Reiki is an energy therapy that can bring relaxation, comfort, healing and an increased sense of well-being to cats and their humans.
What is Reiki?
Reiki originated in Japan. The practitioner transfers healing energy through her hands to the animal through either a light touch directly on the body, or from a distance. The word Reiki (pronounced “ray-key”) is a Japanese composite word usually translated as “universal life energy”. It is based on the idea that all living beings have life energy flowing through them. When life energy is high, your cats are healthy and balanced, more relaxed and less likely to get sick. When it is low, they’ll often be more easily affected by stress and less resistant to illness. Reiki is a safe complement to conventional Western medicine, Chinese medicine, herbal medicine, homeopathy and all other forms of healing.
Reiki for cats
Animals, especially cats, are naturally receptive to the Reiki energy and tend to gravitate towards it easily. Some people even say cats invented Reiki. While that may be a bit far-fetched, I think cats so readily receive this type of energy because unlike people, they don’t have the same mental process going through their mind that humans often deal with when faced with energy healing: Does it really work? How does it work? How can this possibly make a difference? Cats just accept the energy and their bodies know intuitively how to utilize it for their greatest good. Human bodies know this, too – we just let our minds override what our bodies already know on a deeper level.
Cats generally prefer a hands off approach to Reiki, especially if they don’t know the person offering the energy. All of my Reiki work is done remotely. I’ve worked with cats from all over the world.
Reiki sessions for cats typically last 15-30 minutes.The frequency of sessions depends entirely on each individual animal’s health status and needs. Some health issues can be resolved in two or three sessions, others may take ongoing sessions on a recurring basis.
Feline behaviorist Molly DeVoss has a wonderful explanation of Reiki for cats on her Cat Behavior Solutions website, including an illustration of the seven chakras (energy centers) and their purpose and meaning.
Benefits of Reiki
Reiki’s main benefit is that it reduces stress and promotes relaxation, and as such, has a positive impact on all aspects of well being. Reiki
- Enhances overall well-being.
- Strengthens the immune system for cancer therapies. Cancer therapies such as chemotherapy and radiation present stress to an already compromised immune system. Reiki strengthens the immune system to better deal with this additional stress. It can also alleviate or prevent the side effects of conventional cancer treatments and provide pain relief.
- Accelerates healing following surgery or illness.
- Increases trust and bonding between cat and human. Humans and cats often mirror each others’ physical and emotional states. Because of the shared energy in such a close relationship, energetic imbalances are shared as well. For optimum healing, joint treatments for the person and the cat can often be beneficial.
- Can help with behavior issues by promoting relaxation and stress reduction.
- Provides comfort and relieves pain, anxiety and fear for terminally ill animals. Reiki is a wonderful way to facilitate the transition for terminally ill animals and their humans. Often, animals will not allow themselves to transition because they feel that their person is not ready to let them go. Joint Reiki treatments for the cat and his or her human can help both through this difficult time by enhancing the bond and allowing a gentle transition.
Stories of Reiki healing
Over my years of working with cats, I’ve had some wonderful and sometimes miraculous experiences.
There was the woman who called me to help Blackie, a foster cat who had urinary tract issues, and who also had a hard time settling into life inside a home after being an outside stray for most of his life. When I arrived, there were at least a dozen cats in the house, several of them young kittens who were racing around the room. I focused on Blackie and started sending energy to him, which he readily accepted. I had my back turned to the rest of the room, and was too focused on Blackie to really be aware of what was going on behind me. When I finished the session, I turned around. There were about six cats stretched out in various states of relaxation, blissfully zonked out from the residual Reiki energy. One cat came slowly up to me and rubbed her head against my hand. The woman’s mouth dropped. This was a feral cat she had just taken in, and she herself hadn’t even been able to touch him. The power of Reiki never ceases to surprise and delight me.
There was Belle, a then 11-year-old muted tortoiseshell cat I saw for Reiki every two weeks. She had had frequent asthma attacks prior to starting her Reiki sessions. After a few sessions, her asthma was under control with only a very small dose of medication. Belle always knew when it was Wednesday afternoon, her usual appointment time. She would be in position in her special chair, and she soaked up the energy for half an hour, either purring away, or sleeping.
And there was Buckley, the subject of my book Buckley’s Story – Lessons from a Feline Master Teacher. Buckley loved Reiki, and was an active participant in some of my in person sessions for human clients. She knew intuitively where more energy was needed and would often lay on top of a particular area of the client’s body. I knew to just skip past that area – my little feline Reiki Master had it covered.
You can find more success stories on my Healing Hands website.
You can find more information about my Reiki practice at http://www.pethealing.net.