’s amazement, he had a wonderful appetite and digestion up until the day he died. I firmly believe that Reiki was key in helping him fight against the side effects of the medications. (Don’t miss these three simple ways Reiki helps animals with cancer.)

Our gray-muzzled companions benefit greatly from Reiki, especially as they age. So much inspiration in my work comes from the elderly animals at BrightHaven holistic sanctuary and hospice; all of them were given up on by someone else before they made their way to this special place, where they can live out their lives naturally and in peace. You can read more about their Reiki program here.

How has Reiki helped your senior dog navigate the journey of aging?

This article was originally published in the March/April 2016 issue of Dogs Naturally Magazine.

Dare to be bold: Shelters and sanctuaries need meditation

Last year, I wrote “How to Transform Skeptics Into Believers,” an article about my five best tips for breaking down barriers when bringing Reiki and meditation to shelters and sanctuaries. Though holistic approaches are starting to gain wider acceptance in recent years, many of us still encounter pushback from critics when attempting to share Reiki with animals in need.

But as the article points out, don’t let that stop you! As Reiki practitioners and firm believers in the healing effects of meditation, we must be bold. We must rise above skepticism so that we may offer Reiki, a form of meditation that creates a healing space for animals, to the homeless and the suffering. And in case you need some really bold examples to jumpstart your inspiration, here are three:

Paralyzed dog with no hope finds his happily ever after

Today I want to share with you the story of a very special dog named Bailey, who found his way from the mean streets of Taiwan to the world’s leading holistic sanctuary for special needs animals. Bailey has inspired me and so many countless others with his courage and gratitude.

It was a heartwrenching diagnosis: “He’s paralyzed and incontinent. We might as well put him down.” The words of the vet filled the hearts of Bailey’s rescuers with sadness.

The abandoned Keeshond mix with fur as soft as a rabbit looked up at his rescuers with loving eyes. Could it be possible that this puppy, who somehow survived courageously on his own—even though severely injured—would now, although finally rescued, be euthanized in a vet clinic?

Join me in celebrating World Animal Reiki Day!

I’m so excited for tomorrow: The inaugural World Animal Reiki Day will finally be here! This special day, organized by me and the volunteer members of my Shelter Animal Reiki Association (SARA), is a wonderful opportunity for all of us to help make a better future for the animals in our world. The day is celebrated on February 5 to honor Dakota Prasad, the special puppy (pictured above) I rescued from animal control. Dakota was my best friend, my first animal Reiki teacher and the inspiration behind SARA—and February 5 was his birthday.

Let’s celebrate together! You are invited to join me at BrightHaven animal sanctuary and hospice in California on February 5 for a special World Animal Reiki Day event. I will also be on Google+ for a live message of healing and light for the global Reiki community. I truly hope to see you there!

World Animal Reiki Day: Join the movement!

Mark your calendars: World Animal Reiki Day is February 5, 2016! This special day, organized by me and the volunteer members of my Shelter Animal Reiki Association (SARA), is a wonderful opportunity for all of us to help make a better future for the animals in our world. And what better way to bring people together to honor animals than through peace, healing and compassion?

There are so many ways to celebrate! Here are just a few ideas. You can:

  • Light a candle to honor your animal teachers.
  • Sit in silent Reiki meditation with your animals.
  • Perform an act of kindness or compassion for your local shelter or sanctuary.
  • Share your special messages and photos on the SARA Facebook page.
  • Tweet messages and pics using the hashtag #WorldAnimalReikiDay.
    WARD logo edit
  • Organize an animal Reiki event in your local community via workshops, radio interviews, school visits and the like.
  • Join me at BrightHaven in California from noon – 3 p.m. on February 5 for a special World Animal Reiki Day event. Email me for more details.
  • Join me on Google+ for a live message of healing and light for the global Reiki community (details to follow on my website and Facebook page).
  • Enter my Facebook photo contest starting February 1 (watch our SARA Facebook page for details), and win a free treatment with me or signed copies of my books.
  • Rock the World Animal Reiki Day T-shirt.
  • Say “Happy World Animal Reiki Day!” just for fun throughout the day anytime anyone says hi!

Dakotaphoto reiki teacher

World Animal Reiki Day is celebrated on February 5 to honor Dakota Prasad, the special puppy I rescued in 1992 from animal control. Dakota was my best friend, my first animal Reiki teacher and the inspiration behind SARA. You can see how special Dakota was in this memorial tribute video:

Thank you for joining us on this special day of love and compassion for animals. Tell me, how will you be celebrating World Animal Reiki Day?