I am a Reiki teacher who works with animals. Some might ask me if I’m an “animal healer,” but I don’t like that term: Partly because I respect the wisdom and power of animals too much to claim that I’m the one doing the helping, and partly because of what some amazing cats in my Reiki journey have revealed to me.
For those of you new to Reiki, the word itself literally translates as “spiritual energy,” which points toward our inner self. I see Reiki as our beautiful light of compassion, or our “heart.” Reiki meditation helps us remember that we are all connected, and in that place of Oneness, all healing possibility exists.
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?
My life’s work literally is animal Reiki—coaching animal lovers worldwide on their journey toward peace and wellness. But Reiki is not the only natural treatment out there for our beloved animals. In fact, Reiki is a great complementary therapy to not only Western veterinary medicine, but also a whole host of holistic and natural options, including the three listed below. Tell me, have you given any of these a try?
Acupuncture: My last dog, Dakota, benefited greatly from acupuncture treatments, which work by restoring balance. When he was in hospice, acupuncture allowed him to use his back legs to walk a bit longer than would have otherwise been possible. And amazingly, animals don’t seem to mind getting stuck by dozens of needles. They just “go to sleep,” says veterinarian Nicole Kayser in this informative article from Ithaca.com. To find a holistic vet near you who offers acupuncture or other healing modality, try this helpful search function from the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association.
Aromatherapy: Animals have a keen sense of smell, and humans who swear by aromatherapy for their dog or horse say it does wonders for stress, their immune system, motion sickness, skin rashes, hyperactivity and more. But essential oils should be used cautiously, so always work in tandem with your vet and also read up on the subject. The comprehensive guide Holistic Aromatherapy for Animals by Kristen Lee Bell and this article in Huffington Post are good places to start.
Natural and herbal remedies: Fleas, stress, dry skin, tummy troubles, hairballs and more can often be handled by homemade or natural remedies. This article runs down 21 surprisingly easy natural and herbal remedies for common maladies; and, of course, Dr. Pitcairn’s Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs & Cats should reside on every animal lover’s bookshelf.
What are your favorite natural remedies?