Reiki

Chemotherapy for Cats

Feebee cat in blue chair

While cancer in cats is not as common as it in dogs, it is still one of the leading causes of death in older cats. According to the Animal Cancer Foundation, 6 million cats will be diagnosed with cancer in the United States along. And because cats are masters at masking illness, it is often harder to detect.

Cancer used to be a death sentence for cats, but recent advances in feline cancer research have made treatment possible in many cases. Just like with human cancers, early detection is key to successful treatment.

Treatment options for cats are almost as varied as treatment options for human cancers, and will depend on the type of cancer. Surgery is the most common treatment for any lumps or growths that need to be removed. In some cases, surgery can be curative. Other cancers may require chemotherapy or radiation.Continue Reading

Allegra’s World: Rainy Days

tortoiseshell cat in the sun

Hi everyone, it’s Allegra! I’m writing this on a calm, sunny day – finally! After the earthquake and the hurricane last month, I thought we were done with scary weather, but apparently, not quite yet.

I had a bit of a rough week last week. You know by now that I’m not particularly fond of rainy days, especially not when it rains really hard. I don’t like the way the rain sounds against the house, and I’m really not comfortable being upstairs when it rains, because it’s that much closer to that annoying stuff falling from the sky. I prefer to stay downstairs, close to my safe space in the downstairs bathroom. When it gets really bad, I go in the shower stall behind the curtain. It’s my little safety cave.Continue Reading

Could your stress make your cat sick?

stressed cat

Stress, whether physiological or emotional, is the root cause of illness for humans as well as pets. We may wonder, as we look at our feline charges sleeping the day away on the sofa, what in the world could possibly cause them to be stressed out?

Actually, a lot of things.  Since most cats prefer familiar routines, anything from other cats in the household to a new baby, a move, remodeling, or even just furniture being moved around can create feline stress.Continue Reading

Cats and Reiki – A Purrfect Combination

Amber receiving Reiki 2

Reiki is a hands-on healing method that originated in Japan.  The practitioner channels healing energy through her hands to a person or a pet through a light touch either directly on the body or from a distance.  The word Reiki (pronounced “ray-key”) is a Japanese composite word usually translated as “universal life energy”. It is based on the idea that all living beings have life energy flowing through them. When life energy is high, you and your pets are healthy and balanced, more relaxed and less likely to get sick. When it is low, pets and humans alike will be more easily affected by stress and less resistant to illness.

Animals, especially cats, are naturally receptive to the Reiki energy and tend to gravitate toward it readily.  Although it may be a little far-fetched, some people even say cats invented Reiki.   Cats are sensitive to energy, and because of this, they are ideal recipients for any kind of energy therapy, including Reiki.  A relaxed cat is the embodiment of balanced energy, harmony, and contentment.  Cats also seem to have the ability to transmute negative energy into something peaceful and calming – another reason why they’re such a good match for energy healing.

As a Reiki Master Practitioner, I work with both animals and humans, and more than half of my current clients are feline.   I work with cats both in person and via distance treatments.  The concept of distance healing can be a bit of a leap for some people (although never for the cats!), but keep in mind that Reiki is energy, and energy works regardless of physical proximity.  For more details on distance, or  remote healing, read Distance Healing for You and Your Pet.

I work with cats for various issues.  I treat feline clients with diseases ranging from asthma to kidney disease to diabetes to cancer.  Reiki can be beneficial for behavior challenges such as integrating a new cat into the household.  Reiki is particularly helpful for older cats with arthritis.  Cats are masters at hiding pain, and their caretakers often don’t recognize the signs of arthritis until it is fairly advanced and causes the cat great discomfort.  Reiki is a gentle modality that can greatly enhance comfort and help with pain control.

Many cats prefer Reiki at a slight distance, even during an in-person session.  Due to their great sensitivity to energy, hands-on treatments can be too intense.  Reiki still works.   I’ve done Reiki for a cat that never came out from under the bed for her entire session, but she pulled the energy with amazing intensity, and her human noticed improvements after just one session.

