Reiki Healing and Essential Oil Therapy
People and Animals
Pauhla Whitaker is a Reiki Master Teacher of more than 10 years standing and has specialised in working with people who share their lives with animals since 2001.
In 2003, she qualified as an Essential Oil Therapist for Animals with the Guild of Essential Oil Therapists for Animals (GEOTA) and carries out consultations all over the UK and beyond for animals of all types and with a variety of issues including equine Sarcoids, skin problems, separation anxiety and re-homing issues.
Pauhla teaches a range of courses including Reiki for Humans and Animals and an Introduction to Essential Oil Therapy for Animals in small groups and on-to-one at Overtown Farm.
For details of the courses we have planned for this year please go to the
For in-depth information on Reiki healing sessions for humans and animals and Reiki courses for personal or professional use, go to
What is Reiki and how does it work?
Reiki is an energy therapy that is beneficial for relaxation and stress management for people and animals and combines well with essential oil treatments. Many riders and dog handlers have found that Reiki treatments on both themselves and their horses or dogs help them to work through training issues calmly and systematically, as the emotions of the rider or handler can never be separated from the emotions of the horse or dog. Reiki is non-invasive, or intrusive, completely safe alongside other therapies and is particularly helpful when combined with "conventional" medicine to help support the body and emotions during illness, treatment and recovery and to boost the immune system and help prevent further illness.A treatment works on both an emotional and physical level and is given by placing the hands on or over the body, sometimes in a specific sequence, sometimes according to intuition. Energy is then channelled through the therapist's hands to the body where it is used as required according to the needs of the individual. It is carried out with the recipient fully clothed (that goes for rugged-up horses too!) and can also be used for distance (absentia) healing if the recipient is too far away or unable to travel Finally, it is a wonderful way to treat yourself when you feel the need to unwind.
How Do I learn Reiki?
Anyone can learn Reiki for themselves and so be pro-active about their own emotional and physical well-ness. It is taught in 3 levels each with it's own dedicated manual and involves theoretical teaching, practical sessions and the attunement process which enables you to both receive and channel the universal energy which we call Reiki. While there is no compulsion to do all 3 degrees, to get to practitioner level it is advisable to do the first 2 in order to have the greatest flexibility and the ability to channel the energy effectively and it is also important that you have had time to work on your own self-healing during this time.
First degree is the basic hands-on where you learn to channel energy to the recipient through your hands to work with physical and sometimes emotional problems.
Whilst some people will become a practitioner and charge for their services after first degree , I encourage people who learn with me to use this time to work on self-healing and to practise without charge on friends and family in preparation for second degree.
Second degree, also known as The Therapists Degree, deals with the mental and emotional aspects of healing and provides an approximate 3 fold increase in energy, although some people have felt it is nearer 10 fold and it also enables you to send energy through time and space so is particularly effective for healing past issues, working on future fears and also continuing the contact with a client when you are unable to be there in person if they require additional treatments on an occasional basis.
Third degree is the Master or Teacher degree and while this also increases the energy levels a little and continues your own personal healing and development, it is also about learning to teach others and pass on this amazing gift ethically and responsibly. Third Degree Reiki is split into two parts...Reiki Master/Practitioner and Reiki Master/Teacher.
The Master/Practitioner level is open to all who wish to take Reiki to the highest level which is the healing of the soul but the decision is never taken lightly and must be given much thought. Most students do not intend to teach and so this level completes their formal Reiki tuition.
The Master/Teacher level is only taken by those who intend to teach and have a deep understanding and practical experience of Reiki and this level follows on from Master/Practitioner. Case studies are required along with a period of co-teaching Reiki 1,2 and 3 workshops with me to demonstrate your commitment to ethical and thorough teaching.
Essential Oil Therapy for Animals
When used with care and knowledge and with the full support of your veterinary surgeon, Essential Oils and Aromatherapy can provide huge support to both our animals and us in times of difficulty.
Essential Oil Therapy (EOT) uses pure plant essential oils to help re-establish the balance of the body and so restore and maintain good health. It can be used to help a variety of issues from emotional trauma, to physical injury to supporting behavioural re-training as well as palliative care for those animals nearing the end of their lives. The welfare and needs of the animal are always paramount and because the owner is directly involved in administering the treatment it also helps with feelings of helplessness and dis-empowerment that people often experience when their animals are ill or suffering emotionally.
How does it work?
Essential oils are very volatile and can evaporate through the nasal cavity of the animal when inhaled. The active parts of the oil pass easily into the blood stream via a rich supply of blood vessels in the nasal cavity and are transported around the body. The chemical constituents of the oil are also processed by the Limbic system which links the sense of smell to the brain and as a result messages are passed to the various parts of the body that are out of balance.
In nature, essential oils are messengers. They attract insects to pollinate the plant, repel potential attackers and even give out distress signals to warn other plants of impending attack and so when used therapeutically for humans and animals, essential oils are thought to behave in much the same way and act as messengers which encourage the body to switch on or off certain responses, e.g. switch on an anti-inflammatory response or switch off an allergic or pain response.
Animals are adept "self-medicators" and seem to know just what they need to maintain optimum health and so it is vital that they are given the choice to take the oils or not. By offering the oils to an animal to inhale and or lick if it wishes, and applying topically to areas of pain or injury if necessary, essential oils can gently encourage the body to trigger it's own healing systems.
Animals and Ethics
I teach Reiki and Animal Aromatherapy so that the student can work with animals of all types with knowledge, empathy and understanding. When teaching, I place a particular emphasis on holistic methods of looking at healing. My main passion is the ethics of using energy work on horses and all other animals along side sympathetic training and handling methods as opposed to merely using it to "paper over the cracks". For this reason I have always emphasised the value of teaching people who wish to use therapies for their own animals, as well as those who wish to become therapists in a professional capacity. It is important to realise that no therapy is a "cure all" and must be used ethically and with the correct intention at all times. You sometimes see statements in books and articles on healing that as Reiki is a wonderful way to calm an animal, it can be used to encourage it to accept a situation that it would normally reject. The classic example is using it to calm a horse before saddling/rugging rather than looking into the reason why the horse tries to rip your throat out when you do the girth or straps up!!
Reiki and essential oils should always be used intelligently and the animal must always be allowed the choice to accept or reject healing, however difficult that may be for a dedicated, and often-desperate carer to accept. If the actions of a human, management conditions or training methods are blocking the animal from reaching a state of balance or, if there is a physical illness and/or pain is involved then no amount of Reiki or wafting of Lavender oil under its nose will help! Sometimes, the solution to any animal problem is a purely practical one....changes in diet, management or attitude on the part of the owner or formal veterinary diagnosis and correct treatment of any physiological condition where necessary...but the real value in Reiki and essential oils is to help the animal and its carer deal with the emotional aftermath; to understand, forgive, release and move on.
This is the difference between curing and healing.