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Reiki Healing for Dogs: Does It Work?

If you've spent a lot of time hanging around the alternative medicine or complementary therapy area at your local health food store, you've probably come across Reiki.

Founded in Japan in the 1920s, Reiki healing is a holistic method of treating ailments and injuries by channeling the energy of the practitioner into the patient.

Because it requires no actual physical touch, no diagnosis, and no medication, dogs are great candidates for this treatment method.

But some skeptics are still on the fence about this practice. After all, they can't say whether they're feeling better or not! To help you decide if it's right for your pup, we've put together an overview of what Reiki healing is and how it works below.

What is Reiki?

Reiki is a Japanese technique for stress reduction and relaxation that's used as an alternative medical treatment. It can be thought of as a form of touch therapy or energy healing. It works by balancing yin and yang energy through the laying on of hands, where the practitioner places their palms on or near the patient's body in order to transfer positive energy.

The word Reiki comes from two Japanese words: rei (meaning "spontaneous") and ki ("life force"). In the 1970s it became popular in the West among New Age groups who used it along with other forms of holistic medicine to treat various illnesses. Today Reiki is more commonly used as an alternative method to deal with physical pain and emotional stress than as a means to treat specific illnesses.

How Does Reiki Work?

Reiki works by balancing energy in the body. It's a holistic healing method that can be used to treat many different ailments, including anxiety and depression. Reiki is non-invasive, drug free, and gentle enough for all ages and animals (including dogs!).

Reiki uses light touch on specific points on your body. You'll want to make sure your dog is comfortable before you begin—this means making sure they're not hungry or thirsty, or too hot or cold. Then sit down with your pet on their bed, mat or rug so they feel secure while you work on them. If they start getting antsy while you're doing this treatment, just give them lots of love!

How Do You Tell if Your Dog Is Feeling Better?

While Reiki healing is effective, it's important to look for other signals that your dog is feeling better. Here are some things to watch out for:

  • He's more affectionate. Perhaps the biggest sign that your dog is feeling better is increased signs of affection—he may start cuddling up with you when he sleeps or snuggle up next to you on the couch. You'll also notice a change in his demeanor around other people and animals; if he was formerly wary, he may suddenly seem more outgoing and friendly instead of skittish and standoffish. If this happens after a session or two of Reiki healing, then you can be sure that it's helping!

  • His appetite returns...but not too much! Some dogs eat very little during illness (especially young puppies), even though they're hungry. This isn't necessarily an indication that their bodies are healing; rather, they might just be trying not to vomit everything they ate back up again! If this happens while giving Reiki healing sessions over several days/weeks/months...congratulations: Your pup has stopped projectile vomiting!

Can You Use Reiki for Dogs with Behavioral Problems?

The effects of Reiki can be a great way to help your dog relax. It can also help your dog feel better about itself, which is crucial in helping it feel more confident and less anxious.

Reiki can help your dog’s sense of peace, which is equally important in boosting its confidence levels.

Lastly, Reiki can work wonders on alleviating stress that might be holding back your dog’s sense of calmness.

Reiki on a Budget

If you’re looking for a reiki practitioner who will work with you on a budget, your best bet is to ask around. Reiki practitioners are often willing to work with clients at reduced rates if they know them personally or if they believe in the person's cause. Local dog shelters can be another good place to start since they often offer services like grooming and training for free.

If none of these options prove fruitful, search online. There are plenty of websites that list local reiki practitioners by location—and even more that offer free listings!

Reiki is a holistic method of healing that uses the energy of the practitioner to heal the patient.

Reiki is a holistic method of healing that uses the energy of the practitioner to heal the patient. Reiki is derived from two Japanese words: Rei (meaning "spiritual"), and Ki (meaning "life force"). The practitioner channels this energy through their hands onto or near their patients; they then use visualization to imagine that they're helping with pain, stress and other symptoms.

Reiki can be used on humans or animals, although it's more common for people to receive reiki treatments than dogs do! It's also important to note that while there are no side effects associated with reikki healing, some patients experience increased feelings of relaxation after receiving treatment.


As the number of hospices and hospitals offering Reiki to their patients has been growing in recent years, many pet owners have been considering whether the benefits of this therapy may be available for their dog as well. While research is ongoing, it seems that Reiki can be a healing and beneficial tool for dogs as well as humans. If you're interested in complementary care for your dog, it's best to consult a veterinarian who understands how energy medicine might affect canine health issues before trying this at home by yourself or with an untrained practitioner.


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