My most dramatic experience with how cats utilize Reiki happened when a woman who fosters cats for a local rescue group asked me to come work on one of her cats for a specific problem.  I was vaguely aware that there were quite a few cats in the house, and I saw some out of the corner of my eye in the next room, but once I began the session, I focused on the cat I was asked to work on, and had my back turned to the rest of the room.  When I finished the session, and turned around, there were six or seven cats zonked out in various states of relaxation behind me.  They had gotten an energy “hit”  just from being in the same room during the session.  One cat got up, walked up to me, and rubbed her face against my hand.  The woman was amazed – this was a feral cat that she had barely been able to touch herself.   That’s how powerful Reiki can be, and how receptive cats are to it – even though I directed the energy at one specific cat, the other cats still knew what to do with the residual energy.

For more information about Reiki for pets, please visit my Healing Hands website, or contact me for more information or to schedule a session for your cat.

Photo is of Amber receiving Reiki.

You may also enjoy listening to a recent teleseminar Simple Energy Techniques for Happy, Healthy Cats.

Reiki and other energy therapies are not a substitute for veterinary care.

Allegra’s World: Changing the Sheets

I want to thank everyone for the birthday wishes – I didn’t know I had so many friends out there!

Things are changing around here now that I’m a big girl!  I have a lot of responsibilities now.  It’s not all play for me anymore!

One of my newest jobs is to help Mom with changing the sheets.  I’m really good at it!  I help Mom take the old sheets off the bed by jumping from one corner to the other.  Then, when she throws them on the floor, I take a flying leap into the pile and rearrange it so it will be easier for Mom to pick up to take to the laundry room.  Before Mom puts the new sheets on, I jump back up on the bed and sit in the center of the mattress.  I try my best to get under the fitted sheet, but for some reason, Mom won’t let me.  So instead, I help make sure that it’s put on properly by pouncing on any wrinkles.  Trust me, it really helps to smooth them out.  I’m also a big help when Mom gets ready to put the pillowcases on.  I attack the case and beat it into submission so that it’s good and ready to be put on the pillow.  I know Mom really appreciates that.  I always look forward to when Mom gets ready to put on what she calls the duvet cover.  Looks like just a giant pillow cover to me, but I’ve come to understand that humans like to call things by fancy names even when a simple one would work just as well.  I try to get in between the comforter and the cover.  I don’t understand why Mom doesn’t think this is helpful – I’m just trying to make sure she does it right!  I love it when Mom gives the comforter a big shake, it sends me flying off the bed with some extra velocity – wee!!!  The very bestest part is when we’re done, and I just sort of sit on top of the comforter surveying the results of our hard work.  Mom pretends the bed monster has come to visit, and makes the comforter wiggle from underneath, and I pounce on the wiggly parts.  I let her think I really believe that it’s a monster, and not just her hand under the covers.  Sometimes it’s best to just humor humans.

My other, more important job is Assistant Reiki Practitioner Trainee!  Mom sees (human) clients in her Reiki room in our house.  (Oh, I love calling it “our house!”) She says  Buckley, who lived here long before I came, helped her with her Reiki sessions, and I want to help, too, but Mom says I’m not mature enough yet.  What’s this mature?  I’m one year old!  I’m a big girl!  Anyway, she says we have to start slowly.  She says I’m too rambunctious to be in the room during a Reiki session (there’s those big words again!), but I’m allowed to greet clients when they arrive, and they all love it!  Because I’m so cute, they all pet me and sometimes even pick me up and hug me when they first arrive.  I’m giving them kitty therapy!  After being exposed to my cuteness, they feel better right then and there, and they probably don’t even need the Reiki Mom does, but Mom takes them to the Reiki room anyway.  I don’t like that Mom then closes the door on me.  I would just sit quietly and watch if she let me in the room.  Okay, maybe I would start playing with the client’s purses.  Or pounce on their feet.  But what would the problem with that be?  So, I wait patiently right outside the door until the session is over.  Then Mom finally lets me in the room!  I love that!  The energy in the room always feels really good, and I get to rub up against the client and get more pets.  I love being Assistant Reiki Practitioner Trainee!

