One thing I enjoy doing with social media is finding like-minded people who care deeply about animals, whether that is protecting them or giving them a voice. It’s great when you ‘meet’ (if only in cyberspace) someone who shares the same passion as you and believes in the same ideals. I came across Val Beresford on Twitter and we soon got chatting via email. I did a communication with her beautiful dog called Cookie who is very fortunate to have an animal healer and therapist as her human guardian!
Val has a wealth of information to share, so I decided to interview her for my blog. If you have not come across Val before, she lives in London and is primarily an animal healer but she is also a bit of an expert with herbal remedies which she can create for your pet to aid with healing. To find out more, see what Val had to say in the interview…
Val Beresford Interview
What path lead you to become an animal healer?
My dog Cookie became ill and no matter what I tried, she wasn’t getting better. I had been a spiritual healer for years and while my passion has always been animals, my clients were people. When I tried to help Cookie myself I learnt more about animal welfare, herbal remedies, nutrition and anatomy and physiology on my Animal Healing Diploma. It was incredibly intense but it gave me the tools to help animals with a range of conditions and everything seemed to “click” into place. A lot of people who come to see me don’t just want healing for their animals they want support and advice, they want to change their animal’s life for the better, they just don’t quite know how and that is amazing to be a part of. I feel that Cookie brought me to where I was supposed to be.
How does healing work on animals? How do they benefit?
Healing works the same with animals as it does with people. Healing energy is sent to where you need it most and brings everything back to balance. It’s an incredible treatment because it works on all levels of your being. For an animal it can help soothe anxiety, encourage trust, break down barriers, which is of great value to rescued animals with past history. Healing can help relieve physical pain and balance the body, it can help with chronic long term illnesses such as IBS, arthritis, kidney disease and boost the immune system for long term health.
Don’t forget there is a lot of stress attached to being ill. Your animal knows what’s going on, they keep going to the vet (not a nice place for them), being poked and prodded and listen to their mum or dad talk about how ill they are. They’re on medication and feeling low. Healing can help the animal AND the owner feel positive and calm as well as help their condition. Half the time owners are stressed out too because they dont know what to do for their pets. A healing session reassures them both.
Why choose animals to heal instead of people?
I feel connected to animals, their love is so unconditional and they are pure energy. They are open to healing and soak it all up – you can see the results in their manner and physical body.
To be able to bridge the “gap” between animals and people is incredible and I feel very lucky to be able to do that. And animals need a voice. They are wild animals living in a human environment and sometimes they are living a lifestyle that doesn’t suit them, which is when their health or wellbeing can suffer. I want to help animals live a life that is perfect for them. Often when I meet people and their animals they are keen to make changes for the better. I love being able to be there to support that family to try something new.
How do people react when you tell them you are an animal healer?
With great interest and a lot of questions! Funnily enough nobody seems to bat an eyelid. Maybe it’s because I live in London with people from all walks of life. Everybody has a story to tell about their pets they had as a child, or their mum’s dog who has started weeing on the sofa, or their three cats who hate each other and it always opens a dialogue. People love their animals and even if they dont know what an animal healer is they love to get advice. But I know when people want to help their animals their belief system goes out the window and they will see a healer if it means it will help.
You also offer nutritional advice and have a good understanding of Anatomy and Physiology for animals – tell us a bit more about that.
We know that our food can affect our health and we are seeing a higher level of allergy cases today. Looking and improving your pet’s nutrition is a vital way to help your pet’s long term health. It can be difficult at first and can be a bit of a maze so I like to help support people through that. I dont think to be a healer you need to know about Anatomy & Physiology, healing does its job its own way, but it helps me to naturally understand ailments, what the animals’ bodies are going through and what the consequences and options can be.
Do you offer animal communication too?
I wouldn’t like to do a communication without a reason. When I am healing an animal, our energies are intertwined. They are open and we’re connected. It’s truly magical. That’s the time when if an animal wants to speak to me it happens and it’s effortless. And if they do they need to tell me what’s wrong with them, whether it’s a physical pain or an emotional problem. They know they were brought to see me so “it’s now or never”. But it’s their choice if they want to talk to me, I can’t force them to.
I did a communication with a very nice dog who I wasnt healing, who was perfectly happy. I didn’t get much out of him apart from his ball, bed, family members and walks. It was nice, but we were both left feeling, what was the point of that?
However I’ve met cats acting out in distress who have come for healing and really they needed to tell me what was wrong and why they felt frustrated. Being able to change certain things in their environment and understanding the reasons behind it, their behaviour calmed down immediately. For me that’s the wonder of communication.
I see you work with vets, animal shelters and the RSPCA, tell us a bit more about that.
The vets happened naturally because when I was doing my diploma I would bend his ear about my assignments, so he knew what I was doing. I then went to see the veterinary nurse’s mother and her dogs and when there were dramatic improvements, it went on from there. Vets are seeing the value in natural therapies and helping animals on an emotional level as well.
I heal at a local animal centre when I can. The animals there are stressed and feeling lost, they need healing. They have all had a journey to get to that rescue centre that hopefully will have a happy ending, but when they arrive they are confused, anxious, and grieving for their owners in some cases. The boost and reassurance that healing gives can help them puff up and feel better, and look more attractive to potential new families too. At the centre they need that one on one time and some love. It’s very rewarding and I love seeing them rehomed.
Do you work from home or go to see client’s pets?
If I am going to see a horse then they’re not coming to me!
I have a treatment room at home as I also see people too. My home is set up for a relaxed and undisturbed session which can also benefit the family as well as the animal.
If it will bring anxiety to an animal then there is no point coming to my house. Being in their home I get to meet the whole family plus other animals and can see the whole house dynamic, and the animal will be more relaxed at home so there are benefits either way.
How do animals react when you are giving them healing in person?
This is the only big difference with healing people and healing animals. You have no idea what an animal is going to do!!
I could say that they would lie down and go to sleep but sometimes they want to play and it sends them hyper, so you have to do “play healing” – but then their owner will then call me to say that they slept for 8 hours when they got home. Animals are their own bosses, so you can’t force them to come close or sit on your knee, if they want to go in the kitchen and they want me to stay in the living room then so be it, I have to respect that! If they want 10 minutes, they want 10 minutes, if they want 1 hour then you just keep going.
On the whole though, the animal will lie down, relax, move around to show me where to put my hands, and go to sleep. They’ll let off some gas and start snoring, and really let go. It’s lovely when I leave to see that they’re still in a deep sleep. I had a horse with colic start rolling as soon as I started and their owner went into a mad panic and actually ran away from the stable but the horse was perfectly happy afterwards as it let off a lot of “steam”. My days are always full of surprises!
Do some animals need different healing techniques? What animals have you healed in the past?
I have healed bearded dragons, snakes, bats, horses, cats, dogs, guinea pigs, rabbits, cows, camels! Animals need respect, so you have to keep your distance. The domestic animals sometimes need that close contact and the stroking so it really depends what they need.
If you were not an animal healer, what do you think your job would be?
I might have learnt about nutrition as I’m very passionate about how food can heal your body.
I would like to say a big thank you to Val for taking time out of her busy practice for this interview. I’m sure we have all been inspired by her words and dedication to animals. Please share this with your friends and on social media. You can book a healing session with your animal by visiting Val’s lovely new website at www.valberesford.com