Natural Healers Practice Their Craft on Animals
Excerpted from an article by Deborah R. Meyer. This article appeared in the September 10th, 2003 issue of The Chapel Hill News.
A miracle slipped into E. Barnsley Brown’s life in 1992. Brown was traveling to her alma matar, Wake Forest University, for a poetry conference when she was involved in a seven-car pile-up. The accident left her with whiplash. The painkillers the emergency room gave Brown did little to ease the pain. “A former professor’s wife was a Reiki practitioner and worked on me, and I didn’t have to take a painkiller the rest of the weekend, ” Brown said. “I was coming from a completely skeptical place, an intellectual tradition, so for me it was like a miracle.”
The summer of that same year, Brown took Reiki I and followed that with Reiki II. Then she finished a Reiki mastership in 1994–trhe highest level one can achieve. “Since then, I’ve probably trained close to 500 people in Reiki,” Brown said. Reiki is a method of natural healing based on the energy that is in and around every one. Brown said Reiki practitioners treat all of the organs and glands in the body.
“Reiki is based on the energy pathways in the body,” she said. “The idea is that when there is pain or disease, the energy is not moving, like a clogged pipe. What Reiki does is unclog the pipes and allow the body to use its normal energy to heal.”
Brown became interested in how Reiki could be applied to animals after she saw a diagram of a horse in her Reiki master manual. Turns out there is a thriving practice of using Reiki on racehorses. “I knew personally that every time I did my Reiki treatment on myself in the morning, my cats would come and literally get on top of me,” Brown said.
Soon, her dogs were on the bed too. “After I started opening up to the fact that it was possible to use Reiki for animals, sick animals would find me,” she said. Thus, another facet was added to her Chapel Hill business, Spirited Solutions.
Brown stressed that Reiki is no substitute for proper veterinary care, and Reiki practitioners do not diagnose conditions. Reiki is helpful for treating animals that are terminally ill–Brown has seen increased appetites and decreased suffering when treating dying animals. She has worked with animals that had arthritis, diabetes, and skin disorders, as well as those going through chemotherapy.
“I worked on a cat with uremia who would roll over with his paws in the air so I could work on his kidneys long before I knew he had uremia,” Brown said. Veterinary students have taken Reiki from her and found it quite useful when working with stressed animals. When using Reiki to treat an animal, Brown begins at the head and works through the whole body. “You use your hands, laying them on, ” she said, “and you may also be working the energy field that extends beyond the body, particularly if the animal is in pain. There is often better pain relief working off the body. There are mental processes that you’re doing to assist the energy in moving, and so you need a quiet place to do this. Most animals will get very relaxed and fall asleep.”
When Brown works with wild animals, like the bird that once flew into her window, she doesn’t touch the animal–she holds her hands around it.
“If people have chronically sick or terminally ill animals and are going to try and give him the best quality of life, I suggest they take a Reiki class so they can do Reiki as often as possible on that animal,” she said. “When they do have to euthanize the animal, Reiki is an incredible thing to use as you hold the animal while he has the injection. Reiki eases the death process.”