Reiki for people and animals: when can it help?

by Elisa Munafò

When I attended my first Reiki class, back in 2012, I asked my teacher: “Can Reiki help animals, beside people?” Her affirmative reply opened the way to my personal growth and I started to research (mainly out of Italy) how to apply this healing practice to horses.

The Japanese word reiki recalls the concept of “energy of the universe”, which may sound a bit complicated, not to say abstractive. In reality, it is something very simple and concrete: imagine, for example, that you are in the middle of a large field, your eyes are closed, your breathe is deep and slow, on your skin you can feel the warm sun and the fresh breeze, your mind is completely dedicated to feel that special moment. You may feel like are one with the nature that surrounds you, and in fact, you are! Reiki is also the name of a healing system, through wich practioners can deepen the sense of union with the universe, achieving more wellness, physically and mentally.

When I explain the benefits of Reiki as a healing practice, I always underline that it is rather “a complement of” than “an alternative to” other kinds of support, like medical treatments. It is not a magic “cure”, but still a powerful tool in the process of rebalancing and healing yourself and/or your animal.

So, when should you call for a Reiki practioner to come by and have one session, or more?

In case of illness or injury, Reiki helps lowering the side effects of medicines and it can speed up the healing process. When you are facing a transition, such as moving to a new home (or to a new yard), Reiki sessions  can make the settling smoother. It is a partner for stress relief, for tension release and trauma related issues. However, remember that Reiki works better without expectations or judgement, by trusting the process with open mind and heart to what has to happen, whatever it will be.

Last year, my horse had a colic, a potentially critical condition. In the space of a few (very long) hours she received careful care from those around her, then the vet came and eventually advised to get her to the clinic due to the risk of intestinal torsion. There were all the conditions to be overcome by anxiety! As I drove I promised myself that I would do everything in my power, Reiki included, to accompany her, whatever her fate. I felt incredibly strong and centered.

Kamala was immediately examined. They did another probe and put her on an IV. Surgery was a real option, but we had to wait until the operating room was free. We found ourselves in the stall, she and I, waiting on the shavings litter, exhausted from a sleepless night. There was only one thing left to do, and it was one of the most intense Reiki sessions I had ever had. We entered into deep relaxation, eventually Kamala let out a big sigh and… she loudly found her way out of her gas-aching belly. Suddenly he stood up and shook herself from head to toe. With perfect timing, the surgeon arrived, examined her again and said that she didn’t need surgery anymore as was out of danger. What a relief!

It would be arrogant and wrong to declare that without Reiki Kamala would not have recovered, but it definitely helped by releasing tension and making us able to stay positive, calm and grateful even when things get bad.

When I help people to deal with hard times, or when I support their animals in order to find their own source of physical and emotional healing, I offer them the same kind of energy that helped Kamala and me on that hard day (and many others…). It is the same kind of energy that helped us releasing tension and making us able to stay positive, calm and grateful even when things were getting bad.

More information about Reiki and horses here.

In this video are shown some instants a one-hour-long Reiki session with a couple of horses.

Elisa Munafò (Valenza, 1981) started practicing Reiki in 2012, as part of a personal growth journey that also includes Vipassana meditation, yoga and Bach flower therapy. In 2016 she received the second level of Reiki Usui Shiki Ryoho from teacher Lida Perry (The Reiki Alliance) and subsequently, driven by her love for animals, she deepened the peculiarities of Animal Reiki by meeting with Natasha Albeer (Natural With Horses, UK) and with Kathleen Prasad (Animal Reiki Source, USA), founder of the Let Animals Lead® method. She is part of SARA Shelters Animal Reiki Association, whose volunteers offer Reiki as a complementary support to the care of animals in need by collaborating with veterinarians and rescue centres. Contact:  – FB: Reiki per gli animali