Animal Reiki Source Newsletter: April, May, June 2011
By Cathy Currea
It’s never easy when a beloved pet doesn’t feel well, especially when it’s chronic or even life-threatening. It can be an anxious and upsetting time for both the caregiver and animal. Worst of all, it can bring up feelings of hopelessness, fear and stress as we want to make sure our dogs receive every opportunity to feel their best. Hearing your pet’s “voice” through animal communication and offering Reiki (pronounced “ray-key”) allows you to work in partnership with your companion animal as well as bringing hope despite the prognosis.
Cathy Currea © 2010 ThePetPhotographer.com
Kathleen Prasad, President of the Shelter Animal Reiki Association and an Animal Reiki Teacher, explains that, “Reiki helps us to connect more deeply with the animals we love. Within this energetic connection, we often understand more fully what they are going through or how they are feeling. This can be a great support in communication.”
Animal Communication is an intuitive, two-way telepathic connection. Telepathy comes from the Latin words, “tele,” which means far or distance; and “pathy,” which means feeling. Translated, it means “feeling another soul or being over a distance through non-verbal communication.” All spiritual beings, including people and animals, are born with the ability to communicate using this universal language. As an Animal Communicator, I interpret animals’ thoughts, feelings and viewpoints as well as question them about any and all aspects of their lives. In other words, I give animals a “voice” so you gain a better understanding of your animal from a holistic perspective.
Your animal family is always tuned into you since they naturally receive what you are transmitting telepathically, whether it’s a happy feeling or a message of fear or concern. They communicate with you using telepathic messages as well. Animals love it when you receive their messages at this spiritual level as it allows for the creation of a deeper, more meaningful relationship to develop. There are many benefits to communicating telepathically with your pets especially when are chronically ill. One of the biggest benefits is being able to work in partnership with your pet instead of second guessing what their wishes and desires are.
Animals intuitively recognize and understand the energy healing system of Reiki; know it has the ability to heal them; and love receiving it whether it’s offered with or without the use of hands. Reiki was developed by Mikao Usui in the early 20th century to help people heal and as a spiritual practice. We now know it can help our animals heal as well. Reiki comes from the Japanese words, “rei” which means spirit and “ki” which means “spirit.” Reiki is loosely translated to mean “universal life energy.” By definition, Reiki is holistic in nature as it effects a dog’s entire being: mind, body, emotions and spirit. Reiki treatments can be offered in-person, with or without the use of hands, depending on the comfort level of the animal. Reiki’s benefits are also felt by the dog even its when offered from distance. Animal communication works holistically and uses “spiritual energy” as well.
Reiki works by bringing about a deep relaxation response allowing the body to release stress. When energy is unblocked and balanced, it leads to increased wellness and happiness. Besides bringing in more relaxation, Reiki can increase healing after surgery, decrease stress, pain, and anxiety for both you and your animal. When physical healing is not possible, Reiki helps your beloved companion to transition with peace and dignity. One of the wonderful aspects of Reiki is it can do no harm and safely complements all holistic and Western healing modalities you may be using under your veterinarian’s supervision.
Dr. Dale Olm, DVM, of Southampton Animal Hospital in Benicia, California explains, “We use Reiki in our veterinary practice to help animals with the many stresses that they might encounter during a visit. As energy beings, we feel that energy is a part of life, and anything that can positively impact a being’s energy is a good thing. While it might be hard to scientifically document the “success” or “failure” of Reiki on a patient, we are confident that it will never harm a pet, and can help in many ways, even if we are unable to appreciate that for ourselves.”
One example of how animal communication and animal Reiki can help was when my sister, Stefani, received the devastating news that her eleven and half year old Keeshond, Mugsy, was terminally ill. Ever since Mugsy bounced into our lives with a rubber basketball in his mouth, I frequently communicated telepathically with him from California since they live in New York. After becoming a Reiki practitioner, I began offering Mugsy Reiki treatments for a variety of reasons. After receiving the diagnosis that he was suffering from irreversible gallbladder disease, Stefani depended on regular telepathic communication with Mugsy to validate what she was sensing and feeling from him. Frequent Reiki treatments became a valuable part of Mugsy overall care plan.
