A spiritual healer who says he can communicate with animals has opened up a healing sanctuary in Eynsford.

Martin Purkis, 50, and his girlfriend Melaine Steinberg, 48, have together set up the Reiki and Spiritual Healing Sanctuary - "The Purkis Way".

The couple opened the venture three weeks ago and have a spiritual healing shop and the animal sanctuary next to one another near Eagle Heights in Lullingstone Lane.

Mr Purkis of Penshurst Close, West Kingsdown is a trained Reiki master and uses his hands to treat humans and animals by transmitting positive energy into his subject.

He said: "I had my first spiritual experience when I was a child and it was of a man coming to me and telling me everything was going to be ok.

"I have always known there was something more to this life and I started to see and feel spirits.

"My first healing experience with an animal was with a donkey we had on a farm in Ireland and she was very ill, we got the vet out and he said she was going to die.

"I strongly felt she would get better and I sat with her and I put my hands on her channelling energy into her, she went on to have three foals.

"I mostly treat animals with anxiety and I treat people with aches and pains and bad backs."

Mr Purkis moved back to Kent in 2009 and, wanting to explore his gifts further, joined the Harvel Crescent Spiritualist Church in Belvedere.

He said: "Joining the church helped me develop my gifts.

"Through the church I did a healing course for people as well and earned a certificate to set up my own sanctuary."

Mr Purkis said he can heal any animal and works with horses, cats, dogs and there is even the possibility of him working with an eagle.

He added: "I really connect with horses, they are my favourite, I have such an affinity with them.

"The most amazing healing I have done was curing a horse that had colic in Foots Cray."

Mr Purkis charges £50 a session.

For more information, call 01322 866 222 or visit earth-light-reiki.co.uk