welcome to 7 questions

Whether you're thinking of getting a new puppy, adopting a rescue dog, or you'd just like to learn more about man's best friend,
we have brought together dog trainers, groomers, behaviourists and owners to bring you some interesting stories and sound advice.

Alternative therapies – Reiki

7 Sep 2018

Liz Marden owns and runs Nature’s Therapies, offering animal behaviour and training, as well as Reiki therapy for both people and animals. Liz has worked in the animal industry for over 10 years with a wide range of animals and in a variety of roles, from a kennel supervisor and behaviourist for the RSPCA to an FE Animal Management College Lecturer. Liz has a passion for understanding animal behaviour and uses natural, force free methods. She has also been a Reiki practitioner since 2013, trained in Jikiden and Sekhem Reiki.


1. What is Reiki, isn’t it for humans? 

Reiki is a holistic energy therapy, meaning that it treats the whole being, addressing problems at all levels whether they be physical, mental, emotional or spiritual. All living things contain energy – it’s what makes them alive. If the energy flowing through each and every one of our cells becomes blocked or disrupted, then illness can occur. Reiki works by restoring this energy flow and bringing it back into balance. It is traditionally used on humans however Reiki can be used on animals, plants and anything that contains energy. It is slowly emerging as a popular therapy for animals, especially as it's non-invasive and can be done at a distance if required.


2. What benefits does Reiki provide for dogs? 

Reiki provides a wide variety of benefits to dogs, as it works using energy it goes to wherever it is needed most in the body and so can work on physical, mental and emotional issues whatever they may be. It can assist recovery after illness, injury or trauma, reduce stress and anxiety, detoxify, relieve tension, improve sleep and promote overall wellbeing, to name just a few benefits. 


3. In what circumstances would this therapy be chosen for a dog?

There are many circumstances in which Reiki may be chosen as a therapy for dogs. As it is a non-invasive therapy, it can be relevant and beneficial for a plethora of emotional and physical problems - this can also make it a great counterpart when helping your animal overcome behavioural issues. Commonly people ask for their animal to receive Reiki to promote recovery after illness or surgery, or to help them reduce stress and anxiety.


4. Can it be used in place of medical intervention? 

Absolutely not – Reiki despite all of its benefits and uses is definitely not to be used as a replacement for medical intervention. It should be used alongside the medical treatments prescribed by a qualified veterinarian and can help to promote and speed up recovery time, however is not a replacement. A good Reiki practitioner will happily work alongside your veterinarian and will check in with your vet with your permission, before commencing treatment to ensure that your pets best interests and health comes first.  


5. What if my dog won’t sit still?

This is no problem at all and shouldn’t discourage you from booking in a treatment for your pet. It is very common, especially in the first couple of sessions, for your dog to be curious of what’s going on and to move around a lot as they acclimatise to the sensation of the Reiki energy. Reiki can be given hands on or from a distance, so even if your dog doesn’t sit or lie next to the practitioner, or spends the whole time fidgeting, Reiki will still be flowing to where it is needed for your animal. 


6. How often should the treatment be given? 

Reiki cannot cause harm and so you cannot receive too much, meaning that you can’t overdo it with too many treatments. Therefore it is completely up to you how often you wish for a practitioner to come and treat your animal. I personally treat my animals daily and I think if I had time they would ask for several treatments a day! In general, to promote general wellbeing once