Friday, May 08, 2009

Dog Acupressure: Did you know...?

Acupressure isn't a lesser substitute for acupuncture. I don't believe one is better than the other, but that they are simply different ways of accessing the meridians, the energy channels of the body. Some dogs prefer one over the other, so pay attention to your dog's responses during treatments to get an idea of what they think.

Acupressure sessions are always adjusted for each animal's needs. One of the most significant benefits of acupressure from a qualified practitioner is that during the treatment adjustments are made as the dog reacts to every touch. There is no "one size fits all" in acupressure. I am always amazed as the dog's body gives me feedback as each point is manipulated. This guides me in my decisions about exactly how much pressure to use, which points on the body need attention, and which areas need special care with other methods or tools.

Some dogs are suspicious the first time they get acupressure. While we humans may know that acupressure is beneficial, some dogs are suspicious at first, especially dogs that have had painful veterinary procedures in the past. Since they don't know what to expect from this new "procedure" they expect what they've had in the past that may have hurt or frightened them. These dogs need to go slowww, so often their first session includes reiki, gentle tui-na massage, and only a couple of acu-points. They do best when their owner is with them, calming them and working with me. The most important thing is that they have a positive experience, so they welcome their next session.

Acupressure doesn't have to involve pressure. Acupressure isn't about trying to imitate a needle. It's about stimulating the energy system of the body. Some dogs are very sensitive to touch, and resist pressure. For these dogs I use a tool that emits red light, which can penetrate the skin and stimulate the energy of the acu-points. This red light spectrum also stimulates the cells themselves, and thus can be very valuable for assisting in the healing of injuries.

Acupressure can be powerful. Acupressure isn't just a fancy word for massage, but a powerful healing technique of its own. The benefits can be profound, and a session can leave some dogs napping the rest of the day as they rest their bodies and adjust to the changes. It's not unusual for them to drink a lot after a treatment, or need to relieve themselves during or immediately after treatments. Sometimes they even take a short break in the middle of a session, and then come back for more.

Dogs enjoy it! I can't tell you how wonderful it makes me feel when I return to a dog's home for another acupressure session and they greet me at the door, smiling & wagging, and walk me in. They often proceed to where we're going to work and lie down, waiting for me. This response from dogs is what convinces me that acupressure works. They understand that I'm there to help them, and take an active part in their own healing. It is this cooperative process that makes acupressure an amazing healing art.

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