Hands Off!

Chopper, a beautiful 7 year old brindle Boxer, has been with her human Dad since she was 6 weeks old. Recently her human parents noticed slight changes in her food intake, energy levels, and behaviors that over time signaled to them that something wasn’t quite right. This is where I come into the story and meet Chopper.

She greeted me with a couple warning barks as I walked to the front door, and once I was in the door her barks turned to kisses. Chopper’s Mom and I talked for a few minutes about the concerns they had and I explained what Chopper may experience during our Reiki session.

We started the session in the living room with Chopper lying on her favorite blanket. I asked permission to connect with her and then started the session. She had laid near me for pets and love while talking to her Mom before the session. Not thinking I started the session hands-on, as she was already familiar with my physical touch. She lay quietly for a few minutes then got up and walked to her favorite sunny spot in another room. After a few minutes I quietly followed her and was invited to join her and continue the session.

After another few minutes she got up, licked my face and walked back into the living room and again lay on her blanket. As I re-joined her a thought came to me that she would like the session to be hands-off. I then realized that my comfort level with her overrode my usual procedure of starting animal sessions this way.

We picked up where we left off, this time my hands were several inches from her body. She quickly settled into a Reiki nap and the connection between us strengthened. At some time during the session my hands again found their way to her physical body. This time she was good with the contact and immediately let out a couple of deep releasing Reiki breaths. The session was peaceful, restoring, and insightful.

Chopper’s gentle, yet persistent request for hands-off treatment at first was also a good reminder that Energy work is different from casual interaction. Here are some things to consider:

• Once the energy begins to flow it may be experienced different from normal touch.
• Beginning a treatment with your hands off the body several inches is always a good way to start. The animal will show you what they prefer, it’s up to you to watch and listen.
• Allow the animal to move around as needed. Confining Chopper would have likely resulted in a less pleasant experience for her, and potentially could have escalated into more intense “suggestions” from her to back off.
• Watch the animal for signs of acceptance or discomfort during the treatment and adjust your style/method of sharing Reiki as needed.

Animal Reiki is an opportunity to support the animal and work with them. By simply watching and observing their comfort level and respecting their personal space we can create a beautiful Reiki experience for both giver and receiver.

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