The Healing of Animals

Bronwen LoganArticles, English 8 Comments


I have a lot of animal friends-some are human and some are not.

Within the Reiki community we talk a lot about healing ourselves, and supporting the healing of others. There is another area of healing that I would like to discuss, and specifically in relation to non-human animals: how animals support our healing.

We have a mutualistic relationship with animals. Mutualism is any relationship between individuals of different species where both individuals derive a benefit. We support them and they support us. I believe that this is also relevant when we discuss healing and animals.

The animals I share my life with are all members of my family, some close, some extended. As a family we care for each other, and we do this using whatever skills we have at hand. We want the best for our family, and if we can support healing, we do.
I listen to my animal friends, I talk to my animal friends, I love them and I offer them healing. I am there for them in whatever way my humanness allows me to be.

In exchange, the horses let me throw my arms around their necks, trail my fingers through their dense hair to feel their tender silken skin and soak up their horse smell. I know it heals me. It gives me horse power. I feel grounded and wild all at the same time. My whole body is horse for one moment and I am renewed.

I watch the cat as she moves with grace, she is teaching me-I am sure-how I should move, how I could be if I looked after myself. She cocks that leg and cleans (I hear you Middy). In the morning she comes to wake me as she knows I’ve made a contract with myself to get up early and write. She doesn’t give up until I am sitting at my desk with her keeping me company till the rest of the house wakes. Who needs a personal trainer?

Flora, the pig, gives me joy. How healing is that? Joy when I hear her soft squeals of pleasure as I tickle her tummy. Joy when I see her lying in the sun, her long fair lashes closed, her high heeled trotters tucked gracefully in–all she is missing is the pink bikini. Pure joy that makes my heart open wide to the world, no matter how many kicks it has had at its door.

Dogs give and give and give. A listening head in your lap, eyes that sympathise with the worst of it, a body that wriggles with happiness until you, too, can remember your inner happy person. Loyalty is unquestionably there in our dog friends assuring us that we are safe and loved. How healing.

And then there are the wild birds that sit in the trees showing off their intricate feathers in rosella and parrot colours, and blue wren markings. Their cries calling to me, drawing me into the air. Teaching me about the freedom and immediacy of life.

Animals everywhere, sharing. With each other. Mutualistic healing; animals healing each other to live life well. Just another way of understanding Oneness.

Do animals support your healing? We’d love to hear about it.

Comments 8

  1. Avatar of Rebecca
  2. Avatar of Chris Smith

    Animals can most certainly particpate in healing the humans around them.  I think the key is to accept what they offer.  Look beyond the stereotypes that we expect to see.  For me horses, in particular, offer lessons every day.  In every way, but particularly in the importance of listening.  Patience.  Mindfulness.  Attention to the small things.  Silence. Stop the chatter and really *talk* with friends and partners.  All of that leads to healing and growth within me which, in turn, helps to heal the horses we work with.  Its a loop.  Offer, accept.  Accept, offer.  Listening, silence, learning. That is Horse’s power.

  3. Avatar of Kris Azzarello

    So true!  This morning the cats made sure that I knew it was light and time to get up, while leisurely stretching next to me.  What a lovely way to greet the day!  And later on today I’ll be at my weekly visit to Wildlife Works, the animal sanctuary and refuge for Reiki with the critters!  Hawks and Owls and Possums and squirrels, all offer their own unique greeting and gift; in accepting Reiki and returning it.  So much power and healing, for all of us.

  4. Avatar of Denise Poynter

    My horse badly injured her face, just above her eye. I was a mess and rang the vet, I couldn’t go back to her I was shaking too much. I sat and waited for the vet and said the Just for Today…over and over again, I was able to send her a distant Reiki healing. Eventually the vet arrived and we set about checking the damage, after the vet had sedated her and given her loads of pain relief. He was pulling bits of bone out of the bony ridge above her eye. I knew that if that bone gets cracked or broken it never heals and it was touch and go to see if she would ‘make it’. I’m glad to say with Reiki, lots of drugs, vet care and my daily care after for about 6 weeks, plus treatment and anti-biotics she was back to normal, with very little problems. I’m sure Reiki helped both of us through that time. My cat becomes part of every meditation and Reiki treatments if she is inside. I’m sure she just loves Reiki, she prowls around under the table if I have a client, to the point where I have to ask my clients are they allergic to cats and lays on the table whenever she can. Cheers Denise

  5. Avatar of Kathleen Prasad

    I love how animals teach us, just by being themselves, how to be truly present, how to experience purity in emotions, how to open one’s heart without expectation. Sharing their energetic space helps us remember the earth, the sky, and connectedness much more easily than we could do without them. Each encounter with any animal, or even the smallest wild creature, is an opportunity to go deeper within ourselves and uncover profound spiritual truths about being and the nature of healing.

  6. Avatar of Joan Bright

    Animals have offered me healing since I can ever remember in my life. There is a picture of me as a toddler in a sunsuit and sunbonnet, squatting down by our beagle, Scotty, with my hands on my knees and although you can’t really see my face because of the bonnet, my entire body and being is focused on him…and he is rolled over on his back, exposing his belly. Animals have always given their friendship, love and made my life better without question and without hesitation, most times. The horses on my friend’s farm, when I lived there, the chickens at a new friend’s home, clucking around my feet and telling me all their secrets – my Reiki teacher’s dog and cats, giving me their attention and love while I “sat” them last week….animals and healing are inextricably intertwined in me and my life. This is my recently discovered, or re-discovered, life’s purpose…to share Reiki with animals and use this to help them and the people who love them and live with them – all I need to do is keep persisting toward this goal and keep figuring out how to do that! 🙂

  7. Avatar of Elly

    The name of my Reiki practice, Red Dog Reiki—-which is not an animal practice—-probably is enough of an answer, Bronwen! I have cats, dogs, birds, fish, and chickens in my life, and have had bunnies, toads, and reptiles. And of course we have a world of wild visitors and residents, from Tulip the Turkey through the chipmunk I freed from our vegetable garden’s bird netting the other day. The way the chipmunk lay trusting in my bare hand, not struggling or biting, closing its eyes with a sigh of relief as I cut it free, then looked at me with its whole soul in its eyes before dashing off, was a great teaching. The way animals give themselves to you completely, in total trust, the way they live fully in the present, the way they die, are all great teachings and great healings. In their unselfconscious enjoyment of every moment, in their loving presence, in their uncomplaining acceptance of pain and suffering if that is what the present moment brings, they are the truest teachers I know.

  8. Avatar of Bronwen Stiene

    Thank you for your lovely comments everyone. Yes, that’s true, it is not just in their actions directly towards us that we experience healing, but also by just being in their company and by observing how they live their lives. I am grateful to have the opportunity to be in their presence.

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