Crushing the top 6 myths about Reiki in shelters

There are far too many animals in shelters around the world, and all of them could benefit from the healing power of Reiki. In the U.S. alone, 7.6 million companion animals enter shelters each year. Because Reiki helps stressed or abused animals rebuild trust with humans, it’s crucial to their healing and adoptability. But many Reiki practitioners still avoid shelters and rescues—maybe because they believe some of the following myths and misconceptions about Reiki in a shelter environment. Let’s crush these stereotypes once and for all and illuminate six happy truths about rescue Reiki:

Myth #1: If Reiki isn’t on their radar, you will be turned away. Many shelters are interested in holistic modalities and are always looking for enrichment and companionship for the animals in their care. Even skeptical shelters will happily take you on as a regular volunteer, and in time they may become more open to your sharing of Reiki in addition to your regular duties.

Myth #2: You have to enter the animal’s kennel to be effective. Reiki is about connecting hearts, not hands. Physical contact is not required, and in fact, for many fearful animals, it is preferable to remain outside the animal’s enclosure when sharing Reiki.

Myth #3: You shouldn’t volunteer if you are just a novice. You may be a novice to Reiki, but if you love animals, you are already an expert in compassionate presence with them. Your Reiki tools will help deepen your ability to connect with even the most challenging cases. (Just starting out? Check out this page for free audios to help you begin your journey.)

Myth #4: You have to focus on one animal at a time. The Reiki space is inclusive, not exclusive. All of the animals around you who are open to sharing Reiki will be able to benefit from your meditative presence. In fact, the more animals who choose to participate, the stronger the space will be.

Myth #5: You need to wait for a quiet time in the shelter for Reiki to be effective. There probably will never be a perfectly quiet scenario inside a bustling animal shelter, but that’s OK. Reiki will assist you in transcending even chaotic situations so that you can create a beautiful, peaceful haven that even the most stressed animals can sense and will be drawn to. And finally, for my favorite myth of all …

Myth #6: The staff will think you’re batshit crazy. This might be true at first, but trust me, hang in there; in time and with quiet patience and dedicated practice, the amazing healing results of Reiki meditation can transform even the most ardent anti-Reiki know-it-all (we’ve all encountered them) into a believer. Soon they will have your number on speed dial to help their companion animals at home, too! So don’t hesitate any longer. Get out there. Make a connection with your local shelter—the animals need you!

What myths have you debunked on your animal Reiki journey?

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Kathleen Prasad is an entrepreneur, author, educator, spiritual seeker and animal advocate living in beautiful Marin County, California, with her husband, daughter, dog and two horses. She loves being with animals, listening to hip-hop, eating out at vegan restaurants, riding dressage, hiking in the redwoods and traveling the world to meet animal people.

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