What’s In A Burp?
At the beginning of each PetMassage™ Foundation Level workshop we introduce ourselves to the group, sharing a little about ourselves. Students describe how their lives and passions defined them and propelled them to choose PetMassage™ for training, and find themselves part of this specific group. In a recent workshop, while one of them was talking, I noticed their cheeks bubble out, right in the middle of a word. Like an acoustic dash, a tiny burp was emitted, and she completed her thought. The burp came at a particularly poignant part of the story. It provoked me to consider the “burp” as another way of describing PetMassage™.
A burp is an eruption of gas trapped in the stomach. We get this excess gas when we swallow air, when we eat hot rice too quickly. Drinking through a straw pulls in excess air. And, we can take in excess air when we inhale our food without being mindful about chewing and mixing it with saliva.
Burp Eruption Like The La Brea Tar Pits
That little indiscreet bubble that inflated her cheeks (of her mouth) had been simmering and growing until it could no longer stay where it was. It needed to escape.
I thought about an occasion when I was in Los Angeles, visiting the Rancho La Brea Tar Pits and Museum. I’d been fascinated and delighted when the stinky bubbles of gas blurped out of the oily slick. A bubble would slowly rise, burst, deflate, and collapse back into itself. Blurp. Sometimes the bubble would be smaller and rise up slowly. It would not break the surface. It would produce a pattern of rippling circles expanding out across the oily surface.
Bubbles of gas originate deep in the ground, some from fissures in the hot mantle deep to the earth’s crust. They are the result of chemical reactions, extreme heat, variations of pressure, seismic adjustments of tectonic plates, and magnetic and planetary rotational shifts. Massive energies repositioning themselves. The planet seeks homeostasis. As it moves toward its newly defined placement of comfort, bubbles of gas are released. It is just like the gas my golfing buddy releases when leans over to pick up his ball. Tearfully seismic.
The layers of the earth are constantly moving. Also in flux are the structures and relationships within them. All are moving to discover and achieve greater balance and stability. Adjusting and readjusting. Too much moisture up in clouds, and it rains. Too much heat and pressure underground and something’s got to give. The inhibitor is released. The tension is released. The stress is released. The discomfort is released. There is a return to the thin dynamic line between yin and yang; to balance, harmony, and grace.
PetMassage Positional Releases Tar Pit Bubbles In The Body
Excess air in the belly can’t stay there. It has to go somewhere, too. So we burp. If we were to attempt to hold it in, well, we can’t. We don’t have a choice. Our autonomic nervous system senses that the excess internal gas is harmful. It takes over and in its own time, expels it. Cheeky involuntary bubble.
I envision something similar happening with PetMassage Positional Release that affects a dog’s body, mind, and spirit.
The dog’s body is constantly processing everything it takes in. This includes physical as well as emotional. Dogs take all this information in and create their world with it.
They take in food, water, air, environmental factors that are healthy and wholesome, and things in the environment that are toxic. They live by their noses, or right behind them, so they take in and process lots and lots of scents. Then there are the dietary supplements, vaccines and medications. They have to decipher their owners’ inconsistent messages for their role status and integrate them with other human interactions such as love, affection, play, companionship, and random disaffection.
Our favorite companion animals often find themselves in a world of confusion and chaos stemming from being in the presence of our emotional instability. They care; sometimes too deeply. I’ve worked with dogs who empathize with their owners so profoundly that they take on their diseases.
Dogs can process and let go of some of this, like a lapping up a bowl of water or a romping about for an afternoon in the park. Some things stick and become part of them. They take hold, like a persistent limp. The limp may have originated as a way of shifting weight away from an injured paw to avoid pain. The dog hitched his leg when he walked. Time went on and the altered gait became a habit. The rest of the body has readjusted to compensate and the hitch is now a dysfunctional holding pattern.
Or, in an effort to make themselves small and inconspicuous when they felt threatened, the dog could have begun the protective tactic of shallow breathing. When shallow breathing becomes habitual, it stresses and destabilizes the entire dog: body, mind, and spirit. You can see how it would restrict cardiovascular circulation, musculoskeletal flexibility, lymphatic drainage, and even neurologic development. Dogs age faster. They succumb to disease more readily, heal more slowly, and since no one, not even other dogs want to be close to them, they are more poorly socialized.
Challenged Areas Acknowledge, Address and Facilitate Change
PetMassage™ Positional Release is a process of holding the surface of a dog’s coat or limb, actually, the connective tissue fascia, in a slightly “off” position, and observing its movement as it searches for its place of comfort. When comfort is found we experience their releases, much like the bubbles in the LA tar pits but without the sound effects. Dog’s releases do not spontaneously occur by themselves. There are no meaningful, or sustained, releases without practitioner facilitation and support. A meaningful and sustained release suggests that there is an internal decision that is made. The body senses the slight stress and, through the process of exploration of movement, rediscovers its best and most effective position for fascia and ease of movement.
What PetMassage™ Practitioners feel, or sense, with each release – and this could emanate from any part of the body, not just the mouth – is most often a tiny energetic burp.
The practice of PetMassage™ Positional Release is an integral part of the PetMassage™ form of dog massage. There is the basic version of the PetMassage™ Positional Release that is taught in the Foundation Level workshop and several very interesting and powerful variations that are revealed in the Advanced Level workshop.
Canine Physiology: Why Dogs Burp
Dog’s gas is a normal component of gastrointestinal contents. The primary cause of intestinal gas is “aerophagia,” which simply is the ingestion (or gulping) of air when swallowing. Gas also forms in the GI tract from the interaction of alkaline food (high pH), stomach acids and digestive enzymes; from bacterial metabolism and fermentation of digesta in the lower bowel; and from diffusion of gas out of circulating blood. Gas normally is removed from the gastrointestinal tract either up through the esophagus by burping (eructation; “belching”), or out through the anus by “passing gas”) (flatulence; “farting”).
Excess gas can be caused by a number of things, among which is the excessive swallowing of air (aerophagia). Dogs that gulp their food – especially when multiple dogs are fed in the same area such that competition for food develops – tend to ingest abnormally large amounts of air when they swallow. Strenuous exercise, particularly when followed by gulping of food or water, can also cause a build-up of gastrointestinal gas.
Dog Digestion Differences to Chew On: http://www.best-dog-food-guide.com/best-dog-food.html
Causes of Canine Gas: http://www.petwave.com/Dogs/Health/Gas/Causes.aspx
Mouth to South. Travel times for food https://www.google.com/search?q=how+long+does+it+take+for+food+to+reach+stomach&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&hl=en-us&client=safari
La Brea Tar Pit video https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=G7FK59waeo0
La Brea Tar Pits and Museum: https://.tarpits.org/
PetMassage™ Workshops: https://petmassage.com/petmassage-workshops/