Let's begin with the meaning of the word "Reiki." Reiki is energy; it is our life force energy, and every living thing in the Universe is powered by this original "spirit energy" or "qi," the primordial life force.
The practice of Reiki is a Japanese system for natural healing. The Usui System of Natural Healing was founded over 100 years ago by Mikao Usui and was later introduced to Hawaii in the late 1930s by Hawayo Takata Sensei. Its structure includes aspects of healing practices, personal development, connection to the spirit, and a sense of the interconnectedness of all things in the Universe. Reiki supports wholeness and healing of self and others.
Medical and veterinary science describes Reiki as a valuable adjunct therapy that activates the parasympathetic nervous system to support healing the body and mind. Animal Reiki is beneficial alongside behavioral training and modification, veterinary treatment for chronic health conditions, injury, and even postoperative recovery, and as a daily life practice for maintaining wholehearted wellness. Animal Reiki supports both animals and their human caretakers.
Karuna Animal Behavior Therapy practices the Let Animals Lead® method of animal reiki pioneered and developed by Kathleen Prasad, a published author, teacher, and well-respected expert on this energetically supportive animal therapy. A pioneer in the field of animal reiki. Kathleen's Let Animals Lead® method is uniquely hands-free, choice-based, and animal-guided, rooted in the Usui Reiki meditation-based system.
Reiki is a gentle, non-invasive, safe, and effective technique that cannot harm.
"Supporting animals with reiki connects us more deeply, creating a space of "radical, peaceful acceptance" for animals by seeing beyond a troubling situation or behavior, without judgement or the need to control or fix it. It is a powerful act of compassion and empowerment."
Western reiki has primarily been practiced for benefitting ourselves or others by using hands-on touch or hovering the hands above the body to intentionally move and clear its energy for healing. However, science and our experiences with animals show us that their senses are much more sensitive when compared to humans' senses. While some animals enjoy touch during reiki, others do not and find its direct energy too intense. Some animals may not be at all comfortable with physical contact or proximity, and attempting to offer hands-on reiki healing to non-domestic species could even be dangerous!
Does that mean those animals cannot receive helpful support for their health and well-being? Fortunately, no!
The Let Animals Lead®️ method of animal reiki, created by Kathleen Prasad, does not require hands-on touch, "beaming energy," or applying outside energy to an animal for healing. Instead, it centers on the healing meditative aspects of the traditional Usui System.
The Let Animals Lead®️ method is practiced within Kathleen's Six Pillars of Practice and Code of Ethics for practitioners. It is the only method of animal reiki that truly offers animals agency, respecting every animal's choices for comfort and preferences to accept or decline reiki.
Let Animals Lead®️ animal reiki is a meditative method for animal-guided healing. It stands uniquely apart from all other animal reiki because it unconditionally affords animals self-determination to accept reiki, choose how much reiki they wish to receive, if any, and gives animals the ultimate autonomy for touch. Let Animals Lead®️ animal reiki provides human beings a way to benefit themselves through personal development and spiritual growth and be of benefit and service to all species of animals, whether domestic or wild, captive or free, and without limitations of their environment, size, temperament, sensitivity, and reactivity.
Language and symbols are powerful tools. We depend on words and symbols to convey our intentions, express our thoughts, and guide our interactions with others. The Reiki Precepts are sacred words, or kotodamas, that carry energy and are used for many purposes.
The Reiki Precepts
Taking time each day to contemplate what these simple teachings mean personally to us, whether during a formal meditation or while doing something more mundane, grounds our mind, reminds us to live with more purpose, and aligns us more closely with our higher self.