When Mugsy’s vet suggested Stefani consult with a surgeon about surgically removing Mugsy’s gallbladder, Stefani didn’t know what to think or feel. Her initial sense was surgery wasn’t an option for Mugsy due to his age. Plus she couldn’t shake the vision of Mugsy dying in surgery. Stefani felt it was important to know how Mugsy felt about gallbladder surgery. When I “tuned in” telepathically with Mugsy, I asked him what he’d like do, and he sweetly replied, “While I’m not afraid of dying, I am scared I will die while in surgery. I want my beloved Stefani by my side when I transition. Therefore, I’m willing to forgo surgery and wait it out until my gallbladder fails, if Stefani is on board with me.”
When I conveyed to Stefani what Mugsy said, she instantly felt a huge sense of relief. Mugsy’s words validated her strong intuition that surgery wasn’t an option for them. Once Stefani felt she was on the same page as her dog about his treatment options and subsequent hospice care, a wave of calm washed over her. “Communication with Mugsy was paramount in helping me feel less anxious and stressed about his deteriorating health. This in turn helped Mugsy to feel safe and supported so he could enjoy whatever time he had with us,” Stefani explained.
For the next few months, I offered Mugsy Reiki on an as needed basis. After each treatment, Mugsy became more calm and relaxed. He’d perk up and become more animated. He even walked with a “spring” in his step that was noticeably absent before receiving Reiki. He approached his daily walks with more enthusiasm and seemingly less pain. Mugsy, a true “chow hound,” consistently exhibited an increased appetite after each treatment which contributed to him feeling better overall. Stefani commented that, “Reiki gave me hope and something positive I could offer Mugsy when I felt anxious and hopeless about his future. This was especially true when he was having a bad day.”
One of the hardest aspects of Mugsy’s illness was the fact that no one knew when his gallbladder would fail, which produced a lot of anxiety for my sister. The vet’s diagnosis made it clear he was living with a ticking time bomb since it was only a matter of time before his gallbladder would rupture and end his life. Mugsy’s regular Reiki treatments, while not a cure, did bring more balance and peace to Stefani and Mugsy during his eight month journey receiving hospice care. My sister credits both the animal communication and animal Reiki for bringing more peace and understanding throughout Mugsy’s illness and dying process.
Lilly’s story is another example of how the combination of animal communication and Reiki can be invaluable when your pet is chronically ill. Lilly, a beautiful silver and black fluffy Keeshond, came into Lori’s life when Lilly was six years old. Lori rescued her sight unseen after she read about Lilly on an internet Keeshond rescue site. Without a picture and only a description, Lori drove several hours to adopt this adorable puff ball. From the moment they met, Lori and Lilly fell in love with one another and became instant best friends. Over the next six years, Lori and Lilly lived an idyllic life together.
A few years later, Lilly was diagnosed with disc disease in her low back and neck. Lilly also suffered with ataxia, which made it seem like she was drunk because she would lose coordination in her extremities and fall easily. If that wasn’t bad enough, she had severe arthritis in both her hips and knees. Lilly’s mobility issues made it difficult for her to move without assistance especially when it came to walking and going to the bathroom. Thankfully, Lori was more than happy to support Lilly in whatever way she could.
Lori faced a lot of misunderstanding from those who didn’t understand the nature of Lilly’s special needs, especially in Lilly’s last few months. When those closest to Lori felt Lori was holding on too tightly to Lilly, they urged Lori to put Lilly down. Despite their good intentions, it was difficult for Lori and Lilly to hear.
To the outsider, Lilly’s ataxia made it seem like it was inhumane to let Lilly live a “normal life.” Despite Lilly’s obvious physical challenges, her heart and mind were strong, clear and lucid. Lilly felt grateful to such a compassionate and loving person who didn’t care that she was different from other dogs and needed extra support. Many times we forget we are not our illness, but a loving spiritual being who happens to have physical challenges.
