Transforming touch: Energy work helps animals heal themselves

(Photo courtesy Shari Sternberger )
August 28, 2012|By Lindsey McPherson

Tammy Bowers left nothing to chance when Lexie, her 8-year-old Labradoodle, was scheduled to have several cancerous tumors removed two years ago.

Before surgery and again after, the Howard County resident made appointments for Lexie to see Shari Sternberger, a local energy worker. At her Elements of Energy studio in Highland, Sternberger uses a combination of holistic methods to treat animals (and humans) for everything from pain to anxiety to skin conditions.

“Shari actually treated her before her surgery and after her surgery,” Bowers says. “She did her energy healing, so it helped Lexie recover quicker.”

Bowers says Lexie, whose cancer is now remission, took well to the treatments.

“She was very comfortable and responded very well to Shari,” she says. “And it was amazing that the doctors said that she had a quicker recovery.”

Sternberger admits it’s a treatment that few understand. But her results are gaining attention and a growing client base.

“More and more places are finding that when energy work is used, the animal heals quicker, the animal doesn’t have as many behavioral problems,” she says, adding that it’s not always easy for people to understand or trust in what she does. And she’s clear that she neither offers miracle cures nor discourages clients from seeking traditional medical treatment.

Energy work seeks to balance the body’s energy centers, which support the body in healing itself on physical, emotional, mental and spiritual levels. Called Healing Touch for Animals, Sternberger’s work involves the use of gentle, light or near-body touch to promote healing. By inducing deep relaxation, Healing Touch stimulates circulation and increases oxygen-, nutrient- and hormone-flow throughout the body. The thinking is, once balance is restored to an animal’s energy system, it can better heal itself.

Sternberger, whose clients are split evenly between animals and humans, works with several modalities including Healing Touch, tuning forks, essential oils, flower essences, light and sound. 

“Everybody has an energy field and animals have them too,” she says. “If they get ill, it gets out of balance. By using some gentle techniques to either clear the field or help stabilize the field, it helps put everything in balance.”

One of the simplest Healing Touch techniques, Sternberger says, is to hold her hands above an animal’s body and “rake her hands” through the energy field. This method can be used to help clear anesthesia from the animals’ energy field after surgery.

The tuning forks, which are placed on various parts of the body, are also used to help balance an animal’s energy field. Some tuning forks, when combined, “provide a perfect balance of yin and yang, which vibrationally nourishes the body,” she explains.

Essential oils, on the other hand, activate certain sensors in the brain when diffused.

“By diffusing the essential oil of orange or citrus blends it helps with what I call doggie depression,” she says. Lemon grass and geranium essential oils, she adds, are good at repelling ticks and fleas, and lavender helps soothe skin issues.

Light, on the other hand, heals by entering the body and connecting with the animal on a cellular level. Sternberger typically uses a light pen or crystals, placing them on different parts of the body, depending on what she’s treating.

“It just calms the whole system down and allows everything to work better together,” she says.

Sternberger decides a course of treatment after conducting a full evaluation, but, as with modern medicine, nothing is 100-percent effective. Sometimes animals don’t respond to certain treatments, which is why she makes a point to always consult with a pet’s veterinarian.

“There are things that we can do in partnership,” she says, adding that despite her certifications, education and study of the craft, working with vets in this area “is painfully slow.”

Transmitting energy

Matthew Nechin took his dog Shira to see Sternberger after traditional care and medications did not help clear up the dog’s dermatitis.

Sternberger suggested changes Nechin could make to Shira’s diet and to the chemicals he uses around the home. Those changes, coupled with Sternberger’s energy work, helped reduce Shira’s need for traditional medications and aided in the elimination of her hot spots. 

“For the animals, most of the people unfortunately come in when it’s the nth hour,” Sternberger says.

Though she says she does all she can to support the animal holistically, she acknowledges the outcome is ultimately out of her hands.

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