Open your heart to healing. Consciously ask that your emotional blocks, worries, and concerns be let go. If you don’t do this, your own blockages will interfere with the healing. It is also important to ask that your heart be opened to help with your pet’s healing. This sets the “intent” in place, which is like priming a pump to get the energy flowing, says Dr. Mallu.
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Heal with your hands. The palms of your hands are the pipeline that feeds healing energy into the problem area, says Dr. Mallu. For instance, you will place your hands on your pet’s shoulders to ease stiff joints or over her lower back above her kidneys to help with kidney problems. The energy may not flow evenly from each hand, so Dr. Mallu suggests that you balance the energy by using both hands, putting your dominant hand (that’s your right hand if you are right-handed) over the problem spot and the other hand on the opposite side of the body. You can touch your pet or hold your hands just above her body.
Even though energy healing works best when it is done under the supervision of a holistic veterinarian, it is effective even when you don’t know exactly what is wrong with your pet, says Dr. Mallu. “The unity consciousness means that your hands are energetically connected to your pet, so trust that your hands know where to go.”
Send love into the hurt. The key to energy healing is to flood the problem area with love, says Dr. Mallu. Try to imagine a healing light that pours from you into your pet. “You melt and soften problems with energy, and that energy is love,” she explains.
Healing with Sounds
Rambunctious kittens settle down when Mom-cat purrs them to sleep, and fretful puppies get quiet when you put a ticking clock in their beds to remind them of their mother’s heartbeat. Every pet owner knows that certain sounds calm their pets, while others make them upset. It makes sense because sound is vibration, and vibration is transmitted through the skin to all parts of the body.
Holistic veterinarians have found that sounds influence the body’s natural rhythms. Some sounds speed up these rhythms and cause an increase in energy; other sounds slow them down, says Mary Lee Nitschke, Ph.D., professor of psychology at Linfield College in Portland, Oregon, and an animal behaviorist in Beaverton.
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Research has shown that sound causes physical changes in the body. Music with a rhythm of about 60 beats a minute, for example, slows electrical activity in the brain, causing pets to feel more relaxed and peaceful, says Dr. Nitschke. It also slows breathing and the heartbeat and helps the body’s metabolism work more efficiently. Studies have also shown that listening to music releases endorphins, natural painkillers that are produced by the brain, and reduces the levels of stress hormones in the body.
Sound therapy is still pretty new, although some of its applications nave been around for a while. For instance, veterinarians and doctors use a form of sound called ultrasound to take pictures of the inside of the body. Doctors have also used sound waves to break up kidney stones. More recently, doctors as well as veterinarians have begun using sound therapy to treat a wide range of emotional problems.
Some holistic veterinarians suspect that sound therapy will someday be as powerful and widely used as acupuncture, homeopathy, or other modern therapies. More research needs to be done, but sound therapy, which often includes the use of music, clearly has potential, says Dr. Starita. “I use music to communicate with the body at an electromagnetic level to bring it into balance,” she adds. In other words, music may be able to retrain the body’s cells, such as those in the heart or lungs, to operate at a normal, healthy rhythm.
Some holistic veterinarians have begun using pure tones—a single sound frequency generated by a tuning fork—to heal a variety of illnesses. The advantage of this type of sound is that it can be directed through the skin to problem areas in the body. “For instance, it is very effective at reducing inflammation and bringing energy into an unbalanced area, like an inflamed disk in the back,” says Dr. Starita.
Experts in sound therapy use a variety of tuning forks—there are 12 different tones in Western music—to get specific results, she explains.
A simpler way to get the benefits of sound therapy is to use music. Dogs and cats that are stressed or upset will often calm down when they listen to soft music with a slow, steady rhythm, says Dr. Nitschke. There is even some evidence that this type of music helps pets with arthritis relax their muscles and improve their range of motion.
Many pets seem to enjoy Mozart or other classical composers. Soft jazz and New Age music can also be very soothing. So are sounds from nature, says Dr. Mallu, who has installed a water fountain in her examining room because the sound of running water helps pets stay calm.
Of course, some pets don’t need soothing music—quite the opposite. Dogs and cats that are tired and lethargic will often benefit from louder music with more of a driving beat. This will temporarily raise their blood pressure and, in many cases, their spirits as well.