It is of course not only humans that are targets of quackery and woo. Animal acupuncture is fairly common, but the range of available idiocy to which you can subject your pets is impressive. Kathleen Prasad, for instance, offers animal reiki and “education in energy healing for animals.”
So what is Prasad’s advice for approaching animals with reiki? Well, you should “always begin by asking permission of the animal directly OR by setting your intention that you are open to facilitate the healing process for the animal for as much energy as they are open to receive, or none at all (this is a form of permission). […] Animals appreciate a passive and open approach. Do not ‘beam’ or ‘send’ energy to the animal or to a specific health issue the animal has that you ‘think’ needs healing. Instead, try ‘offering’ the energy in a non-assertive manner. Imagine you are creating a Reiki bubble around yourself […] Let go of your expectations about how an animal should behave during the treatment […] Also, let go of your expectations about what healing result the animal should manifest [i.e. the treatment doesn’t work, at all?] […] After you finish the treatment, always thank the animal for participation in the treatment.”
In other words, it’s imagination, formulated in convoluted metaphors to ensure that the approach is completely untestable. More here.
How did she come upon the technique? “as Reiki swept into my life and carried me away on its vast wave of swirling change, suddenly new possibilities began to present themselves. As the animals (my own, other animals in my life and even unknown animals) came forward to literally demand that they be a part of Reiki in my life, their people also followed. They wondered about this amazing modality that could create peaceful responses and connections in even the most highly stressed and nervous animals and situations.” By religious revelation, in other words.
Diagnosis: The woo is strong with this one. Retain a healthy distance.