At the beginning of our last Foundation Level workshop, I asked the 5 people who had traveled to study with me if any had ever taken a workshop like this before. No one had. This group included a vet tech, a physical therapist, 2 massage therapists, a registered nurse, and a dog agility trainer/groomer. For…

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A Graduate of the PetMassage Foundation Level Program writes: Fascia wonders I had the honor to administer some love on an absolutely gorgeous Doberman by the name of Jochen yesterday.  He was almost as tall as me (though that is not saying a lot).  He is 8 years old and has DCM and Arthritis.  As…

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Ear bone’s connected to the lip bone. Massaging dogs is a kind of meditation for me. I’m aware of my breathing, my heart rate. I’m open to what’s going on in the dog’s body and her body language signals. My self-awareness is activated. I’m open to any unconscious cues that my own body might be…

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Protests all over the planet are revealing a lot about us and our culture. We’re learning that there are disconcerting versions of our history, our education, our culture, even our unconscious narratives. This is a very different world from the one I knew when I was a History major in college. Our civilization is evolving.…

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The Covid-19 pandemic has revealed a lot about us and our culture. One thing it has shown us is just how much we depend on our dogs for our basic human needs i.e., companionship, love, and protection. The pet care industry is more essential than you can imagine. All of us in it are busy,…

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We are always interested in the progress of our students. Please indulge me as I share an email that we just received. It describes how she is applying the information from our workshops in veterinary context and also – and this is exciting— how learning PetMassage is still functioning as a pathway to another career!…

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Hi, This is one more message that you’re getting because of the Covid19 pandemic. We affirm that you and your loved ones are healthy. We affirm that you are maintaining your emotional well-being. We’d like you to know that we are offering 6-month extensions for completion of PetMassage Foundation and Advanced Level Certification Programs and…

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Check out the new PetMassage home study course, “Senior Dog Massage for the Canine Massage Practitioner.”  This expands on the book “How to Massage My Senior Dog.” Or, if you are not interested in continuing ed, you can just get the book.  It’s an easy read. PetMassage books, DVDs, and charts are no longer available…

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Hello Everyone: I decided to post this blog to help you feel more secure during this challenging time. I’d like to share this poem with you. Hopefully, it will help you reflect on some positives in life. Conversations will not be cancelled. Relationships will not be cancelled. Love will not be cancelled. Songs will not…

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Meditate with your Dog(s) Hello Everyone I am writing a blog, perhaps once a month, (sounds very feminine) to share my experiences in my on-going healing arts practice. When I dedicate myself to a spiritual practice, on a daily basis, just as many of us do with a daily exercise program (walking, biking, weights, etc.),…

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I usually use this forum to share my thoughts on the importance of massage for our dogs. That is important; and, just like the preflight instructions when you fly, when putting on oxygen masks in the case of an emergency, you, the caregiver have to put yours on first. So this week, I’d like to…

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I thought someone might identify with this Facebook request for help. This person was deciding whether or not Vet Tech school was the best venue for her to help animals. I offered advice and encouragement. Here’s the (edited) transcript: Help. I need advice…..so I was all about going to school and getting my degree to…

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You’re massaging a dog and your attention is drawn to something unusual. It could be in the coat, like a burr, a matte, or a clump of organic matter. It could be on the skin: a rough patch, a bump, or a critter. It could be under the skin: a lump, a hot spot-heat, or…

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The tension we see and feel in dogs is always protective. They may be self-restricting their movements for several reasons. They may be experiencing a pain that is at a tolerable level but any addition to what they are doing would be too uncomfortable. So, they’d act like they are stuck in quicksand. They’d breathe…

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Waves tracing patterns in the sand: what could be more inspirational! There’s an organic sensibility to water and wind flowing along a sandy shore. It aligns perfectly with the nonverbal flow of canine massage. Whenever I stroll along a beach I pause, and empathically experience the ebbs and flows of encroaching waves. Mysterious ancient salty…

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There is another application for toning; one that I thought I’d save for another of my Helpful Hint blogs. Add it to your energy work. Charge your palms by rubbing them together. Cup them to form an energy ball. Charge the energy ball by breathing with your hands; pulling them slightly apart and feeling them…

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When I was very young while visiting my grandfather, I learned a valuable lesson. I recall being in a sunlit porch with him and a couple of his buddies. One of the men clasped his hands against my ears and faux-whispered a secret to the others that I was not supposed to hear. I heard…

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One minute of relaxed uncontrived sitting is better than an hour of forced “no thought” posturing. It is natural for thoughts and feelings to arise. Let them pass without feeling the need to follow. Clouds pass on their own. When we are massaging dogs, our ideal state is to be completely present and available for…

