Reiki on pets and seriously wonderful vet clients

Patty Khuly, DVM
Published: January 27, 2008
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OK so after this week’s post on rough clients and tough situations in pet healthcare, let me offer this heartwarming story of a truly giving client trying her hardest to make a difference in the life of one sick pet—mine, in this case.

Ever since she heard Sophie was suffering from debilitating neck pain, this client began offering weekly sessions of Reiki to ease her obvious discomfort. She shows up regularly, often when I’m away at lunch, to pet, cuddle and render her unique brand of assistance to my ailing Sophie Sue.

Incase you’re wondering, according to the International Center for Reiki Training, “Reiki is a Japanese technique for stress reduction and relaxation that also promotes healing. It is administered by "laying on hands" and is based on the idea that an unseen "life force energy" flows through us and is what causes us to be alive. If one's "life force energy" is low, then we are more likely to get sick or feel stress, and if it is high, we are more capable of being happy and healthy.”

Energy work in holistic medicine is typically one of my least preferred healing methodologies. That’s because so much depends on the individual providing the service. It seems to this open-minded (I hope) veterinarian that too many providers claim to have the requisite training needed to master these arts—much less the gift I believe it requires.

To me, it seems that energy work is unique in this. While acupuncture, massage, aromatherapy and homeopathy can be learned by many, energy work seems a more elusive art. Dare I say it seems less scientific?

Reiki, in particular, seems especially so. It’s as close to a religious “laying of the hands” as you can get and still get my qualified vote of confidence in its potential efficacy.

Like everyone else of a scientific bent, it seems, I came to this open-mindedness (if you can concede to call it that after these previous statements) out of a personal experience.

Suffering back pain and generalized stress after a rough postpartum period in my life, I was referred by an excellent masseuse (the likes of whom only one other has ever matched in my therapeutic massage-ridden life) to an acupuncturist. After a few of sessions, this way competent provider offered Reiki as a service along with my acupuncture. Darn if it didn’t seem I improved faster and could go longer between treatments when this feature was added to my therapeutic repertoire. VooDoo it may be, I thought, but I liked it nonetheless.

Years later, I still consider this experience one of those that has redefined my respect for alternative types of medicine featuring energy work as an adjunct. That’s why I’m so grateful for this client’s ministrations. Not only because it’s so sweet and shows how much she cares for animals, but because it truly does seem to make Sophie feel better.