Animals as Guides to a Healing and Spiritual Path

Published In: 

The Edge, (formerly Edge Life Magazine)

June 2004

To a true animal lover, the contributions animals make in our lives are innumerable and often cause us to appreciate them even more than many of our human companions! Unconditional love, forgiveness, sincerity, loyalty and a strong connection to nature and the important things in life typify reasons many of us hold animals in such high regard. How many human animals can boast of such honest and consistent character traits? Several scientific studies have shown that animals actually have quantifiable healing effects on people, including an increased survival rate for heart attack victims, less frequent use of medical services than those who have no animal companions and a reduction in blood pressure in people when stroking and talking to dogs.

But beyond these wonderful attributes is yet another gift. As a professional animal communicator, Reiki master and shamanic practitioner, a fascinating pattern is emerging in my practice. This is the fact that many animals, through their own behavior or illness, are actually causing their human companions to seek healing they need but wouldn't otherwise receive. Incredibly, this process often helps the person expand onto a new spiritual path, as well.

I have had many professional experiences that clearly illustrate this pattern. One such case concerns a dog who suffered from severe seizures, but only in the presence of her female human companion and at no other time. During the animal communication session, the dog actually stated, "I can't get well until my mom gets well." The woman's intense and unhealthy focus on her dog as a way to fill the voids created by her own soul fragmentation impacted the dog so severely it actually appeared to cause the seizure activity.

When I did a diagnostic journey to determine what type of shamanic healing was appropriate for the dog, I was told by my helping spirits that they would give me no information yet about the dog's healing needs but that I was to start with the woman and do a soul retrieval and power animal retrieval for her. Fortunately she was very open to the process and admitted that if it hadn't been for her dog's illness she would never have sought out any healing for herself, much less of the shamanic type. The dog has been boarded at a holistic kennel facility to be away from the woman during the healing process so the seizures would stop. Both have had soul and power animal retrievals and are doing well. They will be reunited in June.

Dude & The EDGE In another case, while communicating with Pam B. and her cat Dude, he proudly stated, "I made my mom go get The EDGE newspaper today so that she would call you!" I had written an article about alternative methods of healing for animals, and after reading it Pam decided she needed to explore this avenue for Dude. Two years ago, his behavior had changed abruptly and Pam had no idea what had happened. During our animal communication session, Dude described and sent me pictures of how he was almost attacked by a neighborhood dog and suffered soul loss as a result of the shock. It was clear he needed shamanic healing, and even though Pam was not familiar with this method, she was desperate to help him because no one else could. After his successful soul retrieval, Pam called me two months later saying that Dude was well on his way to becoming the cat he had always been. She also thought she would like the same type of healing as Dude! Without Dude's direct intervention, both he and his human mother would never have received healing they desperately needed but were unfamiliar with.

Cats, dog & bird

Having eight cats, a dog and a bird under one roof might seem like a lot to many people, but one of my clients would have it no other way. It also took the problems and misbehaviors of most of this animal family to bring two of the human household members to the healing they needed. What we sometimes refer to as "inappropriate elimination" was the most troublesome cat behavior. There were no physical reasons why this should be happening. In communicating with the cats, we listened to their requests and determined who needed some emotional healing work.

After two of the cats received shamanic healing sessions and they were "like new cats," the original problem was still going on. When asked about this and why it was happening, after all their requests were fulfilled and those who needed it had received healing work, the simple answer came. "Now it's mom's turn." When questioned more closely, it became apparent that a strong life purpose for two of the cats was to get both the woman and her daughter the healing they needed. Again, it was a case of receiving a type of healing work they had never even heard of a few months before.

Cause and effect

My own story of stepping onto a healing and spiritual path because of an animal began with my 13-year-old Golden Retriever named Sabai (‘sa-bye', which means wonderful in Thai). Her debilitating arthritis led me to become a Reiki master so I could give her daily treatments. Reiki led me to my animal communication career, which in turn led me to my own soul retrieval, which in turn set me on the path of shamanic practitioner.

My professional healing focus began with animals, but broadened to include human clients as I became more aware of the incredible intricacy of the cause and effect relationship between animals and their people both in sickness and in health. Animals are with their people in this lifetime for a variety of reasons, but the most extraordinary of these is certainly the role they play in helping us get the care we need by causing us to first focus on them. It is in this caring for our animals and our willingness to try anything to help them that we are actually made to be more open to holistic healing approaches for ourselves. Many are guiding us to a healing path that involves a broader spiritual outlook, as well.

Getting the most out of our relationships with animals means viewing them as equals and as gifted spiritual beings who simply happen to be incarnated into a different type of body than our own. Being open and allowing them to teach us lessons and help guide us along the path of life is the true nature of our relationship with all beings. It is through this realization we become more aware that we are all one.

LENA SWANSON's holistic health care practice, Sabai Healing, focuses on achieving and maintaining wellness for both animals and people through a variety of services. She is an animal communication specialist, Reiki master, and a consultant in the use of flower essences and essential oils. She is also a shamanic practitioner, having trained through the International Foundation for Shamanic Studies (see for more information). She can be reached at (651) 206-0644 or via the Contact Form. Copyright © 2004 Lena Swanson

The EDGE Newspaper serves the Upper Midwest USA in print, and the world online. It is a premiere source of information on personal growth, integrative healing and global transformation. | | toll-free 1 (888) 776-5687