Reiki translates as “universal life force energy” and is an amazing holistic energy healing method. It was originally developed in 1922 by Mikao Usui a Japanese Buddhist, but has since been adapted by various other teachers of varying traditions. Originally taught as a system of spiritual development for people, Reiki is now taught throughout the world as an effective technique for “self-healing”. It works by balancing the energy of the body, mind and spirit and can be seen being used for healing in both people and animals!
In her article How Does Reiki Heal?, Laura Ellen Gifford describes the body’s energy system and how it is related to Reiki healing in the body (our’s and the horse) :
Our body is composed not only of physical elements such as muscles, bones, nerves, arteries, organs, glands, etc.; it also has a subtle energy system through which 'life force energy' flows. This subtle energy system is composed of energy 'bodies' which surround our physical body and assist us in processing our thoughts and emotions. The energy bodies have energy centers called chakras, which work somewhat like valves that allow life force to circulate through the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual bodies. We also have energy meridians and nadas. These are like rivers, or streams which carry our life force energy throughout our physical body, to nourish us and assist in balancing our body’s systems and functions.
Our physical body is alive because of the 'life force energy' that is flowing through it. If our 'life force' is low or blocked, we are more likely to get sick, but if it is high and free flowing, we more easily maintain health and a feeling of well-being. One thing that disrupts and weakens the flow of 'life force energy' is stress. Stress is often caused by conflicting thoughts and feelings that get lodged in one's subtle energy system. These include fear, worry, doubt, anger, anxiety, etc. Medical research has determined that continual stress can block the body's natural ability to repair, regenerate and protect itself. The effects of unreleased stress range from minor aches to major health concerns, such as heart disease, digestive disorders, respiratory and skin problems. Reiki restores energy balance and vitality by relieving the physical and emotional effects of unreleased stress. It gently and effectively opens blocked meridians, nadas and chakras, and clears the energy bodies, leaving one feeling relaxed and at peace.
As Reiki is a natural non-invasive form of healing, it will never harm you or your animal. It has been effective in helping virtually every known illness and malady and always creates a beneficial effect. It also works in conjunction with all other medical or therapeutic techniques to relieve side effects and promote recovery. For many, a treatment feels like a warm glowing sensation that flows through them and surrounds them. It usually leaves the individual with a feeling of relaxation and a sense of peace, security and overall well being.
How can my horse benefit from Reiki?
Reiki can help maintain your horse’s health, increase the rate of healing for illness and injuries, and even ease the transition between life and death. If a horse's energy is blocked or out of balance in anyway, signs of stress may appear. Some of the more common signs that may show up are anxiety, lack of or too much energy, pain, injury and behavioral problems. If your horse is displaying these or other negative symptoms, then Reiki would be a good option to help them out.
Below are a few ways that Reiki can benefit your horse:
- Emotional problems: Reiki can help release and heal those emotions that are a result of a traumatic situation such as abuse, neglect, or a riding accident etc.
- Behavioral issues: Reiki can help your horse relax and reduce their stress and anxiety.
- Illness or injury: Reiki can help accelerate healing and assist the horse’s body in cleansing toxins. Also, if your horse is facing a serious illness, Reiki can help bring comfort and be a great complement to conventional treatment.
- Reiki can encourage increased suppleness, flexibility and can improve flow in all gaits.
- Reiki can help your horse focus before an event and assist in reaching their peak performance.
- Reiki can help relax your horse prior to experiencing unfamiliar situations such as travel to a different location, being sold to a new owner or being moved to a new type of environment.
- Transition between life and death: Reiki can help bring peace and comfort to you and your horse during this difficult time. It can help them relax so they are not afraid and struggling to stay a part of our lives.
Horses love Reiki because they are naturally sensitive and energetic beings who understand the nature of it. As horses enjoy the energetic connection with humans, Reiki is a wonderful way to deepen the connection and bond between the horse and their owner. Plus, reiki also has an irresistibly relaxing nature that just feels good to them!
Note: While Reiki is a powerful and effective healing system on its own, it is also a wonderful complement to other therapies that may be helping the animal recover. It is not meant as a substitute for veterinary care. Always consult your veterinarian about the best course of medical treatment for your animal.
What does a Reiki session for a horse look like?
Reiki varies from other holistic therapies in that it relies on the willing participation of the horse for success. The practitioner “offers” Reiki to the horse in an open way, without forcing the treatment and without expectations of the way the session should go. Horses are very sensitive and aware of energetic frequencies and will immediately understand the nature of the healing they are being offered.
An equine Reiki session can be done with the practitioner's hands directly on the horse or hovering just above the area, or even from a distance. This will be determined by whatever the horse prefers. You will know what your horse is open to and comfortable with by the way they respond to the healing energy. Signs of rest and relaxation would be what you will see. These can include a lowering of the head and a softening of the eyes, chewing and licking, yawning, sighing and sometimes they are so relaxed their eyes close completely.
The average Reiki treatment lasts from 30 to 60 minutes, and generally ends when the horse moves away. Like a person recovering from illness or responding to a treatment, your horse will need quiet and rest and may need to drink extra water to help flush out toxins from the body.
***Horses can often reflect or take on the symptoms of stress seen in their owner. Reiki will help those animals, but to fully clear those issues, it would be beneficial to have the owner treated with a session of Reiki as well. We offer special sessions of Reiki that include time for both the horse and the owner/rider.