Reiki for animals

Is your pet absorbing your issues? From falcons to puppies, fish, reptiles, monkeys, horses, cats and wild animals – a little energy healing goes a long way.  Words by Tamara Pitelen.

For those who believe in energy healing, physical and mental illness are the manifestations of unresolved emotional issues. For example, energy healers believe that diseases like cancer can be the result of an inability to receive love due to perhaps a subconscious belief of not being worthy.

Addressing these emotional root causes of disease is the purpose of healing modalities such as Theta healing, Hypnotherapy, Reiki, Pranic healing, Spiritual Response Therapy and other energetic based therapies.
It’s not just humans who manifest illness as a result of unresolved emotional issues though, Dubai-based Reiki healer Sabine Poncelet believes many of the problems animals have are often the result of their own feelings of abandonment, jealousy, neglect, or lack of love. In addition she says, our pets are also a sponge for our negative emotions and feelings.“Reiki is energy, ultimately. It’s a life force energy and when your energy is not in balance you can get sick,” Poncelet says.“Your chakras are energy centres. The best example is your solar plexus chakra, which is linked mainly to all your digestive organs. When you have a stomach ulcer, even a traditional doctor will tell you, ‘reduce your stress’.“When your energy centres are not balanced, you develop problems. It’s the same with animals but more so because people transfer their energies to their pets. When you touch or stroke an animal, you may not realise it but you are transferring your energy and emotions. Animals are like a sponge in that way, so are young children.”


Originally from from Belgium, Poncelet has been in Dubai since 2011. For more than 15 years she was a financial controller before becoming a full-time Reiki and energy healer for humans and animals. She knew at the age of seven that she had a natural talent for healing and could communicate with animals but it wasn’t until she healed her own daughter with Reiki that she devoted herself fully to energy healing.

“I was very intuitive. When I put my hands on people with pain or injuries, they disappeared. I could communicate with animals too; I could feel what they were thinking. I also knew things in advance but my mother said to me, ‘oh it’s just your imagination, forget about this…’ so of course I believed her and for a long time I didn’t use my abilities like I use them now.”

As she got older though, Poncelet started researching healing modalities like Reiki and Magnetism. She studied Reiki initially in Europe as she found it was the modality that offered the best explanation for her natural gifts.


Poncelet’s first major success was when her own daughter was born with gastric reflux. She was aged 24 and her newborn baby could not hold milk down because the valve at the bottom of her esophagus would not close. So, she would vomit everything back up, which caused major internal inflammation.

“She was just one month old when my doctor told me she would have to be on medication for six years but that this would not heal her, the medication would only reduce the symptoms,” Poncelet said. “I would have tried anything so I put my hands on her in the place she had the pain.”

For the next two years, Poncelet gave her daughter the doctor’s medication but she also gave her regular Reiki healing sessions.

“After two years I stopped the medication because she was fully healed – something the doctor said would never happen.”

After that, Poncelet studied more energy healing modalities and worked on family and friends with wonderful results.

“For 20 years, I was working more on people than animals and initially I only worked on my own animals but later on, when I was about 36, I started working on the animals of my friends in Belgium. Mostly on dogs, cats and horses.”


Animals are very sensitive to energy, Poncelet says, and often respond very well to Reiki and energy healing. She says the issues pets can be caused

by the owner – not all the time but
it happens. As in the case with a Pekinese dog she worked on recently who suffered from panic attacks, anxiety, sleeplessness and dementia.
In his crazed episodes, he would run straight into walls and his owners were at a loss as to how to help him, they were considering euthanasia.

“Geordie is 13 years old and after six Reiki sessions he is now fine but when the owner called me, this dog was in a terrible state, he was crazy. It was my first case of dementia and I didn’t know what to do but when I touched him to do the Reiki, I discovered that he was very linked to this woman, his owner. Some dogs are more independent, less sensitive but this dog was soul-linked to her. The dog was like her baby and of course the dog can feel this so he was emotionally involved in the woman’s troubles. She had a lot of problems in her life so she was very stressed and depressed. Unfortunately, her dog took on her troubles.

“At first, I didn’t expect a great result because I didn’t know the origin of the dementia, but when I discovered the origin was in the dog/owner relationship and the dog was having panic attacks because of the owner’s troubles, I thought ‘ok, now I’ve got the root’. The illness is the consequence of the root trouble. You have to get the root and sometimes it’s completely different to the illness.”

When the owner understood this, she began making changes in her life, Poncelet says. “Since the Reiki, Geordie

has been much better, the owner sent me a message last week saying, ‘Wow, it’s wonderful, I don’t know how to thank you. We’re doing so much better.’”


Just like humans, animals suffer from emotional stress and physical illness but some animals are more sensitive than others, Poncelet says. Dolphins are the most sensitive animals on Earth followed by horses.

“That’s why we use horses to work with autistic children because they are able to understand certain things, when you speak with a horse – not like speaking with a human – you have the feeling that he understands you. I can’t explain it, it’s amazing.”

She tells the story of another recent canine client, a chihuahua that was dying from a cancerous tumour.

“This chihuahua was at the end of her life when the woman called me, there was not much I could do other than relieve the animal’s suffering in its final days. That first session was 90 minutes long, normally a session is about 30 minutes to an hour but this little dog was sucking in the energy she needed. I asked the dog what happened and how she was feeling, she communicated with me she was feeling depressed, and sad. She told me that since her owner’s baby was born, she had felt rejected. The dog told me, ‘she didn’t look at me anymore; I was abandoned like I was nothing’.

“After the session, I asked the owner when the cancer had developed and she said, ‘after my baby was born, maybe nine months to a year later’.

