When using Reiki with children or animals the session needs to be structured differently as their concentration span is much shorter, and as their channels are usually much clearer they generally need less time.
Reiki on babies often helps put them to sleep, (great for teething!) A good way to give your child Reiki is when they are asleep – to help avoid the ‘squirming’ factor. Tell them that you will be doing hands on work while they are sleeping, or absent healing (also tell them, if possible – I usually tell a child I’ll be sending distant healing to that I’ll be sending them some love tonight to help with…… and they might have a dream. One delightful child I’ve worked with always has an amazing dream and draws a picture of it. ) With children I alsways ask permission before I put my hands on them so they don’t suddenly feel invaded with big hands coming at them. If they are pre-talking then I will put my hands out for them to interact with first and see how they respond. If they scream or run away, then take this for a ‘no’….. With small children it is easier if a parent holds the child while you are working with them. Depending on the age of the child, I rarely do more than 20 mins of hands on work.
Children can be attuned to Reiki but it is usually utterly unnecessary and irrelevant. They only require a little assistance in showing them what is possible. They are usually ‘naturals’ at picking up the concepts of letting love do the healing and placing hands on hurting parts. You just need to have a chat with them about letting people have choice about whether they receive energy or not.
They shouldn’t rush up to the child who fell over in the playground and stick their hands on them.
Reiki is safe and wonderful during pregnancy. If you are not the baby’s parents do not consciously direct energy to the baby as this may induce restlessness, but you need to be aware that you are working with two beings. I prefer to avoid the sacral area, unless the woman specifically asks for my hands to go there. The baby is perfect in its’ cosy ocean and is still in close contact with the world of spirit and doesn’t require extra help. If you are ‘being with’ a pregnant woman in a space of unconditional love then no harm will be done, but it is not OK to manipulate her energy or the baby’s. If you are one of the parents that’s fine – you work as one unit – go for it with the hands on, in love! It is generally fine for a pregnant woman to receive a Reiki attunement unless she is ill or a miscarriage risk.
Animals are wonderful teachers – they will usually let you know exactly where to put your hands by positioning themselves accordingly eg putting their head onto your hands or backing towards you. They also let you know when they’ve had enough usually by getting up and moving or perhaps by snapping at you. Sometimes they get up, move and stretch and then return to your hands. A pet that is ready to pass over may reject Reiki; perhaps they feel it may hold them back (I have never experienced this in humans, it always eases their transition and only once in a dog who was dying who had been receiving (happily) an hour of Reiki per week, then a few days before she died she refused the Reiki). The timing varies also, I stay with the animal until it moves off and obviously has enough. This may be an hour or 10 minutes. You may find with your pets that some are happy to receive any time, and can be quite insistent ‘now’ please, others are fine with patting but just don’t do that other stuff thank you!. They will receive it if they need it, on their own terms. Respect this choice! Don’t take offence or think you must be awful at it, if you have a pet who disdains your skills…
Always give animals choice. Be polite and introduce yourself first. Like children, I put out my hands first for them to sniff and interact with. I allow the animal space to move around, so that if they run for the hills, they probably don’t want Reiki today. If they have freedom to move they can stretch which sometimes can be a way of allowing shifts and adjustments to occur. Your pets may like to be in the room with you when seeing clients. This may or may not be appropriate as they can be a distraction or cause hayfever.
Wild animals can find hands on them overwhelming. It is much easier and gentler for them if you do distant healing or rescue them, put them in a cardboard box with something appropriate depending on the species, and then do hands on around the box.