What Is Reiki? For Animals? Why Animals?

What Is Reiki?

This image depicts a Reiki treatment in progre...

This image depicts a Reiki treatment in progress. Author: James Logan; Uploaded by Andy Beer with agreement of author and models. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Reiki is a non-invasive and benign Japanese healing modality aimed at stress reduction and relaxation and balance, and it is administered through a Reiki practitioner’s hands. Reiki is based on the concept that an invisible life force or energy flows through all of us. If our life force is weak, then we feel weak and prone to stress and disease. If high, we attract or create happier and healthier conditions. We feel strong, willing, and able to confront life’s challenges. Because it’s an energy-based technique, it also works in harmony with other medical and therapeutic techniques.

"Rei" and "ki" in Japanese - black on whiteThe word Reiki is composed of two Japanese words — Rei and Ki. Rei can be defined as the Higher or Universal Intelligence that guides the creation and functioning of the universe and, thus, permeates both the animate and the inanimate. Ki is the non-physical energy that flows through and animates all living things. It flows within our bodies via pathways called chakras, meridians and nadis. This energy also moves around our physical bodies in an energy field known as the aura, nourishing and supporting our body’s vital functions. Therefore, our negative thoughts are not just in the brain. They’re constantly collecting in locations throughout our body and aura. The functions of organs that exist at these locations are restricted, and if negative thoughts and feelings are not quickly eliminated, illness manifests.

We receive Ki naturally and effortlessly from the air we breathe, from the food consume, from the sunlight we absorb, and from sleep. It’s also possible to increase our Ki through breathing exercises as well as meditation. When we die, Ki vacates our physical body

How Does Reiki Work?

Reiki is transferred to student from a Reiki master. This transference is called an attunement or initiation and allows the student to connect to an unlimited supply of life force energy.

Experiences during a Reiki treatment vary from being to being; however, deep relaxation is usually felt by everyone. You might feel a glowing radiance that flows through and surrounds you. Because Reiki encourages you to let go of all tension, anxiety, fear or other negative feelings, you might experience a state of peace and well-being. Some drift off to sleep. At the end of a treatment, you feel refreshed and balanced.

Reiki is wholistic – it treats the entire entity including body, emotions, mind and spirit.

What Reiki Is Not

Though Reiki is spiritual in nature, but it’s not a religion; therefore, its effects are not dependent on or prohibited by what we believe or whatever spiritual or religious practice we use. Reiki is not even dependent on whether or not we believe in it as a healing modality.


Buck relaxing in green field.Animals love Reiki, too. They seem to have a natural understanding of what Reiki and its benefits are. Once they’ve received a Reiki treatment, they will often let you know that they want more. (Plants, I’m told, also respond well to Reiki.) Because of its gentle, noninvasive nature, Reiki is perfect for animals, but as gentle as it is, its results are powerful. Animals respond intuitively to Reiki’s power to heal emotional, behavioral, and physical illnesses and injuries.

For healthy animals, Reiki is maintenance. For ill animals, Reiki is a wonderful healing modality as well as aHorse reclining, relaxing complement to Western Medicine, Chinese Medicine, homeopathy, flower essences, and all other forms of healing, reducing the side effects of chemotherapy and supporting acupuncture. For animals who are experiencing their transition from this life, Reiki is a powerful yet gentle way to provide comfort and relief from pain, fear, and anxiety.


Reiki people are not “healers,” but rather, “practitioners.” This is an important distinction. Practitioners first ask permission of the “client” or animal, asking if he or she would like to participate in a Reiki session. Then practitioners set their intention that they are open to facilitate the flow of energy for the highest good of the animal, for whatever the animal is open to receive, or nothing at all (it is completely up to the animal to receive the energy). The healing process is completely up to the animal and Reiki, the practitioner simply facilitates the energy flow.

Two goats relaxingPractitioners, as mentioned above, do not diagnose, and in fact, do not need to know what the health issue is. The nature of the energy is that it creates and supports energetic balance as a whole for the animal (in other words, on all levels: physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual). In a sick animal, the illness would be considered, energetically, to be an imbalance of some kind. By setting one’s intention and then sitting in a meditative Reiki space, the practitioner simply creates a possibility of “rebalancing,” that the animal then either chooses or doesn’t choose to take part in.

There is no manipulation of energy beyond setting the mental intention to become an empty vessel through which Reiki can flow to the animal, if the animal is accepting. A practitioner don’t “send” the energy here or there, or “heal” this or that problem. We simply create a space where healing possibilities exist.

The animal is always in charge of the length of treatment, and will tell the practitioner when they are finished byRottweiler relaxing in garden moving away and becoming active again after a restful state. This being said, for most animals, the average length of treatment is 30 – 60 minutes. The energy cannot exhaust the animal, as you can’t “overdo” Reiki: once again, Reiki works only to support energetic balance within the animal, in whatever amount each unique animal is open to. Reiki is nothing you can force on the animal. Reiki can never do harm, including causing something like lethargy and/or vomiting.

2 Responses to What Is Reiki? For Animals? Why Animals?

  1. Nivedita says:

    This is a good post for …what is reiki.

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