“I believe cancer is the result a lack of love, especially for humans. It can manifest because you cannot express your love or you don’t know how to receive love, it’s linked. For animals it is the same, in this case especially.”

The chihuahua died four days later but the owner’s feedback was that, after the Reiki session, the dog was much more peaceful and the relationship between the dog and the woman was better so the little dog passed away in peace.


What Poncelet would like people to understand is that their emotions can affect their pets and that the pet’s own feelings contribute to physical and mental ailments, this could be sadness, rejection, abandonment, neglect, etc and could be caused by anything from a new animal or baby being brought into the house to old trauma from abuse or neglect from their early life. Even if an animal is now in a loving home, it may have psychological issues stemming from early ill treatment.

“I believe your illnesses start with your thoughts because your body reacts to your thoughts. It is all just energy that flows through the meridians and chakras of your body and into your organs. It’s the same thing for animals.”

For Poncelet, seeing her animal clients become happier, healthier little creatures after a few sessions of energy healing gives her great joy and satisfaction. Poncelet hopes that one day it will be commonplace to combine alternative and complementary therapy with traditional veterinarian practice as well as with allopathic medicine for humans.

In the UAE, this is not usual yet but in the US, Reiki is now commonplace in hospitals with many patients opting for a Reiki session before surgery. In Japan, Theta healing is being used in hospitals and in Germany and Switzerland, a Reiki consultation and treatment is refunded under your health insurance policy, as long as the Reiki practitioner is certified.

“We owe so much to the animals in our lives,” Sabine says. “Animals teach us a lot of things including, how to be committed, how to love unconditionally, and how to receive love because they love you unconditionally, all animals without any exception.”


We spoke to some of the people who’ve taken their troubled pets to Sabine Poncelet for Reiki healing, here’s what they said:

Cat: Hippie, age 4
Human: Lucie Fonseca, Dubai
Issue: Hippie wouldn’t accept a new cat into the house.
“Hippie was rescued from the streets of Abu Dhabi when she was about a year old. When she came to us, she was very scared and jumpy. She was also afraid of other cats. Whenever there was another cat around, she would become obsessed by it, stalk and growl all the time, stop eating, stop sleeping, stop purring. She would be very stressed. In April this year, we decided to adopt a new cat, Pepper. We asked Sabine to do a Reiki treatment on Hippie to help her deal with the stress of the other cat in the house. We did one session before the two cats were introduced and one after. The results were brilliant. After the treatments, Hippie accepted Pepper really fast. One week after the second Reiki treatment, we were able to leave the two cats together without supervision and there were no fights. They did not become best friends but they co-exist peacefully. I think Sabine’s intervention helped Hippie feel relaxed and secure so she didn’t feel the need to show aggression and the introduction was a success.”

Horse: Prince, age four and a half
Human: Vicky Remy, Belgium
Issue: Prince was losing weight and refusing to eat
Not long after we bought Prince in 2008, he virtually stopped eating despite no physical problem and the vet didn’t know why.
He lost a lot of weight, we were very worried. After the first Reiki session, we could see he was feeling better, he started to smell his food and nibble small portions. Sabine said the horse was feeling very sad because he had lost a much loved family member. After the two sessions he was eating normally again and we’ve never had this problem with him since. Sometime later, we found out from the previous owners that Prince had lost his mate not long before we got him. Sabine completely surpassed
our expectations; we are very grateful.”

Can Reiki really help pets be happier and healthier? Awakenings wanted to find out so we took animal Reiki healer Sabine Poncelet home to give our cat, Jake, a health check.

When we asked Sabine to come over to our house and give our two-year-old cat Jake a check up, we honestly thought there was nothing wrong with him. Apart from a little limping from a hip operation he’d had about 12 months earlier, he seemed fine. How wrong we were!
Sabine came over and after a 10 minute body scan of Jake and a chat with him via his higher self, we were surprised to be told that he was feeling intense pain around his teeth and jaw area and that the parasites in his small intestine were out of control which was giving him an upset stomach. We had to admit he was long overdue a de-worming treatment.
“Take him to vet to check,” Sabine said, “I don’t know what is causing the pain around his teeth and jaws but he tells me it is intense and he cannot cope with it, he has asked for help. “As for the hip, he says this doesn’t really bother him, only sometimes, he can cope with
it. A joint supplement would help though.”
So Sabine gave Jake some Reiki to suppress the pain for a while and we took Jake to the vet a couple of days later. Sure enough, the vet tells us that Jake has a severe ear infection caused by ear mites and that it would be causing him a lot of pain. We then remembered he had been scratching his ears a lot lately, we’d even mentioned it a couple of weeks earlier.
By the next day, it was obvious even to us that Jake was in a huge amount of pain and discomfort but at least we’d started him on medication for the ear infection. It was heart-breaking to see him in so much pain so we got Sabine back in to do a full Reiki session on him. He communicated with her that the pain was now consuming his whole head.
She worked on him for about 30 minutes and he seemed slightly better immediately. Within 24 hours, he was noticeably better. We’re extremely grateful to Sabine for her help with Jake. It was also interesting to hear some of the other things he had to say as well, for example, apparently
he gets bored sometimes and he doesn’t feel very confident about facing up to other cats in the neighbourhood. So, we’re going to get another cat to be his companion, a very young female, Sabine advises, and we’ll get him a Reiki session to work on his confidence.

SABINE PONCELET is the founder of Animal Reiki Dubai, as well as dogs and cats, she works with falcons, birds, fish, reptiles, amphibians, and wild animals. To contact her, email or call +971 (0) 50 81 44 529. For more information, go to

Reiki for animals by Tamara Pitelen


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