That’s all for today.  Between blogging, making beds, learning to be Assistant Reiki Practitioner, playing, and keeping an eye on things in our yard, I’m a busy busy girl, and it’s time for a nap!

The Healing Power of Cats

There are many stories of animals as healers. Research shows that simply petting a cat or dog can lower your blood pressure. Therapy animals who visit nursing homes and hospices bring peace and joy to patients who may not have smiled in months. There are stories of horses who help people heal emotional and psychological issues, stories about dogs who can somehow sense cancer in people, even before doctors can find it, and dogs who can tell when a person is about to have a seizure. At one time or another, all pet owners have experienced the comfort of having our pets close by when we are sick even with something minor like a cold or the flu. Research has even shown that the frequency of a cat’s purr can aid with healing of bones, tendons, ligaments, and muscles as well as provide pain relief. 

I’ve met a number of these healer kitties during my years of working at veterinary clinics.  They would work their magic in various ways – by curling up next to a recovering cat or dog, by cuddling up to a worried client in the waiting room, or by comforting a staff member who had just assisted with a difficult case or a euthanasia. But none of these cats was more of a healer than Buckley, the subject of my book Buckley’s Story – Lessons from a Feline Master Teacher. 

Buckley would do all of the things mentioned above while she lived at the animal hospital.  After she came home with me, she became my assistant Reiki practitioner.  Reiki is an energy therapy that originated in Japan.  As a Reiki Master Practitioner, I transfer energy to my client by placing my hands either directly on or slightly off the body.  I work with pets and with people, and I’ve found that animals, especially cats, are incredibly receptive to the Reiki energy.  Some even say cats invented Reiki.  While that may be a little far fetched, cats seem to intuitively how to utilize the energy for their greatest good. 

Buckley loved being in the Reiki room while I was giving treatments, and as long as the person receiving a treatment liked cats and did not mind Buckley’s presence, she was allowed to stay. But just being in the room was usually not enough for her—she became an active participant in the healing session. She would get up on the Reiki table and often curl up next to or on top of the client. I realized after a few sessions like this that she intuitively knew where extra energy was needed, and the client would often report an added feeling of heat or pulsing in the areas where Buckley had been situated during the session. I often skipped the areas Buckley laid on during a session and concentrated on others instead. I knew my little healer kitty had it covered. 

I think she also transmuted the energy in the house in general. All cats do this to some degree. Cats are sensitive to energies and have the ability to change negative energies into something peaceful and calming. Buckley seemed to be a master at this. More people commented on the peaceful energy in my house after she came to live with us than ever before. 

Animals bring a spiritual component to healing as well. Buckley’s intuitive knowing during a Reiki session about where the energy was needed came from a spiritual dimension. It takes many human Reiki practitioners years of practice to achieve that level of intuitiveness.

How have the animals in your life helped you heal?  I’d love to hear your stories.

Distance Healing for You and Your Pet

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As those of you who’ve been following me for a while know, in addition to being a writer, I’m also a Reiki Master Practitioner.  You can find out more about my work with pets and with people on my Healing Hands website.  One aspect of Reiki that is often intriguing to people new to the concept of energy healing is distance healing.

Distance healing, also known as remote healing, is an energetic healing process that can be best explained through the principles of Quantum physics.  It has been proven to be extremely effective, sometimes even more effective than local, hands-on healing.

How does it work? 

Quantum physics shows us that everything is made up of energy, and everything is connected.  Everything is part of the same, continuous whole.  Long distance healing is “wireless” healing.  We accept that cell phones, televisions and even our garage door openers work in this wireless way.  It’s not much of a leap to accept that all energy travels that way, including the energy of healing.

