Reiki III

Animal Reiki
Holly Rae Butryn

Reiki gently brings our spiritual journey into focus, and increases the natural flow of
and patterns of manifestation in our lives. – Linda A. Rethwisch


All Reiki students learn their basic understanding and the sacred symbols as they have been passed down from master to student since their introduction by Dr. Mikao Usui in 1914.  Anyone can learn Reiki.  However, each practitioner develops their own techniques that come with the healing practice and personal growth. 

Practitioners have used this healing art to aid in humans, animals, plants, water and even inanimate objects.  I personally infuse Reiki into my healing stones, crystals and other tools during my healing sessions with clients.   I also infuse Reiki into the stone and crystal jewelry that I make for healing.   I infuse everything – including the Earth I walk on.

This article is about animal healing.  When Life Force Energy is high in your pets, they 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 compliment to conventional Western Medicine, Chinese Medicine, Herbal Medicine and homeopathy.

I usually encourage my students to take Reiki 1, (self-healing), and then Reiki 2 before practicing on animals.   I believe that, as practitioners, we should strive to be a healed and cleansed vessel ourselves before giving Reiki to any person, place or thing.   

Animals are more sensitive than we humans, so holding onto any negative energy will have an effect on us and them as well.  Animals love Reiki and respond very positively.  If you, as practitioner, fear or dislike animals, please pass them onto another Reiki practitioner who might be more comfortable working for them. 

Reiki 1 is for self-healing.  In Reiki 2 students are given three of the sacred symbols, one of which is the long-distance healing symbol.  I use it on all animals I work on so I can give them the freedom to move around and be comfortable.  Reiki should be given in the comfort of clients’ home environments so they might best feel safe and comfortable. 

In learning early Reiki protocalls, we are taught that it is imperative to get permission from the client to touch their body.   Of course, clients can answer yes or no.   Animals, however, answer in their own way.  Usually, they will come up to you and stretch out in front of you.   Many times, they will position their bodies to indicate where they need Reiki Energy.  Animals that mistrust us, or that are generally in fear, will usually lay at a little distance from us.  We can then administer long distance Reiki.  But most of the time they will come right up to you and be happy to have the hands-on healing.

Like we humans, animals of all kinds can be treated for everything.   Animals are a joy to give Reiki to.  They are so very grateful!  They will tell you, however, when they are finished, by moving away, standing, or getting a little restless.

The mind, I believe, controls all pain and illness, so, an animal that has been abused will remember and may demonstrate issues of mistrust, of which you will have to be sensitive.  They may hold onto pain that was incurred from the previous owners, or even in past lives.  Long distance Reiki is particularly useful here as it can help ease the pain, and therefore help to release not only the pain, but the mistrust they have been carrying.

Treating animals of all kinds is like treating humans.  Many times, a single session will make them feel better.  One of the most important things to remember is that our pets take on the stress, anxiety and illness that we are holding onto.  Many times, when we ourselves are in a high stress situation, we may wonder why they may be acting badly, but they are just reacting to us.  Therefore, I always ask that the owner be present and involved so we can discuss the discontent they are having.   That way, it can, and needs to be, a joint healing.  The results can be amazing.

Since we, as healers, are just conduits, we call in the Reiki Energy and let it do its healing.  Once we set the intention for them, we step aside and let it work.  I let myself be guided to the areas needed.  I may do an over-all approach, or focus on specific areas.  It is truly up to the animal as to how much healing energy they can take.  Reiki will go to exactly where it is needed the most whether we are doing hands-on or distance Reiki.

Reiki is a very beautiful healing system, but it should never replace good veterinary care or needed medications.  It works in conjunction with, and enhances the overall healing process.   Many Veterinarians are now using Reiki in conjunction with their other traditional practices. 

But, like us, animals come to the time when they have fulfilled their obligations on the earth and despite veterinarians, healers, and all of our love, they are ready to leave us.  Therefore, using Reiki helps not only the animal, but their owners in a beautiful and healing way, to ease this earthly transition.

Reiki will help ease the fear and pain of the animal, and for us to be able to envision them in a beautiful calm state, helps us reduce our own fear and pain of loss.  Then we can truly be with them in gratitude and love as they leave us.  After the pets transition it would be a great service to continue Reiki on them to help soften the grieving process.

The way I work with clients, whether animal or human, is the same.    Intuition plays an enormous roll in practicing Reiki.  The more a practitioner uses Reiki, the more instincts take over.  Like a dancer, when first learning, we must concentrate on every new move.  With practice, we are able to let go and allow the body to move with the music and engage in the flow. 

When giving Reiki, each session is custom made for the wonderful being in front of you.  No two sessions are the same as each animal is unique.  It is most important to focus on your intent in the session, not how many positions you touch.  Many session may call you to use only one position for the whole session, while others may be full body.

When doing hands-on healing, the size of the animal will dictate where your hand positions will be.  On a smaller animal, I often lay one hand over a large area and place the other hand over the first hand.  Larger animals may show you exactly where they need it and you can move both hands over the entire body.

If you are treating horses, make sure they have room to move about.  It is better to treat them when they are alone with their owners rather than having other horses around.   Horses are very interested in what we do.  Let them give you permission to work on them.  You may start at a little distance away from them.  Let them move around, trust your intuition and let them guide you in the session.  Again, every session is different.

Reiki can be given to animals in the wild as well.  Being wild, they usually, of course, prefer long distance Reiki.  I live near Joshua Tree National Park and see lots of rabbit and coyotes that need healing.  If you find an animal in distress, stay a comfortable distance from them and ask if they want to receive Reiki. 

Volunteering in sanctuaries and shelters can be very rewarding.  So, if you have one near you and they are open to having you come in, it could be a wonderful opportunity to use your knowledge, intuition and compassion to be of service.  I have had wonderful sweet sessions with a friend’s bearded dragons.  They were very receptive and so very calm and sweet.  They will guide you to what they need.  There is so much to learn about Reiki and this is just a brief description of what I do and what I’ve experienced.