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Bliss. You’ve heard the Joseph Campbell admonition to “follow your bliss.” That’s exactly what I get to do in every PetMassage. Just last week I described my excitement every time I get to massage a dog. I used the term “giddy happy.” The dogs and I share waves of endorphin rushes together. It’s addictive for…

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Here we are. It’s the end of January. And you’re reading yet another blog about resolutions. Will they never end? Goals. Do you remember setting goals for yourself a few weeks ago? The first of the year we were all thinking about what we’d like to accomplish in the new year. We were bright-eyed and…

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We are inundated with information. It’s coming from everywhere. The content is on so many subjects that it is overwhelming. It’s hard to know what’s true, what’s not; what’s relevant, and what’s inconsequential. It’s confusing and all consuming. This morning during my meditation, I was unable to quiet my mind. Too many thoughts. Each time…

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I love to massage dogs. Even more than massaging dogs, I love training and mentoring others to massage dogs.  I envision the workshops we teach as vocational training. I have a vision of canine massage as a serious, respected, and professional career. I’m thrilled that the concepts I introduce during workshops, along with the manual…

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One of the most creative names I’ve heard people call their dogs is “Five Miles.” As they clip the leash to the collar they announce “I’ll be back soon. I’m going to walk Five Miles.” It’s a joke that never gets old. Well, not for the one who says it. Let’s say you do not…

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The 9′ x 17′ x 4′ heated indoor pool will be installed in the PetMassage School and used for dogs to swim in, exercise in, and experience massage. All dogs — even those who are not natural swimmers — benefit with exercising in therapeutic warm water.  Aquatic exercise increases dogs’ flexibility muscle tone coordination speed and…

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As we spend the weekend with friends and family, it’s easy to fall into old familiar patterns. It’s imperative that we remember that we are no longer who we were. We’ve grown. Evolved. We are older and wiser. Our relationships are different this time because everyone in them is different. I’m reminded of a poem…

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Rather than describe a canine massage this week, I ask that you take a minute to watch this short video. It’s this dog’s second session. The transformation from “before” to “after” is remarkable.  

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As part of the PetMassage Foundation Level Program, in addition to completing the hands-on workshop, written canine massage documentations and videos, and home study courses in canine anatomy, dog handling, and marketing, students are required to complete a short research paper. The reason we have this as a requirement is that when our students complete…

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As we drove past a healthcare clinic Anastasia pointed to a sign by the door and read aloud, “Pain Management.” Pain management!? What are they advertising? I would like to think that the goal would be pain elimination. Rid the patient of the degree of discomfort that it would take to get into the “pain”…

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I was taking a walk with our two dogs. When we are in the park, I’m always scanning the trail for who knows what I might trip over: branches, tree roots, slippery blobs of processed dog food. When we paused for the dogs to get their sniffs on, my attention was drawn to a grayish…

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The dog’s truth: Who he is in contrast with who he could be. The only way we can sense something is if it is against a contrasting backdrop. Activity in stillness, stuckness within flow, moist against dry, hard against soft, sponginess against denseness, tangles in the smooth, threadiness in the midst of fullness. When you…

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How The Dance reverses dogs brain and physical degeneration. As our dogs grow older, they suffer a decline in mental and physical fitness. Since our dogs age just like we do, we can base the way we address dogs age-related declines on human studies. One new study, published in the open-access journal Frontiers in Human…

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Sit on a stool while giving a canine massage. Using a stool will make your canine massage practice easier and more enjoyable. You’ll experience less fatigue and discomfort. You’ll add longevity to your practice. You’ll have more options for positioning your body vis-a-vis the dog on the table. Every canine massage you give will be a far more effective therapeutic treatment.…

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Canine Aquatic Massage. Massaging dogs in a heated swimming pool is an under-utilized therapy that is endorsed by many veterinary and animal rehabilitation resources. The trainers and handlers of sport dogs already know about it. They are seeking ways to access this therapy for their dogs. Let me introduce you to Canine Aquatic Massage, and…

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Lipomas, lumps and bumps, from the perspective of PetMassage canine massage. This discussion is part of the preparation for the continuing ed workshop I will be facilitating, at the IAAMB/ACWT – NBCAAM Conference this September, in Seattle. In the 4-hour workshop titled, “Canine Myofascial Release: Techniques to Discover and Track Movement,” we’ll be wrist-deep in…

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Living the dream and including pets in Hospice care. Living the dream. I recently overheard a fellow describing his job as “living the dream.” When he said it, he used air quotes.  I sensed that he felt defeated. A meaningful vocation was beyond his imagination. I too describe my life as “living the dream.” And,…

