Reiki is not just for the people

You’ve heard of Reiki, right? It’s the hands-on alternative healing method that’s apparently worked wonders for everyone from Ellen DeGeneres to Angelina Jolie, Nicole Kidman, and Gwyneth Paltrow. And probably for at least one of your acquaintances. But now it’s also being touted as a cure-all for animals too. Yes, your pets (be they dog, cat, or tortoise) could well benefit from this unique form of healing, suggests Paphos-based Reiki Master and Teacher Michael Stavrinides.

Owner of the Natural Healing & Wellness Centre, Michael has been involved in spiritual, personal and psychic development since the age of 15, claiming the work enables him to fulfill his aim “to help and support people in finding their life’s purpose and assist them on their journey.” He’s also the founder of the Cyprus Spiritual Network, a digital space which “promotes spiritual events and workshops, offering likeminded people, both resident and vacationers, a place to meet and talk. But it’s the Centre that’s at the centre of Michael’s work, with workshops on mindfulness, mindset coaching, crystals, personal development and Reiki. And now, even Animal Reiki…

While Reiki itself is a relatively modern practice (basically originating in the early 1900s, with Japanese healer Mikao Usui, who claimed to have ‘rediscovered’ the art) that has been adapted into varying cultural traditions around the world, it falls broadly into the category of alternative methods of healing. Relying on palm healing through which a ‘universal energy’ is said to be transferred from the hands of the practitioner to the patient in order to encourage emotional or physical healing, it is, says Michael, “basically a natural energy we can channel to assist ourselves and others throughout our life. And that includes animals,” he adds. “Sheltered animals such as dogs and cats, wild animals, stray animals, farm animals, dangerous animals… Large and small animals, from horses to birds, mice, rabbits, fish, dolphins and even whales!”

Now, while there’s little chance of working this healing magic on a whale in this part of the Mediterranean, the practice can come in extremely useful with pets and rescues, Michael explains. “Many of the people to whom I teach Animal Reiki Level 1 work or volunteer in animal shelters, or foster and care for stray or abandoned animals. The person has usually had Reiki themselves, or seen it performed on an animal, and they’ve experienced the benefits of this wonderful, empowering technique first-hand. In my opinion,” he adds, “anyone can learn and channel Reiki, all you need is the desire to learn and the intention to help yourself and others.”

In its most simple form, Reiki is said to work through the channelling of positive energy. Practitioners typically place their hands on the areas of the body that most need a boost, offering the energy to the patient; exponents claim this practice can facilitate harmony and balance within the body. It’s also believed to accelerate self-healing processes, relieving stress, pain and tension by dissolving energy blocks and promoting a natural balance between the mind, body and spirit. And, at its most basic level, Animal Reiki is pretty similar to human Reiki, and both can be performed ‘distantly’ (i.e. not in the presence of the patient). But the differences are accentuated as you progress through the four levels of Animal Reiki, Michael acknowledges.

“In the Animal Reiki Level 1 Workshop you learn how to balance and centre yourself before and throughout the duration of a Reiki treatment and – very importantly – you learn to be in the present moment. This is vitally important when treating animals that are not familiar with us or that have been physically or emotionally abused, as is the case with so many rescues. And this brings us to another important difference in Animal Reiki: the 8th Chakra…”

Humans, he explains, have seven chakras. But animals go one step further. “The Brachial chakra is found only in animals,” Michael reveals. “It’s black in colour, and located on either side of the body, in the area of the shoulders. It’s also the main energy centre in all animals, linked directly to all other chakras, and the centre which relates to animal-human interaction and bonding.

“Recently, I performed a distant Animal Reiki treatment on a rescued dog which had been physically and mentally abused. It had multiple health conditions that limited its mobility, and I was told its back legs were in such a bad way the animal found it difficult to walk.” Just a short time after the Reiki treatment, and within the day, the human carer contacted Michael. “I was told the dog was now walking around with ease and looked much brighter and happier!

“The techniques, knowledge and practices used in Animal Reiki are vitally important,” Michael continues. “Animal senses are more heightened than humans’ and they can feel if you are unbalanced, nervous, anxious or distant – exhibiting scattered thoughts, not in the present moment.” For this very reason, he adds, mindfulness is crucial to Animal Reiki: “When working with an animal, being mindful and in the present moment allows you to read and sense the physical and emotional state of the animal and respond accordingly; you will be more aware of the animal’s body language.”

Most animals, he adds, will move and adjust their bodies to be in line with where healing is required. “And many will simply walk away when they have had enough. Personally,” he concludes, “I’ve noticed that Animal Reiki has induced a state of calm and peacefulness within the dog, and helped it bond much better with people afterwards, which is very beneficial when trying to rehome sheltered animals. I have also personally experienced it help and assist with speeding up recovery after an injury or surgery, and have seen many amazing benefits with Animal Reiki, including the reduction of stress, anxiety and nervousness in ill-treated dogs.”

Whether or not the celebrities are trying Animal Reiki on their pets we may never know. But then a pampered pooch is unlikely to need a bit of an energy boost, is it? Perhaps our island’s countless strays really is the best place to try out this alternative method of healing.


Source: CyprusMail



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