Thursday, April 15, 2010

Reiki for Horses

Reiki for Horses

I’ve decided to rerun this old post about Reiki for Horses because I think it is something that might be interesting to some of the new readers here. Equine Reiki is fast becoming popular in the horse world and anything that will help my horses is always intriguing and bears further investigation. With some background and knowledge of Reiki practices, the decision will be yours on whether you wish to try it or not. Reiki can be used to complement traditional medical practices, but should not be used as a replacement for proper veterinary care.

History of Reiki

Reiki pronounced (ray-key), is a Japanese word, which means universal life energy. The REI means universal and present everywhere, and KI- meaning the non-physical force giving life to all living things. Reiki is an ancient form of energy healing, using a method that is believed to have spread throughout China, India and Tibet approximately one hundred and twenty years ago. Reiki has no religion attached to it intentionally; its mystery is open for the benefit of each and every one. However, the value of animals and the world environment as a whole along with its people has a bit of a Buddhist premise in its point of view. Reiki is also not faith healing. The Reiki healing method has mainly been used for healing people; recently more and more practitioners have come to realize that this healing system could be beneficial to animals. Since horses have no belief system they are more open to the treatment, they easily tune into the intention of the healer. For more information than I could ever go into here, follow this link:

How It Is Done

The Reiki practitioner is fundamentally a channel for the Reiki energy, which the beneficiary draws to themselves through the hands of the practitioner. Attunement is the method by which the Reiki channel is opened and it works on the deepest levels of consciousness. Horses are very straightforward and they are far more in tune with themselves and their environment than people are, so they deal with the consciousness and healing on a level of what they need. Horses have no preconceived notions or bias of what will work and what will not, so they are good subjects simply because they are open to receive the healing energy. Energy is drawn to the area needing healing, whereas the body then heals itself. Every living thing can have energy blocks, which are usually dealt with personally day to day. The problems are detected when the body or mind comes under pressure.
When horses are well energy flows through the body like an electric current, the energy blocks that occur are due to pressures mainly from outside factors such as, emotional trauma, infections, injuries, changes in diet, training issues or a combination of different situations. If left untreated this can leave some areas depleted of energy and other areas overworked. An energy blockage can also lead to behavioral and psychological problems. Reiki will not retrain the horse that is having behavior problems or psychological problems but it will resolve the issue of the energy block that may be causing the problems. I would like to add that many rescue organizations use Reiki on their abused horses for their mental and physical problems. Energy blocks are released and natural balance is restored. Reiki is a very potent treatment, outwardly, it is very subtle in its application but inwardly it is felt intensely. Working with Reiki, positive energy flows into the horse and any imbalance or negative energy is dissipated.

Benefits of Using Reiki

Some of the reasons people turn to Reiki practitioners for their horses may be to help reduce stress, improve the horses’ flexibility, balance, behavioral issues, and increase their energy levels. This in turn may help them to recover from injuries, relieve their pain, and ease depression. Reiki has been used on dying horses and horses that are grieving for a lost pasture mate or other traumatic situations. Reiki can never harm your horse. Some horses accept it readily and will even “show” you where it hurts. There are horses who absolutely want as much as you can give, perhaps an hour or more to work the whole body and some who will only take ten to twenty minutes. These particular horses may be worked with on a steady basis until they accept more. A horse that has had a Reiki session should be allowed to rest for a day; you may be surprised to see the renewed energy your horse displays the next time he is ridden.

Reiki is also beneficial to riders, for all the same reasons you might use it on your horse. Once you are taught the Reiki method and put it into practice, a deeper bond between you and your horse is another benefit. I might add that once learned you could also save a lot of money by not paying for sessions with a Reiki master. It is also possible to work on yourself. If you are at all interested in this topic, find a practitioner in your area and see if it is something, you may like to explore in more depth.

Case in Point

My personal experience with Reiki is limited. A few years ago, we had a boarding/training/rehabilitation/ etc. facility, and held a three-day clinic with a Reiki master. We like to research new practices gaining recognition in the horse world, and decide if they might truly be of help to horses, or just a new craze to come down the pike. I do try to keep an open mind, but at times, it is hard for me; I am quite skeptical about any new gadget or training system by horse “experts” who expound on the virtues of their new improved methods. I attended the clinic and made an effort to keep an open mind, took notes and learned all I could about Reiki for horses. Not detecting any major changes in the horses’ behaviors right away, I put the Reiki I had learned in the vault. Doubting Thomas? Perhaps a little.

It was winter so, naturally, there was some down time; my horse seemed slightly stiff and I decided to try my newfound Reiki knowledge on him. Erik was comfortable being worked around in his stall so I performed the attunement there.

We progressed further into the Reiki treatment; Erik lowered his head, yawned, licked and chewed, and let his bottom lip hang. These behaviors sometimes happen as you work on a horse that needs his energy blocks opened. The moment the last energy block on his body was treated, he released a huge sigh and lay down. I thought he was going to roll, but no, he just put his head down and went to sleep. This made a believer of me.

In the few years since the clinic we have used it on some of our horses with good results.  So having seen the effects firsthand, I now think that Reiki has a place in dealing with certain issues in horses. Even though any new ideas I come across will still have to be thoroughly investigated, I hope that I will be able to be less cynical in the future.

Until next time

Quote of the Day
There is one respect in which beasts show real wisdom... their quiet, placid enjoyment of the present moment.
- Schopenhauer

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