June 6, 2022
The first time I ever came face-to-face with the high percentage gray wolves, I was accepted into the pack. They may look intimidating — they are wild animals, after all — but they’re actually really misunderstood creatures.
Maybe that’s why I’m drawn to them. I’ve often felt misunderstood throughout my life too. Being with them just feels like being home. I have zero fear when I’m close to them, and they seem to be very receptive to me being in their space as well.
I volunteer at Runs with Wolves Sanctuary, a non-profit wolf rescue and education center in Limington, Maine. My sessions mainly focus on performing Reiki, a healing technique where I am able to channel energy into the people or animals I work with by touch.
The purpose of performing Reiki on wolves is to help them through their past trauma, as many of the rescues here have been abused, neglected, or abandoned. It’s been such a rewarding experience to come back over and over again to work with the same wolves and to watch their personalities blossom and grow.
I’ve always found that animals are so receptive to energy work. Humans and animals alike hold so much trauma in their bodies and muscles, which can become tense. Reiki can help facilitate the process of healing.
A little over two years ago, I was diagnosed with Lyme Disease, so I also like to educate others on how I’ve learned to manage my chronic pain through the help of all-natural remedies. I also work closely with Domestic Violence Groups such as Through These Doors in Portland, where I speak about what I’ve been through and my personal journey to healing.
My experiences with the wolves changed my life. In a lot of ways, it feels like they saved me. I just want to use all of my experiences to do as much healing work as possible. By turning my trauma into something positive, I hope to make a difference in the lives of those facing similar obstacles.
— Sarah Hanafin, volunteer at Run with Wolves Sanctuary in Limington