by Guest Blogger Cassandra Kraham
I first met Cassandra when she contacted me about the possibility of taking my Reiki classes. She had taken Reiki training in the past, but wanted a teacher who offered personal mentoring as well as a community. I am glad she chose me, as it has been a pleasure to hear her stories about the benefits she has seen in her life and her grooming business. I encouraged her to write up this one so that it might inspire others. Enjoy!
—Rose De Dan
I have been grooming dogs and cats for over 30 years. Ten years ago I was inspired to open up a new kind of pet spa in which the animal was treated as a complete being—not just a pretty little furry dropped off for styling.
When I first opened I was often asked the question, “What is a holistic pet spa?” I must admit that in the beginning I couldn’t always answer, as my concept was still developing within me as I set upon my own inner and outer journey of “holism.”
What started out as an animal-centered safe haven where owners knew their pets would be treated with integrity and groomed with natural products slowly developed into a wellness center which offered nutritional counseling, a holistic referral network, and clinics for anesthesia-free dentistry, Reiki, massage and chiropractic.
When my beloved heart dog, Talia, became ill with cancer, my personal journey deepened as I became certified in Reiki and crystal healing, as well as proficient in the use and safe application of essential oils. Little by little, my pet grooming spa transformed into my dream of a truly “enchanted” wellness spa for companion animals.
Still, I was faced with an often perplexing question, “How do I integrate holism into the grooming of each and every pet who comes through my doors, not only the ones who were coming for add-on services and clinics?”
I had beautiful, high-vibration music playing, used aromatherapy, made diet and skin-care recommendations and had a roomful of happy dogs—but something was missing. I discovered that the “something” was Reiki—not just offered as an add-on service for the pets whose owners were savvy to the benefits of this healing modality—but something that could permeate every aspect of the grooming process.
My first experience with “Reiki-infused grooming” was when a woman had sought me out to groom her dog, “Ranger.” Historically, this dog would have issues with his neck and back for days after each grooming session. I was a little hesitant to take a dog with known disc issues as I knew how easily one could aggravate a problem disc simply by simply turning the wrong way, never mind dancing on the grooming table.
After discussing the risks with the owners, I agreed to take the dog on. The night before, I meditated on how I could best serve this animal. An image of my dog Talia came to me and reminded me how Reiki had prepared her body so well for her surgeries during her lifetime. Reiki—that was it! I decided that I would offer this dog Reiki before his grooming, but also send Reiki to the situation of his grooming experience for the highest good. The grooming went very well and—for the first time in years—there was no neck or back pain after the grooming.
The very next day, the Universe was intent on making sure I fulfilled my promise to infuse each animal’s day with Reiki energy, as I was again challenged—this time by a very large Briard who hated the blow dryer and the hose in the bathtub.
“Rocky” is one of those dogs who is extremely sensitive to sound, and who barks hysterically during his bath and blow dry—a two-hour process. The positive outcome of the previous day still fresh in my mind, I decided to send Reiki through the hose of the blow dryer, in hopes of preventing a bark-fest as I also sent Reiki with my other hand.
When the air coming through the nozzle and the water from the hose in the tub became Reiki-infused, everything changed—the dog stopped barking and relaxed. I relaxed. We both enjoyed the session, and he even allowed me to blow dry his head and chest—normally his most off-limit areas—as he lay on the grooming table, completely comfortable.
Thereafter, I began sending Reiki through the blow dryer and water hose every time I used them on a client.
I implemented a new practice of sending Reiki to the grooming area and my equipment, and at the start of each individual animal’s session, I send Reiki to the situation of each individual’s grooming process, always with the intention that it will be a beneficial experience for them and that Reiki will be available to flow on an as-needed basis, should they wish to receive.
Needless to say, this has changed the way grooming happens at my pet spa. The dogs feel better. I feel better. There is less stress. The blow dryer technique has proven invaluable, especially on older and seizure prone dogs. I have even been able to reduce the stress of a nail trim for a resistant dog simply by sending Reiki to the clippers and to the situation of the nail trim.
In addition, the flow of Reiki energy in the shop has birthed more ideas for how to use Reiki to make my clients’ experiences truly ones of healing and wellness, not just beautification. The possibilities are endless…I am grateful to Reiki.
Paws of Enchantment, established in 2005 by master pet stylist Cassandra Kraham, is the DC Metro area’s original full service holistic dog spa.
Learn how to connect more deeply with animals, restore balance to your life, increase intuitive skills, and help heal the Earth with live Reiki and shamanic teleclasses, available worldwide.
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A WILD WAY TO HEAL
Rose De Dan, Wild Reiki and Shamanic Healing LLC, is an animal communicator, Reiki Master Teacher, shamanic energy healer, and author. Her classes, sessions and ceremonial work are inspired by wild and domestic animals who have issued a call to action for personal and global healing.
Her book Tails of a Healer: Animals, Reiki and Shamanism features heartwarming stories about animals and their role in her evolution as an energy worker and shamanic healer.