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A Healing Story About Animal Reiki, Sepsis, and Synchronicity

 Animal Reiki is also healing for people.

The day after I completed Kathleen Prasad’s Reiki III and Animal Reiki Teacher Training, one of my regular clients ended up in one of the nearby hospitals with an acute case of sepsis.

She had a cyst removed as an outpatient at the doctor’s office. A few hours later she had a life-threatening infection. Her friend, who is also one of my clients, had called to let me know where she was.

The universe had lined everything up for me to be able to go to the hospital in the middle of the afternoon. I had two back-to-back cancellations the day before and had a four-hour spot in the middle of my day.

This type of sudden opening in my schedule has happened several times before, when  I need to be somewhere else besides in my healing space. I am always still astounded at the synchronicity. You would think I would get used to it.

When I got to the hospital, it was obvious how serious the situation was. I did a Healing Touch session, which balanced her energy and allowed her to fall into a deeply relaxed state.

There was no one in the room except the two of us after the session was over. I did not want to leave her alone until her next family member arrived, so I sat by her bed. I realized I had started doing the Joshin Kokyu Ho meditation that I learned in Animal Reiki.

So I went with it. I was breathing into my hara or lower belly, and on the exhale, expanding the energy out all around me and into the room, creating a healing space.

This is a simple meditation technique that is in Kathleen’s book Reiki For Dogs. You can open to page 31 and do it for yourself right after you finish reading this post. 

The room changed in a matter of three breaths. There was SO MUCH energy, and in that energy everything was alive. The room was very bright, almost white. My client started having gentle muscle spasms and appeared to be in communication with someone, or something. I often see this state in my healing practice at the office, but usually during the healing. It felt like a spontaneous crack between worlds.

It was powerful. I felt like a bystander. I just held the space, stayed grounded and kept breathing. It was just crazy. 

Finally, the energy subsided. I really don’t remember how long it lasted. When I left I knew she was going to be ok.

When I checked in with my client a week after, she said she remembered me coming to the hospital and that the healing was the point where “everything turned around.” She completely recovered.

I emailed my client this post to ask permission to tell her story. I had not shared my experience of the session with her before this. She added:

“Wonderful to read your thoughts and description of what was for me an incomprehensible experience that just left me with an overall sense of well-being… I just know that I remember little fleeting things– like you coming into the room– your hands above me in the bed— a nurse poking her head into the room and your glance at her after which she simply nodded, turned, and left, .. closing the door.  I felt utterly and totally relaxed and I distinctly remember ‘calming down’.  I distinctly remember feeling that you were in control of the room (why the nurse left?!)” 

Let me say right away I was not in control of anything and in these kinds of sessions, the less control I have, the more profound the healing.

The nurse saw what I was doing and gave me the space to do it. My first rule in going into hospitals as an energy practitioner is that I work around the medical staff and their schedule. I have been in a lot of hospitals over the years, and so far the nurses have always been very supportive of healing work.

So the bottom line is: Animal Reiki is good for people, too.

Jeri Lawson has a full-time healing practice in the Temescal Area of Oakland, California. She is available for Healing Touch, Reiki, and Clarity Breathwork sessions Monday through Friday, 10 am to 6 pm. 510-601-9632

Reiki: Volunteering At The Berkeley Humane Animal Shelter

Before Playing With The Puppies, Volunteers Have To Wear Scrubs, Gloves And Booties To Protect The Young Dogs From Contagious Diseases

I was worried that volunteering at an animal shelter was going to be emotionally overwhelming, and maybe even a little depressing.

I was wrong.

I’ve been volunteering at Berkeley Humane for three months now, and the whole experience has been nothing but life-affirming. I am inspired by the staff, the heart-centered volunteers and, of course, the animals.

Right now I am mostly working with the dogs. Many of the dogs are only there for less than a week, so when I say good-bye to them at the end of my shift, I know they will most likely be in their new homes by the tIme I return. There are a few dogs that have been there longer, and each one seems to have a group of volunteers who champion for them and their individual needs. One of these champions is a woman on my Thursday shift. She comes in on Saturday mornings, just to walk one of the bigger dogs before the shelter opens for adoptions.

When I greet the new dogs every week, I am happy they have arrived. No matter what their issues, I know that now they have made it to this shelter, things will only get better for them.


At Berkeley Humane the kennels are heated through the floor, and the space is designed to help the animals feel safe. Every animal gets the medication they need, and there are veterinarians on staff constantly monitoring everything. It’s pretty amazing.

Being around animals has changed me. They have taught me so much in the last few months. I could list a million of these changes, but I don’t want this to be an epic blog post. I will say an interesting shift for me is my sense of time. When I am with the dogs it is SO obvious when I am not fully present with them. When I am feeding a hungry dog or playing with a puppy, I have to let go of the next item on my agenda, even if it is another dog who needs walking.

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I became a volunteer at Berkeley Humane, despite my initial apprehension, because of SARA, the Shelter Animal Reiki Association founded by Kathleen Prasad and Leah D’Ambrosio. SARA is a non-profit organization that promotes Animal Reiki and meditation practices for shelter and sanctuary animals.

I have to confess that so far I am not doing much actual “sit down and meditate” Reiki at Berkeley Humane. When I am volunteering, I am cleaning the kennels, feeding, playing ball and walking the dogs. Then – before I know it – it’s time to go. Yet, when I meet an animal that is anxious, sick, or just overwhelmed, I connect with them during the following week in my daily meditations. I have found Distance Reiki to be a very powerful part of my morning meditation practice.

All this has brought me back to the Reiki Precept: Just for today – DO NOT WORRY!

Jeri Lawson has a full-time healing practice in the Temescal Area of Oakland, California. She is available for Healing Touch, Reiki, and Clarity Breathwork sessions Monday through Friday, 10 am to 6 pm.

510-601-9632

Teaching Reiki

I am excited to write that I am now teaching Reiki.

The planet is in a state of significant transformation and I am feeling the shift. I know it’s time to start teaching what I have learned over the last twenty years in my healing practice.

I have taken a few private students and have also been co-teaching a short series of advanced Reiki Workshops in Davis, California. My teaching practice is slowing taking form, evolving from my healing business and daily meditations.

This website, ReikiCentered, is devoted to the five-element system of Reiki for meditation, awakening, healing yourself and sharing that healing with others. The heart of this Reiki lineage is a solid daily practice.

Below is a thoughtful account from one of my students of how daily Reiki treatments can

“… garner the power of the spirit to come back to yourself, to the present, the now, the moment between breaths where everything real lives. With a daily Reiki and meditation practice, whatever will happen becomes more “doable” because one is completely there, in the moment, in spirit.”

Thank you, Silvia, for taking the time to write this wonderful reflection on your Reiki journey:

“When my Reiki healer, Jeri Lawson, accepted me as her student for the Reiki 3 Master/Teacher level, one of the agreements we made is that I would have a daily Reiki practice.

Continue reading “Teaching Reiki”