Rei means spirit and Ki means energy, so literally, the word Reiki translates as spiritual energy. Thus in reality, all things consist of Reiki, since all things are made of energy. This energy travels through us to the beings who need healing. We often feel it more strongly as coming through our hands, but in reality Reiki flows through all our energy centers and pathways (i.e. chakras and meridians), so is moving throughout our whole body. The more you practice with Reiki, the more you will feel the energy flow.
Reiki is also used to describe a Japanese energy healing system used originally for spiritual development and used today for hands-on healing. We are called practitioners of this system not healers since we are not actually manipulating energy for healing; rather we are creating an energetic space to support the self-healing process of the being to whom we are connecting. In reality, each individual is responsible for his or her own healing process, and Reiki is a way to support this.
The system of Reiki is defined as a practice, so your intention and commitment to the doing of Reiki is important to your development, healing, and understanding of the healing process, as well as your ability to access a deeper energetic space. Doing Reiki can deepen your intuition and cause tremendous internal healing on all levels. It is also holistic: it can be used for physical, mental/emotional, and spiritual healing. As the nature of Reiki supports energetic balance and harmony, it always finds the origin of the problem (since all health problems are dis-ease or imbalance) and works for the highest good (rebalancing and clearing the energy flow).
Reiki is ideal for use with animals because it is gentle, noninvasive and doesn't require physical contact. It doesn't cause stress, discomfort, or pain, and yet yields powerful results. Animals respond intuitively to Reiki's power to support the healing of emotional, behavioral, and physical illnesses and injuries.
For animals who are healthy, Reiki helps to maintain their health, enhances relaxation and provides an emotional sense of peace and contentment.
For animals who are ill, Reiki is a wonderful healing method as well as a safe complement to Western Medicine, Chinese Medicine, homeopathy, flower essences, and all other forms of healing. For example, Reiki can reduce the side effects of chemotherapy, support an acupuncture treatment, and complement the effects of flower essences.
For dying animals, Reiki is a powerful yet gentle way to provide comfort, relief from pain, fear, and anxiety, and to ease the transition to death. Reiki is also a wonderful way to support a dying animal's family.