Working with animals: healing different species in-person and online

I am often asked how I work with animals and which species I work with.

The answer to the first part, how I work with animals, is quite fluid. I have no set way of working with any particular animal at any one time. In a quiet, safe and logistically accessible environment, I sometimes visit animals at their home, where I may or may not physically touch them while working. Although not at all essential, I do enjoy meeting my animal clients in person if the opportunity arises.

It could be that I work with the animal on a Zoom call with their human. This works well for dogs and cats who can stay in the comfort of their own home. They can feel safe in familiar surroundings. Often, an animal will get up and move or have a drink during a session, usually after a significant shift. This allows their nervous systems to integrate any release and rebalance.

Many of my dog and cat clients are also the companions of my human clients.

As a result, they are well used to my energetic presence. They will often be in the same room while their human has an online session with me and join in with them, helping themselves to whatever they need at that moment. This has occasionally led to some amusing occurrences.

One memorable incident was a cat on the bed while her human was resting during a session. I was very close to finishing when I realised that there was a shift in energy; the cat had hijacked the session. Unbeknown to me, her human had had her hand resting on the cat. Suddenly, she jumped and screamed. This was the exact moment I had felt the cat’s shoulders release. A huge twitch had gone through the cat’s body and caught her human by surprise!

I have worked with horses in-person, online and also remotely from photographs.

Again, if I am able, it is good to meet horses in person. This is mainly due to my being a great animal lover. My daughter and I had horse and pony companions for twenty years. I jump at the opportunity to connect with their incredible energy whenever possible.

While connecting with each pet or companion, very basic animal communication skills allow me to go a little way towards helping understand any issues from the perspective of the animal itself.

These insights can often point us in the right direction to help the animal feel understood, appreciated and more comfortable.

There was an occasion when I was asked to work online with a dog in the North of England. The aim was to help facilitate some relief from the discomfort he was suffering with his left elbow whilst awaiting cruciate ligament surgery. Interestingly, he continuously showed me his right hip. Although, at the time, I was unable to feel any dysfunction in and around that joint.

After his surgery, I was asked to work with him again. The elbow joint had healed well, and he had been signed off by his veterinary surgeon. Unfortunately, he was still displaying some lameness. I connected again and was once more shown directly to his right hip.

This time, I was able to sense that there had been a previous impact. I mentioned this to his owner. She remembered that as a small puppy, he had wriggled and fallen to the ground whilst being held. He had landed on his right side. But as he had appeared to be fine, nothing had been thought of it.

As I was told the story, I fell his right hip joint and surrounding soft tissue releasing shock and returning to a more balanced state. At this point, I was able to watch him on screen as he stood up and moved around the room. No longer lame.

What I learned from this is that the dog had no concern for his left elbow because he knew that it was being taken care of.

What he really wanted was acknowledgement for the previous injury to his right hip, which had gone unnoticed for such a long period of time. This is why it is so important for us to listen to our animals and understand their priorities, along with taking advice from professionals.

To date, I have worked with 12 different types of species.

I have been privileged to work with dogs, cats, horses, donkeys, goats, a sheep, tortoise, budgie, rabbit, alpaca, chicken and a hive of bees. I am always happy to work with something different!

Connecting online or remotely allows me to work with animals in many different countries. For example, I was contacted to work with a dog brother and sister in New Hampshire and two goats in South Carolina, United States. The hive of bees was in Northern Italy.

I think that probably the most entertaining of all these different species to work with was the tortoise. He had been attacked by a dog and was brought to visit me at home as he lived close by. We would place him down on the floor, allowing him to walk as he wished around my workspace, which has underfloor heating. He would eventually find a space where he felt comfortable and would park himself with his head in a corner on the warm floor. I was then able to connect and work with him while he slept.

I am currently fortunate to be able to visit The Berkshire Animal Connection Centre charity in Swallowfield.

This new and unique venture offers benefits to both animals and humans. It provides a permanent place to live for otherwise unwanted, abused and abandoned animals. There, I have the opportunity to connect with the animals. I work with any of them that require or ask for attention. Utilising my rudimentary communication skills and offering a combination of therapies, including Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy, Osteodouce and Animal Reiki, the animals are able to show me what they need at the time. Depending upon the circumstances, I will either work with them in situ or from a photograph when I return home.

For more information on the Berkshire Animal Connection Centre, visit their website www.animalconnectioncentre.org

Both Somatic Experiencing® and Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy are, by definition, trauma-attuned modalities. Used together, either online or in-person, they can facilitate resolution of embodied trauma in a very profound but gentle way, honouring the unique wishes and needs of each client.

If you think your pets or animals could benefit from working with me, please get in touch to book a free chat. Email sarah@ytenehealing.co.uk or call me on 07747 111040.

Please remember to contact your veterinary practitioner in the first instance if you have any concerns regarding the health or your pet or animal.

© Ytene Healing® 2023