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Friday, May 22, 2009

Book review: Animal Reiki Handbook

The Animal Reiki Handbook
By Kathleen Prasad and Shelter Animal Reiki Association Members

Reviewed by Beth Lowell

The Shelter Animal Reiki Association (SARA) is an international not-for-profit organization founded by Kathleen Prasad and Leah D’Ambrosio whose mission is to:

  • Raise awareness of the benefits that Reiki can provide for shelter and rescue animals
  • Teach and foster an understanding of energy healing and the best ethical approach to use when working with Reiki and animals
  • Promote the highest standard of professional shelter Reiki programs around the world
The Animal Reiki handbook is a compact and complete guide, which includes everything Reiki practitioners who are interested in offering Reiki in animal shelters need to know.

Opening the book with clearly written and moving accounts of their experiences with and observations of animal Reiki, Amelia Funghi, director of operations at the Oakland – Tri-Valley East Bay SPCA and Patricia Monahan Jordan, DVM, provide testimonials to both the power of Reiki and its benefits to animals in the preface and forward.

The book moves quickly through the mission statement and Animal Reiki Code of Ethics to get to the nuts and bolts of how to offer Reiki in shelters, including:

  • an overview of animal Reiki that describes different approaches for different animals and common reactions and signs of acceptance
  • how to identify and assess shelters to find the right fit
  • how to approach shelters
  • a walkthrough of a shelter Reiki treatment from beginning to end
  • practical considerations for offering Reiki in a variety of environments including:
cages
kennels
play rooms
stalls and paddocks
pastures
  • tips and exercises to help practitioners begin and move forward with confidence
  • dog and cat specific information
  • a FAQ section in which SARA volunteers answer the most frequently asked questions about Reiki in shelters
  • a special section of animal Reiki cartoons

Cover to cover the book is only 90 pages - and that includes a section for notes, the index, a recommended resources section, photo credits and biographical information about the contributing authors – but it is by no means short on information. Great attention to detail has been given by all of the writers on each of the topics presented, not only to the factual and practical content like how to work with frightened animals and shelter culture, but also to insights on issues such as how they cope with working in a kill-shelter that will surely benefit and inspire anyone interested in offering Reiki to shelter animals. Although written especially for Reiki practitioners who are looking to volunteer in shelters, the book is put together in such a way that it also provides a wonderful resource for shelter personnel interested in learning about Reiki, the profound impact it can have on the lives of shelter animals, and how it can be integrated into their existing volunteer programs.

You can find The Animal Reiki Handbook – Finding Your Way with Reiki in Your Local Shelter, Sanctuary or Rescue at www.lulu.com right now. The book will be available on Amazon and in other book retail outlets by late summer.

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