Reiki master: Healing art works on emotional and physical levels, practitioner says

By Valerie MacDonald, Northumberland Today

BALTIMORE - Six years ago Susan Rouse looked for a way to help her nine-year-old dog, Cleo, with her breathing problems.

The Baltimore-area woman started with learning therapeutic touch and then moved on to the more hands-on modality of channeling reiki energy as a way to ease the distress of her pet. It gave her a sense of well being to help her own animal, herself and then others, she said.

"I always had an interest in natural wellness. and I wanted to try it," she said during an interview at her home with her kitten, Miss Kitty and Winnie, her dog pressing close to her.

Animals intuitively know what they need and will press areas of their body against a person to absorb the positive energy there, she said. This is a more passive activity using universal energy, and anyone can channel it, Rouse said.

To channel very focused reiki energy requires three levels of training and a sacred ceremony involving symbols and dragon's breath from a reiki master to the student, she said.

Reiki can provide healing in both the emotional and physical senses, she said. It involves a light touch, or using hands above or near a pet or person, or it can be done long-distance. It can help with everything from a burn to arthritis, tooth ailments to distress. The healing art can be used at any life stage and can ease a dying pet or even hasten the end as it lets go, she said.

It is particularly good with helping animals adopted from an animal shelter, she said.

"I've had such profound affects with pets," she said.

In one instance, Rouse recalls receiving a telephone call from a woman she knew from a local business association. The Cobourg resident had recently rescued a dog and it was doing its business inside the house - all over - instead of outside. Rouse said she talked on the telephone with the woman and then received a picture of the dog. While stressing she is not an animal communicator, Rouse said she connected with the animal, gave it the sense of safety in its new home, and suggested it change its bathroom behaviour. It did, she said, pleasing all concerned.

"I visualize whoever I'm working on.," she said. "It's amazing what it can do."

For several years Rouse has been a volunteer at the PrimRose Donkey Sanctuary at the corner of Bowmanton Road and County Road 9, providing healing emotional and physical relief for rescued donkeys, mules and even their pot-bellied pigs.

Russell, a 47-year-old mule rescued from Oshawa about three years ago, has joint pain and stomach issues.

"The first time I worked on him, I didn't know he also had teeth problems," she said.

But he thrust his muzzle into her hands; she later learned he has few working teeth left in his old age.

When we arrived at the sanctuary, Russell was obviously comfortable with Rouse.

"He moves under my hands," she said.

Animals know you where they need the energy, Rouse added.

During the visit, Rouse did a few short reiki moves over Abigail the pot-bellied pig. Rouse has worked on another piggie, Ruby, who is blind, and from a distance on Art, another of the pig trio who is both blind and deaf. This is to avoid being bitten, she said.

Healing can be quite quick or take longer depending on whether it is a chronic condition or not. It is good for first aid, such as a burned paw on Miss Kitty who touched the fireplace, to longtime arthritis conditions, Rouse said. A full session is usually half an hour.

In addition to working directly on pets - or people - "you can put reiki energy into a cotton towel" and then place it on the shoulder, or whatever area needs healing, she said.

"It will hold the energy for up to a year," she said.

While some people are skeptical of this type of wellness modality, reiki received quite a boost when Dr. Oz announced on his television program that his own wife is a reiki master, Rouse said.

Information about Cedar Cove Wellness, Reiki for People and Pets, can be found at . The Internet site lists a series of workshops and training sessions for youngsters and adults, focusing on both people and animals.

Rouse completed her reiki master training in 2008 and is a member of the Reiki Association of Canada.

"Reiki promotes relaxation, calmness, reduces tension and accelerates healing," her website states. "Reiki helps the physical and emotional aspects.. Reiki complements traditional veterinarian care and is not meant to replace it."