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  Learn PetMassage techniques from the videos on the PetMassage Training and Research Institute YouTube channel. This weekend, as you are searching for some meaningful entertainment on your mobile device, we invite you to visit our YouTube channel: PetMassage Training and Research Institute. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCTLn7J2DR9LIwM1WzXu5B3w Watch, share, laugh, learn, massage your dogs -and please subscribe. Here’s…

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Make some serious waves. Practice PetMassage. Imagine yourself sitting in your kayak in the center of an 82 acre pond*. It’s early in the morning. It’s quiet. The air is still. The sky is brightening. The water’s surface, smooth as glass. You turn to look around. Your boat gently rocks, bouncing gentle waves out onto…

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Addressing the effects of isolation and getting the support we need. There’s a factor that is often detrimental to our success and the longevity of our canine massage practices. Most of us are working isolated. Isolation is a bane on our culture. It’s the cause of great stress and distress. Isolation is the theme of…

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When Did You Know You Were a Healer? As canine massage practitioners we cannot claim to heal. Our manipulation of dogs bodies redistributes fluid to restore balance and function. Projecting a healing intention, infuses the entire procedure with the energy of health and wellness. Canine massage creates a friendly ecosystem within dogs bodies, which activates…

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PSA, Public Service Announcement: Use PetMassage to help your dogs survive-and sleep through-Fourth of July fireworks. Independence Day fireworks are highly stressful to sensitive people and sensitive dogs. Let’s focus on the victim dogs. When the bombs start bursting in air, their percussive blasts can be devastating. Dogs shake. Dogs pace. They cannot sleep. Cannot eat. Cannot play. Cowering by…

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We just got the following request for information. Message: Good morning! My name is —-, I am seventeen and am an upcoming junior in high school. I was wondering what you could tell me about your Canine Aquatic Massage program. Can anyone attend the workshop, and if so, do they have to have a background…

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Have you heard of the Dunning-Kruger Effect? Do you know what you don’t know? What if you could find out what you don’t know? We can be confident about the things we have experienced with. Things we know. And there’s always another tier of experience just over the horizon that we are not sure how to…

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Massaging dogs at the Humane Society “Bark in the Park” event. The above picture was pulled from this video.  https://petmassage.com/wp-content/uploads/IMG_4659.TRIM_.mov Last weekend the PetMassage School had a booth at a “Bark in the Park” summer fundraiser/ 5K race-walk for the Toledo Area Humane Society. The event was held in a grassy field adjacent to an…

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Subscribers comments Thank you subscribers for taking the time to share your thoughts on my Dog Bite blogs. Here are some of the comments we received. Marianna T. Thank you for this. Looking forward to next weeks. I find myself overly cautious/fearful at times after a very bad bite several years ago. Tamarie P. (PetMassage…

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Dog Bites, Part 2. Resolving PTSD from dog bites. Dog bites happen. Car accidents happen too; and we don’t stop driving. We’ve got places to go. So, we get back in the drivers seat and move on. For people practicing canine massage, a dog bite need not end the journey – and a career you’ve trained for. Your commitment to helping…

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Thoughts on dog bites and how to recover from them. Part 1 A student writes, “I’ve been doing massages at our local shelter for over a year now . . . NO bites – a few signals that guided me toward not getting a dog out of his kennel, but no major problems. “However, during…

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Canine Massage Lymphatic Drainage Lymphatic drainage is a therapeutic massage treatment. The goal of lymphatic drainage in the massage is to increase the flow of lymph and reduce toxins in the body. The lymph system is part of the dog’s body’s immune system and helps fight infection. Lymph itself is a clear, slightly yellow fluid.…

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PetMassage and Circulation PetMassage and Circulation. When we ask people to describe the benefits of canine massage, the first thing that comes to mind is that it improves dogs circulation. It sounds good; but what does this mean? What is circulating? Is circulation all that important? Can PetMassage really have an affect in the quality…

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What do Positional Releases feel like? During positional release, we hold the dog’s body -in a position- and observe how in the tissues under our hands release tension. We describe these releases as shifts in the fascia. The movements can be obvious, like an inflated balloon releasing air, or very subtle, like your mood change…

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I just responded to an inquiry from a RVT about our school. You may have similar questions. If you do – even if you don’t – please read on.  She writes: Hello, I am an RVT from California currently working as an instructor at a college. I am interested in your program thinking of starting…

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Grounds for exercises in intuition. As I was taking my morning coffee I noticed a tiny chunk of grit on my tongue. I looked down at my cup; there on the bottom was a smattering of coffee grounds. I grind whole beans before brewing, and when I dump the grounds into the filter not all…

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The Benefits of Hydrotherapy was the topic this week on Dr Karen Becker’s blog on the Healthy Pets Mercola website. https://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2019/04/11/pet-hydrotherapy.aspx Karen discusses aquatic therapy from the perspective of her holistic veterinary practice. Her subtitle: Soothes Sore Joints and Muscles, a Godsend for Injured or Obese Pets. I’d like to add my perspective to her…

