Ingrid King is the founder and publisher of The Conscious Cat - a comprehensive resource for conscious living, health and happiness for cats and their humans, a Reiki Master Practitioner and award winning author of Buckley’s Story: Lessons from a Feline Master Teacher and Purrs of Wisdom: Conscious Living, Feline Style.
Why do you use an Integrative Approach?
I have always been interested in holistic modalities for myself. As I was experiencing the benefits of alternative therapies for myself, it didn't seem like much of a leap that they would also work for animals. I was fortunate to work with a holistically oriented veterinarian at the clinic I managed for eight years, which only increased my interest in an integrative approach to animal health. Combining the best of both worlds - conventional and alternative medicine - just makes sense to me.
What alternative modalities do you use with your patients or clients?
Reiki and holistic remedies (Spirit Essences)
Tell us about your most memorable patient or client and their case?
There are so many! If I have to pick just one, it would have to be a fifteen-year-old cat with virulent nasal discharge caused by calicivirus. She was not eating or drinking and was frail and had very little energy. After just one remote Reiki session, this kitty started eating – in fact, she got up toward the end of the session and went to her food bowl and ate for the first time in days. Improvement continued with subsequent sessions. Her guardian reported that she had more energy and seemed stronger.
What's a common question, concern or misconception you hear about the integrative approach, and how do you address it?
People who don't believe in complimentary therapies often cite the lack of scientific studies. It is true that there are very few studies that "prove" that these therapies work - mostly because there is no funding for them. Practitioners of holistic modalities are often accused of being quacks or snake oil salesmen. And yet, these modalities have worked, often for thousands of years. I don't need to convince anyone that Reiki works - I've seen it work with so many of my clients, and that's good enough for me. It's up to each individual to decide whether complimentary therapies are right for their animals.
In order to help educate more people about an integrative approach, what are some resources or thoughts you'd like to share?
I believe that education is key when it comes to integrative medicine. I think it’s especially important that veterinarians are on the forefront of explaining the benefits of an integrative approach. Prominent holistic veterinarians like Dr. Karen Becker and Dr. Patrick Mahaney are doing a fantastic job of spreading the word about how pets’ lives can be improved by combining mainstream conventional therapies with complimentary therapies.