I first came across the work of Kathleen Prasad a couple of years ago when I became interested in animal healing and have been following her reiki work ever since. For those who don’t know, she is one of the world’s leading supporters of offering reiki for animals. My lovely wife bought me her book ‘Everything Animal Reiki’ for my birthday last year and I thought a review of the book was something worth sharing with you all.
“Sharing Reiki with animals is a beautiful way to uncover our inner bright light that is always perfect and beautiful, no matter what struggles we, or our animals, may face.”
I have been offering healing for a few years now and my new journey into therapy for animals has lead me to look at several complementary treatments, reiki being one of them. I have used energy healing and the Trust Technique with animals and always found it of great benefit to them. In fact, they often come over to bathe in the healing space when sending out healing thoughts in the present moment. I was therefore very keen to find out what all the interest with reiki was about.
In case you didn’t know what reiki is, it is an old Japanese healing form that allows you to connect to a universal energy to help other beings heal themselves. This energy is known as many things in many cultures and faiths. In China it is ‘Chi’ as in Tai Chi. In Indian cultures and Yogic work it is ‘prana’. In Reiki the ‘ki’ means energy and ‘Rei’ means ‘universal life’ or ‘spirit’. We can direct this energy to others by using our hands, or visualising it traveling at distance.
What I love about Kathleen’s writing style is it is really approachable and her stories are so uplifting. Her style of writing makes it easy to understand how reiki works and how it can benefit animals. I found myself captured and inspired by her words that seemed to resonate so perfectly with me.
So how can Reiki help animals?
Kathleen says that with Reiki all you really need are your intention and the animal’s acceptance. It can then help many problems whether physical, mental, emotional or spiritual. It’s a non-invasive and completely natural healing process that can bring balance and harmony to the animal, or to a situation.
“By simply relaxing, being quiet, breathing and having a heartfelt intention to help another being, you create a sacred space. In this space, all things are possible.”
Kathleen begins with an incredible story of how she helped heal a very sick kitten at an animal shelter. The staff didn’t think he would make it as his mum and the two other kittens had already died. The staff wanted Kathleen to try reiki on him one time. Quite quickly he tried to move towards her so she put her hands in the cage and for the next 45 minutes sent him bags of reiki love. He then woke up, stretched and got up for some water. His eyes were bright and he looked like a transformed kitten.
In 2008 Kathleen co-founded a not-for-profit corporation called The Shelter Animal Reiki Association or SARA for short. Kathleen discovered that by offering reiki in animal shelters it actually boosted adoption rates because the animals were less stressed, healthier and happier. So the mission is to roll-out animal Reiki programs in shelters worldwide together with useful information for practitioners to participate in.
In the ’Everything Animal Reiki’ book Kathleen shares many wonderful (and deeply moving) stories of her work with animal shelters. Not only that, but the book features over 30 reiki meditation practices which can enhance your reiki practice, particularly for working with animals and for self healing. After all, if we are not healthy in mind, body and spirit, then we cannot help the animals as effectively as we could.
Working with animals is quite different to humans on many levels. When someone comes to you for a reiki session they have already made that choice and want it. However, when a client says they want reiki for their horse how do we know the horse wants the healing? As Kathleen says, we must never force reiki on any being. It is important to ask the animal first, by connecting with them in that open meditation state.
Then we simply create a reiki healing space for the animal and invite them in. They can either take the healing or choose not to. Most animals recognise how beneficial a reiki session is so are happy to lap up the healing.
Animals do react differently to healing. Some will come straight over to you and sit in your lap (not horses!) whereas some animals will get up and move around. This does not mean they are not accepting the healing. Whatever happens you do find there is a transformative peace that surrounds the area. It’s a tangible feeling.
An interesting tip that Kathleen gives in her book is of treating pets with their humans at the same time. She suggests bringing them together in the same room and while offering the reiki to the animal, invite the person to relax and share in the meditation. What we often find is that animals reflect their human’s issues, whether it’s a psychical or emotional problem. Hence by healing both and connecting them in that sacred space we can help to provide an ideal solution.
Distant Reiki healing for animals
As I touched on previously, one of the great things about reiki is the ability to send it remotely. This can be very useful if the animal is in another country or the animal is wild and will not approach humans. Kathleen says it offers the same benefits as hands on reiki does, supporting the animal’s self healing on all levels. Kathleen then offers some great tips for sending distant healing to animals.
I have clients booking distant healing sessions for their pets and they often send me a message a day or two later saying they have seen a positive difference in the animal, whether physical or emotionally. Not having to be in the same location as an animal in need is a wonderful way to help even more animals.
In this book Kathleen takes time to clearly define what reiki is and how it can help animals of any kind. Whether your pet is a dog, cat, lizard or rat. Horses are very open to reiki healing and even wild animals enjoy the peaceful space reiki promotes. I like the way she describes reiki from a practitioner point of view as well as from a patient, giving us a deeper understanding of how the effects of reiki can nourish and heal our being, and that of our animal friends.
The Hara System & Grounding
Chapter nine is all about the reiki Hara system. Kathleen details how in Japanese tradition there are 3 energetic centres, of which the most well known is the Hara. This is around the belly area and is where Ki energy is thought to be stored. I tried the 3 Diamonds Meditation practice in that chapter and absolutely loved it! The energy was flowing through my body and I felt wonderful afterwards.
In the next two chapters there is quite a bit of information concerning grounding. This is an important part of working with reiki energy and helps us to be present and not emotionally involved when offering reiki to animals or humans. By being grounded we let the energy flow clearer, and the animals can pick up on this, making it more effective. I love all the grounding meditations Kathleen offers, with great names such as ‘The healing tree and power animal meditation’, ‘Be the mountain meditation’ and ‘Earth Practice Meditation’ among others. It really is worth having a good read through them and trying them out.
I do find it hard to go through guided meditations when they are written down, but no doubt Kathleen has them as guided audio files on her website at www.animalreikisource.com so you can just close your eyes and really get into the grounding.
And so it began
I found myself so inspired by Kathleen’s words in this book that I sought out a reiki teacher in my local area and have since gained my level 1 in reiki. My dogs and family seem to enjoy the peace and healing it gives, and the daily self practice with Kenyoku and HatsuRei Ho is something that strengthens the energy connection and makes me feel great. Later this year I will be doing the level 2 reiki attunements and learning all about how to be a registered reiki practitioner. Kathleen has already given me some great advice on Twitter about using reiki with animals and I’m so grateful for that.
So was it a good read?
Most definitely! If you are looking to work as a healer for animals there is so much useful information, guides and first-hand knowledge in ‘Everything Animal Reiki’ that you simply must buy this book! My understanding of reiki and working with animals has expanded to the next level and beyond thanks to all Kathleen has shared in this book. Everything Reiki For Animals is available in most places such as Amazon and other good bookshops.
It’s great to read about the reiki from someone who has almost single-handedly brought reiki to the animal shelters and promoted it for others in this book. And since learning reiki myself I will keep going back to this to dig deeper and further my reiki healing for all those animals out there that need someone to be there for them. Great work Kathleen!