There are few differences between giving a full session to an adult, and giving to a child or animal.
While we can clearly see the difference between children and animals, the reason I categorize them together when teaching reiki is because they have similar needs in a session.
Here are the main differences between adults and children/animals:
1. Length of session – Your session will be much shorter when giving to young ones and animals. You can expect a session to vary between a couple minutes up to 20 minutes. Exceptions may come, but they will be few (like if a child falls asleep during it).
2. When to end – a child or animal will let you know when they are finished and the session is complete. This may be a push away of your hands or tell you “I’m done” (child), or get up and walk away from you (both animals and children)
3. Hand Positions / Sequence not necessarily followed – Throw out any traditional sequences you were taught because you will likely have to work with what you can get. Meaning, a child may allow you to hold your hand on their back, but squirm away from a hand position anywhere else. With a dog, you might only be able to hold their sore hip, and it’s awkward to try and get your hands onto their ‘chakras’. So do what you can and be content that it is enough.
4. Do Reiki at a short distance – A child or animal may not want you touching them at all or even wanting you in their personal space. If this is the case, and you still feel reiki would be beneficial to them, you can simply go as close as possible and hold your hands up toward them, focusing on the channeling of energy through you to them. This works well with a temper tantrum-ing child or an animal that is not keen on humans.
5. Working on yourself and your own energy field can impact others – This isn’t just applicable to children and animals, but anyone. If you really can’t ‘get in there and do reiki’ with them, then focus on strengthening, calming and clearing your own energy field while you are near them. They will feed off your energy field and this can make a large impact on the situation.