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Safe Practice Energy Healing for Pets: 3 Key Risk Reductions for Your Sessions

By Mary Ann Mace

Our pets experience life the same way we do. Emotional ups and downs (anger, fear, surprise, hurt, sadness, joy, happiness, and love) to physical ups and downs (trauma, disease, vitality, and wellness). As Energy Healers we know that pets of all kinds can benefit greatly from energy and holistic work to balance and energize their energy fields. This work is a safe, gentle and natural approach to the health and well-being in all phases of their lives. As energy work gets more known, you may find yourself encountering more clients of the furry sort.

While some energy healers are starting to expand their practice to include healing sessions for pets, there are many healers who work exclusively with animals and pets. Interestingly, many of the treatment approaches used in energy healing for people are also suitable for use with animals. From Healing Touch to aromatherapy, pet practitioners apply many similar techniques for their animal clients who range from the traditional cat or dog to a child’s hamster. It follows since energy medicine modalities are viable for both humans and pets alike, then the issue of liability management also applies. There can be no compromises in risk management for animal practitioners either, as it is necessary to prepare forms similar to those for pet clients as for human clients.

The first key is using an Informed Consent.

In many ways, this form serves as the cornerstone document since you prepare it for all your clients, including pets. Essentially this document serves as a statement on the scope of services you are capable of performing for the client. It clearly lays out the type of treatments you are qualified to perform and are prepared to apply on the client’s behalf. Especially in the case of a cherished pet, you want to know what treatment your pet will be receiving.

Encourage your client to read the document carefully, so it is understood what manner of treatment the pet could be receiving. It is important to walk your client through the description of your scope of practice so that they have as a clear understanding of the treatment you would be providing for the pet. Discussion such as this also allows the client to reflect on the treatments his pet receives from you and allows the client to express his concerns about the treatment or the pet’s reaction to the treatment. Maybe the pet has some behavioral quirks or sensitivities which you need to know. Having a conversation before treatment is an ideal time to inquire into this. Any special issues could be written on the informed consent form and signed by the client. Remember that a signed consent is one way to minimize your liability in the event that something happens, so you want to write down anything important that could affect the treatment of a pet.

The second key form, which is essential in liability management practices and in a client relationship, is the health history form.

This is an ideal opportunity for you to get some detailed information about a pet that could be instrumental in treatment and to assure you (as the energy healer) that this pet has access to appropriate veterinary health care. A pet is a dependent, much like a child, with the pet parent the guardian. There’s a reason why your client has contacted you about their pet and while you might already know the condition which you will be treating, you want to document it.

The health history form is appropriate for documenting the rationale for treatment. Don’t assume the client will give you all the information about their pet in the initial conversation, inquire more into the pet parent’s concerns as there could be a secondary issue you can treat. Confirm whether the pet has a medical condition or is on medication. You wouldn’t want the pet to have an adverse reaction from an essential oil you use, for example. You are dependent on the pet parent for as much information as possible so you can provide the best possible care and attention.

The third key to risk reduction in working with pets is to have liability insurance for your practice.

Liability insurance provides protection against claims resulting from injuries and damage to people, pets and/or property. Liability insurance covers legal costs under your care so you want to ensure that you are protected should any unexpected or unforeseen reaction from the animal occur while under your charge. This is why obtaining the medical and behavioral history of the pet is so critical, you want to be as well-informed as possible about the client’s pet since the information you obtain helps you to determine the appropriate treatment. However, in spite of your careful documentation, in case anything unforeseen were to happen while a pet was under your care, the added protection of insurance would mean you have been thorough in managing the liability aspect of your practice.

Disclaimer: This article is provided for educational purposes only and is not legal advice or opinion. This general information is meant to raise questions, educate, create discussion and dialogue around the ethical and legal issues of teaching, learning, studying or practicing alternative and complementary energy healing modalities. You are advised to seek an attorney for any of your professional legal issues, concerns or needs.

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