Shortly after Thanksgiving, I received an urgent call from Lori. Lilly’s daycare providers had just called her saying that they were worried that it might be Lilly’s time to transition because she was listless and not eating plus didn’t have the energy to get up to go to the bathroom. Even lifting her head up was difficult to the point where she couldn’t get a drink of water. At this point, the clinical picture was very dire for Lilly.
When I tuned into Lilly telepathically, Lilly clearly stated that she was not ready to die nor was she ready to be assisted through euthanasia. When I told Lori what Lilly was feeling, I suggested we offer Lilly Reiki to support her. After explaining what Reiki is and how it works, Lori and Lilly were onboard and I began giving Lilly weekly Reiki treatments.
Lori noticed an immediate difference in Lilly after her initial Reiki treatment. Where Lilly could not walk and was having difficulty going to the bathroom before being offered Reiki, afterwards she was able to move around more freely. Where she was struggling to keep her balance when going to the bathroom, she no longer struggled. Lori also noticed that Lilly’s appetite increased after her treatments as well. The best part was Lilly was able to resume her weekly routine of going to daycare while Lori was at work. Needless to say, Lori was thrilled as Lilly seemed more animated with a new lease on life. More importantly, the Reiki treatments gave Lori and Lilly the gift of time.
Lilly shared with me what she wanted most: “I want to spend my last Christmas with my beloved Lori,” Lilly exclaimed, “I know it’s going to be the best Christmas of all!” So Lori postponed her holiday trip to France and shared the next few weeks and Christmas with Lilly. Lori finally gave herself permission to buy Christmas gifts for Lilly.
Over the next few weeks, Lilly received regular Reiki treatments coupled with communication. She responded so well, that Lori rescheduled her European trip in early January. During her flight home, she had a stopover in Atlanta, where Lori received an urgent message from Lilly’s daycare providers: Lilly suffered a seizure or stroke and was at the animal hospital. They proceeded to beg Lori for permission to euthanize her since they felt Lilly was in such terrible shape.
Lori immediately called me to find out what Lilly needed and wanted. I could hear the fear and worry in Lori’s voice. Lori was determined to be with Lilly, especially if it was truly time to say “goodbye.” When I tuned into Lilly and asked her what was going on, she calmly replied, “I’m okay for now. Please reassure Lori that I will wait for her to arrive. Ask her to try not to worry. And let her know that I am happy she went to France and that I love her with all my heart and soul.”
When Lori finally arrived at the animal hospital a couple of hours later, she said it looked like Lilly’s spirit had already left her body. It was crystal clear that the only humane and loving choice was to give Lilly a kind and loving death. Before Lori made the final decision, she asked me to check with Lilly one more time to make sure Lilly was okay with euthanasia. Lilly was clear that she was ready to transition out of her physical body now that Lori was by her side. Despite her intense sadness, Lori knew in her heart that it was Lilly’s time and assisted her beloved companion into the light.
Lori later wrote, “I wanted to do Reiki as an alternative instead of surgery for Lilly’s many problems because surgery could have left her paralyzed and in even worse shape than she was. I’m so happy we did Reiki and that we were able to communicate telepathically so I could understand Lilly’s wishes and her thoughts. It meant so much!”
When you combine animal communication with Reiki, it creates a formidable blend that empowers both animal and caregiver. Animal communication allows your beloved companion to fully participate in all aspects of their lives including end of life choices by understanding their specific needs and wishes at this deep level. By doing so, allows you to work in partnership with your pet. The addition of Reiki creates a strong ally by helping your pet to feel more balanced with less stress creating more peace and harmony for all involved despite the prognosis.
Ms. Prasad sums it best by saying, “In working with animals and Reiki, we open a window to this relationship; by connecting to animals energetically and being a part of their healing process, we are able to deepen our connection to the universe and our understanding of our place within it.”
Cathy holds a Masters degree in counseling and holistic education and is trained in Animal Reiki, animal diet and nutrition, Bach flower essences, Healing Touch for Animals, and Shamanism. Her two cats, Mona Marie and Elvis, along with her dog, Kobe Bear, assist Cathy in her practice. Please visit Cathy’s website at www.animalmuse.com or on Facebook.