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What’s in Your Pet First Aid Kit? From the perspective of canine massage, first aid includes the gentle manipulation of the dog’s body, his environment and his activities. We use touch  healing touch and /or Reiki acupressure and meridian rebalancing leadership through body language presence breath control anxiety control positioning for comfort and controlled blood…

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Stretching at Joints In its most basic form, stretching is a naturally instinctive activity; it is performed by humans and many other animals. Stretching often occurs instinctively after waking from sleep, after long periods of inactivity, or after exiting confined spaces. This is an appropriate activity to foster and use, since it comes from our dog’s natural instincts. Stretching…

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A Walk in the Woods is open to interpretation. Last weekend I attended a concert at our local university. In this essay I work through understanding how to experience a new musical form and how it relates (as everything does) to canine massage. The concerts entire program was original compositions created by faculty, grad students,…

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Fascia Collaboration. Let’s learn about what it is, how to identify it, influence it to help our dogs, and share the love.  In September 2019 I will be one of the instructors at a joint conference of the IAAMB/ACWT and the NBCAAM. (It will be open to members and non-members. The link for info about…

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Practicing and Figuring It Out Some things come easily; some take practice until we get it right. I noticed a pattern in the way I mastered skills. I identified a natural talent, received some initial training, and practiced, modeling after my instructor. With perseverance, I figured out how to do what I wanted to do…

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Alyce Sorokie, the author of Gut Wisdom, Understanding and Improving Digestive Health, shared a powerful poem during a presentation I attended in Chicago. I’d like to share it with you. Chapter 1 I walk down the street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. I fall in. I am lost… I am helpless. It…

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Every Moment is Life Defining. Camille, our boxer slipped while we were walking around our neighborhood. She stepped on a patch of ice hidden under the snow. Her legs flew out from beneath her. She landed hard on her hip. Cami jumped back up, shook it off, and trotted on; but I could see she…

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Feel secure with dogs, learn Dog Handling Skills  In 1998, Jonathan and I adopted our first dog, Oskar. He was a 60 lb. boxer. I was clueless about caring for a dog. My entire pet experience had been with gerbils, hamsters and a cat that was mostly cared for by my daughter, Cheryl. We had…

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Become a More Empowered PetMassage Practitioner with Advanced Training When I was in human massage school I loved the last six months. That’s where the magic appeared.  I realized my calling, my gift, was in the realm of “energy healing”.  My massage student friends described what they felt. They talked about the heat, the vibrations,…

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The first day of the PetMassage Foundation Level Program is filled with happiness, empowerment and wonder. Jonathan and I (Anastasia) greet our new students and welcome them into our PetMassage tribe of canine massage practitioners. Our students come from all walks of life and they have these things in common: they all love dogs and understand that…

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Pet Naissage? Anita Pitts, PetMassage Foundation Level Program of February 2017, wrote, sharing her moment when the light bulb went on. I recognize this as something significant that you can apply to your canine massage practice. Here’s her initial email, my response, and her essay. Anita writes: I’ve been doing pet massage and nail trimming.…

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We talk a lot about PetMassage Programs and workshops. If you an experienced workshop attendee, you know what to expect. And, it’s all good! It is possible that you have never before signed up for a workshop; especially a vocational training workshop. “What are they?”  “What can I expect?” “Am I comfortable taking 5 days…

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That light in the tunnel. That light in the tunnel is not an oncoming train. It’s sunshine. Canine massage may very well be in your future. Register for the PetMassage Foundation Level Program and initiate the plan for your leave taking from your corporate nightmare. I had an uncomfortable conversation about life in the corporate world. Competent…

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PetMassage for Active and Athletic Dogs Optimizing function is the name of the game. That’s what canine massage does. The dogs appreciate what we do. Their owners, handlers, trainers, and vets do, too. PetMassage is an appropriate and beneficial therapeutic practice for Active and sport dogs. These athletes have had tremendous success when they the get…

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Lateral breathing in dogs Lateral breathing is often not included when we talk about breathing. We think of mouth breathing and nose breathing; chest breathing and diaphragmatic – belly – breathing. I use palmar breathing; and that’s demonstrated at https://youtu.be/EQPlxRXx9bw Lateral breathing includes the functioning of the structures on the sides of the dog: the ribs,…

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The 8 Home Study Course offerings from PetMassage: Basic Anatomy of the Dog The “Basic Anatomy of the Dog” PetMassage™ Home Study Course was specially formulated to meet the practical needs of the beginning dog massage / canine massage practitioner. While administering a canine massage, it is imperative that you know enough about canine anatomy…

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