Many of the dogs I massage are “1 and done” clients. They get one massage. They are happy. They make the course corrections they need. And, I may not see them again for several years. I’ve learned to accept and trust the process.
Not all bodywork can be completed in 1 or 2 sessions. Many dogs require a series of massages. It may take a couple of sessions just for the dog to understand what’s going on and to develop feelings of sense of trust and safety. These are essential for effective bodywork. The treatment plan has each massage continuing and expanding on the massages that preceded it.
Buddy is a senior dog client who was extremely anxious throughout his first 2 sessions. There were occasional moments of connection-and they were sublime; but the main theme of these sessions was table shaking apprehension, confusion, and holding onto discomfort.
In sessions 3 and 4 Buddy began to trust. He was more comfortable with me and the clinic environment. Noticeably less apprehensive, noticeably more compliant, he began to connect the quality of his comfort after his massage to the massage itself.
At his 5th session, Buddy walked to the table and looked up, asking to be lifted onto the massage table. He had moved past the conditions of tolerance and willingness. He was at wanting! Throughout his massage he expressed appreciation and cooperation. He lifted his legs up for me to work on them. When he anticipated that I wanted to massage his other side, he stood up and shifted his position. He permitted me to touch areas on his spine that he had previously been guarding. Big loopy circles. That’s the description of how his tail moved.
Before and after each session, I observe dogs’ gait and demeanor while walking them back and forth across the room.
At the conclusion of Session 6, Buddy was so happy he continued to trot back and forth on his own. He was showing everyone how good he felt and how well he could move.
This is a dog who will benefit with continuing massage to maintain a good quality of life.
I was so moved that I posted a short video of his post-massage prance on my Facebook page. It’s also on the PetMassage.com website page https://petmassage.com/category/petmassage-blog/jonathans-helpful-hints/. Notice how elated he is, smiling back at us over his shoulder, tail spinning around like a propeller.
A Facebook Friend from Hong Kong commented, “And your new video about Buddy is truly heartwarming. God bless you and your work.”
I responded, “Thank you. Buddy has had 6 sessions so far. His first 2 were high in fear and anxiety. He shook nervously throughout the massages. Now, in the car on the way to a session, as soon as he realizes where he’s going, he gets excited. He runs from the car to our front door. By the time he enters the PetMassage clinic, he has already begun the stress-relieving process in his mind. He’s easy to keep on the massage table now. He just keeps grinning at me and wagging his tail in glee.”
I feel so blessed that I have the opportunity to help dogs with massage. The emotions I feel are indescribable. I encourage you to use massage to help your dogs, and experience the joy that I get to feel! That’s an amazing holiday gift!
We’ve created a collection of heartfelt instructional videos for you that are on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=petmassage+training+and+research+institute. If you find value in them, please let us know. “Like” them. Use them. “Share” them with your friends and clients. “Comment” about them.
Are you at the “Wanting” point for PetMassage instruction DVDs, books, and home study courses? Order from our website https://petmassage.com/shop/ and get free shipping in the US until January 10, 2020.
Are you “Wanting” to take a workshop? Take advantage of the big discounts we are offering as part of our drive https://petmassage.com/store/1500-level/ to accumulate funds to install a new canine aquatic massage therapy pool. Note the $1500 level.