If there is one thing we love in Brooklyn, it's our pets! When I moved to Carroll Gardens in the Summer of 1997, I remember seeing residents out walking their dogs, but I was especially touched how cats without a home and too scared to come near were left an open can of food on the sidewalk. How generous! I thought.
As a transplant from West Texas, animals were beloved in the Southwest, too, but I had seen too many dogs tied to trees in backyards or cats escaping traffic, and me hoping they made it to safety before their adventures proved too dangerous. Living in Brooklyn, I quickly came to understand how adored were pets here.
So when I trained to become a Reiki I & II practitioner last November, I also soon gathered how this practice would benefit animals of all breeds and types. Reiki is a technique developed thousands of years ago in Japan and involves the practitioner to channel life energy through the palms of his or her hands above the person, allowing Rei (higher power) ki (life force energy) to go wherever the energy is low in a body to help balance and harmonize the energies. Reiki results in a great calming relaxing, and even a healing state of being. Reiki is not a religion or belief system. It is, simply, a great help. William Lee Rand, founder of the International Center for Reiki Training (ICRT) describes Reiki as "a treatment like a wonderful glowing radiance that flows through and around you. Reiki treats the whole person including body, emotions, mind and spirit creating many beneficial effects that include relaxation and feelings of peace, security and wellbeing."
And why shouldn't our pets experience this, too? So here are five essential reasons why animals deserve and need Reiki, as well:
1) Being boarded in a kennel. Often, traveling requires you to leave your pet behind and board them in a kennel. Doing this can cause stress for you as well as your precious animal. Giving Reiki prior to boarding and while in the kennel helps your pet stay calm and reinforces their immune system.
2) Pre and Post Surgery. When your pet needs to have surgery, giving Reiki to them before and after will relax them and even provide healing properties. We are energy and Reiki removes byoki (unhealthy energy). It's a win-win.
3) Generally hyper or nervous. You love your baby, but, oh he or she is hyper! It makes life tricky and often having friends over can be a nightmare. Reiki calms and provides peace to your pooch, knowing all is well.
4) Transitioning. When the time comes for your family pet to pass on, Reiki helps. Oh how I wish I had known about Reiki during the transition of my own two sweet cats.
5) Routine healthcare. Just as humans are taught preventative healthcare is the best medicine, so it is with our feline and canine friends. Reiki, on a regular basis, keeps them stay balanced with life force energy and equips them with a healthy, long life.
So as you take your dog out for his or her walk tonight, think about Reiki. Or as you greet your precious cat upon returning home, think about how you can show even more love and attention. Reiki is one vital way to bestow upon your pet the knowledge and love of just how much you care.