In a distance healing session, the practitioner connects with the person or animal requesting the healing energetically.  Every living being has a unique frequency, and the practitioner tunes into that unique energy.  We are all part of the same unified field of consciousness, and it’s simply a question of “dialing in” to the correct frequency.  Once the connection is made, the practitioner sends the healing energy to the recipient.  

Recipients of distance healing report the same sensations recipients of hands-on healing experience, such as a sense of heat or tingling in certain parts of the body, a sense of calm and peace, and a deep sense of relaxation. 

Success Story (human):

A client needed major dental surgery and requested distance Reiki to help with pain control and accelerate healing.  Reiki was sent the day before the procedure, during the procedure, the evening after the procedure, and twice more in the days following the procedure, two days apart.  The client reported less pain, less bleeding and more rapid healing than with prior surgeries of a similar nature.

Success Story (pet):

The owner of a fifteen-year-old cat with virulent nasal discharge caused by calici virus requested distance Reiki.  The cat was not eating or drinking and was frail and had very little energy.  After just one distance Reiki session, this kitty started eating – in fact, she got up towards the end of the session and went to her food bowl and ate for the first time in days.  Improvement continued with subsequent sessions.  Her owner reported that she had more energy and seemed stronger.

Why choose distance healing over hands on? 

Other than the obvious reason – the person or animal requesting the healing is not in the same geographical area as the practitioner – distance healing can be a good option for animals who are skittish about being with strangers or too hyper to sit still in a strange environment.  It can also be great in an emergency situation, since a distance session can usually be scheduled with very little advance notice.  For humans with busy schedules, distance sessions allow them to benefit from the energy without having to make time to drive to and from the session.

I offer distance Reiki sessions for pets and for people.  Distance sessions for pets typically run 15-20 minutes, distance sessions for people 20-30 minutes.  Please contact me to schedule a sesssion for your pet or for yourself.

If you have any questions about distance healing in general, or Reiki in particular, please post them here!

Afraid of the swine flu? Don’t be.

You can’t turn on the computer, look at a newspaper, let alone watch television without being bombarded with news about the swine flu.  Words like epidemic and pandemic are becoming part of everyone’s vocabulary.  It’s hard not to be afraid in the face of this barrage of fear-inducing rhetoric.

This is a good time to use your head, and to harness the power of your thoughts.  To begin with, don’t let yourself get caught up in irrational fears.  Think this through.   Statistically, more people die in car accidents than in an epidemic, and yet, we all get into our cars each and every day without giving it much thought.  Today, we have the best medical care, the best public health system, and the best world-wide communication methods in the history of the planet.  This is not 1918.  This is the flu – not the black plague.

Make smart decisions that support your well-being.   Make small choices each day that add up to make a difference in how you feel.  Eat healthier, get more exercise, cut back on sugar.  All of these choices contribute to boosting your immune system.  Find things that bring you relaxation – get a Reiki treatment or a massage, take a hot bath scented with relaxing aromatherapy oils, read a good book, watch a funny movie.  And of course, spend time with your pets!  That’s the best way to relax that I know of. 

And above all else, stop worrying.  Worry creates stress, and stress weakens your immune system.  One of the Reiki precepts is “Just for today, I will not worry”.  If that’s too tall an order, try it for an hour.  Another way to get a handle on worry is to allocate a specific time each day for worrying – during that time, let yourself go nuts.  Worry all you want.   Take it to the ultimate worst case scenario.  You’ll quickly realize how crazy most of your worries actually are.  In fact, take a clue from your pets – they never worry.  They live in the moment.  When you live in the moment, there’s no place for worry.

And those of you who’ve followed me for a while already know what I’m going to say next:  don’t watch the news!  Don’t fill your energy with all that negativity.  You have the power to choose where you direct your attention and what you let into your energy field.  You don’t have to stick your head in the sand, but make the choice to not let what’s going on in the world affect your mental and physical health.