Communication and Reiki are different animals

While animal Reiki and animal communication make a great pair, they are separate disciplines with unique benefits. The difference is essentially between meditation and conversation.

How they work

A Reiki session is a time of meditation, relaxation, and peace. Because I am certified in the Let Animals Lead® method, the animal is always in charge of whether and how he shares the energy.

During an in-person session, a cat or dog might curl up in my lap or settle across the room. A horse may stand on the other side of the pasture, hang out in a stall, or come to meet me at the fence. I’ve even had a donkey sidle up and nudge his head under my arm! Whatever the species or context might require, I go into a meditative state and let the energy do its work.

Distant sessions are much the same, except that the animal and I are not in the same physical space. She’s generally at home relaxing with her person, hanging out with the herd, or doing whatever, while I’m in my home office — again, in a meditative state, letting the energy do its work!

During an in-person or distant Reiki session, I may receive intuitive information — but that is not the objective of the session.

An animal communication session, on the other hand, is an exchange of information. I don’t need to be in the same physical space as the animal or on the phone with the animal’s person for this. I connect with the animal telepathically, focusing my attention on what he has to share. No appointment is necessary for this.

With the animal’s permission, I work to gain insights into behavior. Or I tell her about a change coming up and ask what would help her adjust. Or I ask him how he feels about anything from his food to his person’s new boyfriend. Once I’ve talked with the animal, I email the person a summary of what we discussed. The client is always encouraged to take only what resonates and is helpful, and leave the rest.

Together but distinct

In some settings, such as a farm with multiple animals, I may do Reiki and animal communication in the same visit, but not in the same moment.

How this works might be compared to a chaplain’s rounds. Time with each animal could be spent in conversation to begin. Then we might share Reiki. After the session, we might talk a little more before I thank the animal and move to another. We wouldn’t be meditating and talking at the same time!

There is a time and a purpose to everything (Eccl. 3:1). When we let Reiki and animal communication function on their own, our animal friends get the best each has to offer.

Tell your dog the tooth

Is your dog or cat due for dental work? On the day before the appointment, and then just before you go, calmly tell the animal where you are going and what will happen. 

You don’t need to use much detail, but do picture it — the ride to the clinic, the staff member greeting you both and taking him back, and the vet giving him something to help him sleep while his teeth are examined and cleaned. If you already know an extraction is needed, tell him how much better it will feel once the tooth that is hurting him is out of there.

In any case, tell him he will feel a little funny when he wakes up, but you’ll be there to take him home and he’ll be back to normal soon. Above all, emphasize how much easier and better it will be to eat his food and chew his toys with a healthy mouth.

The result will likely be a less stressful experience for both of you … and a longer and happier life for the animal. February is National Pet Dental Health Month, so this would be a great time to ask your vet about procedures, tooth brushing, dental chews, breath freshening and more.

Photo by TheDigitalWay from Pixabay

Use caution first with essential oils

Image by Charlotte Govaert from Pixabay 

When a journalist friend shared a Snopes Fact Check piece about essential oils being poisonous to pets, I took notice.

Snopes is generally good at sifting out scams and misinformation, and I already knew cats are much more sensitive than other animals to essential oils. Its rating: True. When used the wrong way or in the wrong concentration or amount, even diffused, essential oils can be toxic.

I would never suggest a client use essential oils with any animal without first seeking reliable guidance on which oils to use, how, and with what species. First, I’m not a veterinary professional. Second, there are too many variables — species, the individual animal, the condition being treated, oil quality, and use. The following is intended only as a starting point should you want to learn more about essential oil use for animals.

A veteran physical therapist and dog parent told me about animalEO, a line of essential oils and blends developed by holistic veterinarian Dr. Melissa Shelton. Her website is packed with information and instructions, and there is a very active animalEO Facebook group hosted by Dr. Shelton herself. (Good luck keeping up with the high volume of posts.) Also see her response to the viral post that led to the Snopes piece.

I’ve used a few of these blends with my own animals, mostly for diffusion and at low concentrations. The whole household benefits from a little aromatherapy. Moreover, it gives me confidence to know that the products were created for animals by an experienced veterinarian. (I receive no compensation from animalEO.)

Speaking of oil: CBD oil and other cannabinoid products for animals merit even more caution. There is very little data on their use, and your veterinarian may be restricted from even discussing it. 

Finding reliable pet health information in a sea of social media and commercial sites can be challenging. Here are some guidelines I use, both as a journalist and an animal wellness practitioner. 

If you are interested in using essential oils — either for yourself or the animals you love — there is no harm in going to animalEO to learn before you buy. Then here are my recommendations:

  1. Don’t be tempted by cheaper, lower-quality oils, or blends not formulated for animals. 
  2. Take what you learn (from whatever or whomever) and run it by your veterinarian.
  3. If you do use essential oils for or around animals, use as directed. When in doubt, use less rather than more.
  4. Observe your animal carefully. If you remotely suspect any adverse effects from the oil — stop use and contact your vet.

Remember that “natural” isn’t necessarily beneficial. As always, be mindful, not fearful.