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Animal Speak - May 2016 - Santa Fe

Reiki for Animals

By Lynne McMahan


"In These Arms: A Song for All Beings" by musician Jennifer Berezan, is an album-long musical loving-kindness meditation full of love for all sentient beings on this earth, "May all beings be happy. May all beings be safe. May all beings everywhere be free" (2011, Berezan). It is in the spirit of this song and all of my Animal Reiki clients, that I dedicate this monthly column, Animal Speak. The hope of this column is to expand our awareness of animals as our teachers and see the world of wisdom through the healing stories of our animal friends.


Animal Speak will focus on the lessons learned from the healing work with animals. The first Animal Speak columns will focus on the healing work of Reiki, a Japanese technique for stress reduction and relaxation that also promotes healing. It is administered by "laying on hands" [or off body] and is based on the idea that an unseen "life force energy" flows through us and is what causes us to be alive. If one's "life force energy" is low, then we are more likely to get sick or feel stress, and if it is high, we are more capable of being happy and healthy (The International Center Reiki Training). Reiki can help animals in the same way it helps humans: to balance and nourish the physical body, and to balance mental and emotional energy. Reiki is particularly effective in helping animals who have been traumatized, or who are experiencing physical or behavioral difficulties. Reiki in combination with telepathic animal communication can assist animals in very powerful ways (Windheart, 2015).


Each week I am blessed to share my Reiki gift with animals at the Santa Fe Animal Shelter, specifically working with the physical healing of animals in the Shelter Clinic, as well as the many animals awaiting adoption who may simply need the calming, stress relieving energy of Reiki to better prepare them for their forever home. I trust the Reiki energy to do "its miraculous work," healing the mind-body-spirit of every animal touched and held, along with the animals who prefer Distant Reiki (off body). With every session, the reciprocity of the healing comes back to every person and animal in the shelter.


There are so many deeply spiritual lessons to learn from our animal friends. We simply need to be present to them, listen and practice what they teach us. In alignment with this month's theme of "Everyday Spirituality," the following are a few of the lessons shared by the many wonderful animals who have experienced the Reiki healing process and given it back to their human companions in kind:


  • Every single day touch base with someone you love, unconditionally and without judgment.

  • Find joy in all the little happenings throughout the day.

  • Practice forgiveness, letting go, and trust.

  • Show your gratitude.

  • Be the Divine within.


Mercury, a three-old Dwarf Hotot rabbit came to the shelter with a serious eye infection and is the embodiment of all of the lessons listed above. Beyond weekly Reiki treatments, Mercury is a favorite of the clinic staff who connect with him daily as he shares his unconditional love. Weekly Reiki treatment has been simply holding Mercury close for heart-to-heart contact and sending direct healing to his eye. Each visit is a practice for both Mercury and this human, in letting go, trusting, and sharing joy. After a few weeks the eye has healed completely and Mercury is now ready for adoption in his forever home. Whoever adopts this less than two-pound spirit animal will be experiencing the true meaning of Namastè--the Divine in Mercury recognizes and honors the Divine in the humans who share his unconditional love and joy.

Lynne McMahan, Ed.D., En-Light-En Reiki, is a Usui/Holy Fire Karuna Reiki® Master and Mind-Body-Spirit Mentor, supporting the healing of each person or animal on their journey of transformation. For more information:,, or 505.400.3168. Santa Fe office: 110 Delgado St.

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