In PetMassage our Hands are our Primary Tools.

In PetMassage our Hands are our Primary Tools.

This is a slightly modified version of this title than that which you view on the YouTube video.

We communicate with dogs using our hands. Touch. Dogs are more aware of the subtleties and nuances in our touch than people, so we need to know what signals we are projecting.

Examine your hands: front and back, heel, sides, fingertips, and nails (claws).
Function follows form, use what you have.

People with long fingers and narrow palms give long finger-narrow palm massage. People with short fingers and thick palms give short finger-thick palm massage. Dogs appreciate any touch. Most of all they love the unique quality of your touch. That’s because your touch is an extension of you. It’s imbued with your personality, your preferred skill set, your life force, and your intention.

Opened and closed hands are clear signals dogs understand. Supinate (turn your palm up) and open your hands to receive, offer, share…the message is welcoming, accepting.  Supinating (palm up, like a soup bowl) your hand is welcoming. Pronating – back of hand-suggests “deference”.  Are you offering a gift? Or, are you keeping it from them?

The energy coming out the palms is more powerful than what radiates out of the back of the hand. We introduce ourselves to dogs by presenting the back of the hand. It is offered to dogs to sniff. It’s less intrusive, less confrontational, less controlling. The energy in the palm is directed away from the dog. Then, when the dog is satisfied that we are not a threat, we can turn our hand over, allowing our palm to caress, and our loving energy to flow onto, the side of the face.

Hand movements are extensions of breath: open with your inhale, close with your exhale. As you breathe, your entire body expands and contracts with the breath. Even the whorls on your finger tips expand and contract.

Thumbs. “Thumbs up” is the natural hand position for shaking hands and holding a tennis racquet. It means: job well done, victory, yes!, Life.

Thumbs directed down not only signals negativity, it feels tight and negative. Hold your hand out in front of your body and turn your thumb down. Feel how dramatically pronation stresses the fascia of the inner forearm, the biceps and triceps muscles, the side of the neck, the ear, eye, forehead, jaw, and the fascia on that side of the face. Turn your palm upward, all that tension dissolves.  You are allowing chi to flow!

Use of thumbs. For strength keep your thumbs tight to the hand. It is similar to the dewclaw. Keep your thumbs in front of your shoulders. If you notice that your hand turns over when you reach, change your position or continue the movement with your other hand.

Many massage therapists for humans develop long term stress in their thenar eminence, the big muscle mound at the base of the thumb. This, because they were not taught correct body mechanics in their training. Soreness, tenderness, and cramping in thumbs often put an end to careers. If you feel any strain in your thumb, stop what you are doing and reposition yourself. Your comfort and safety are of paramount import.

You are okay now. What if you were no longer wanting to massage dogs because of thumb pain? Then, the dogs who could have been getting your help will not get the support they need. That would be sad. Very sad.

Palms. Breathing with your palms conveys to dogs that you are present and alive. Dogs sense the pulse in your palm. Your palm also expands and contracts with your breath. You can see it in the spreading and closing of the bracelets, the lines of the wrist and the lines on the underside of your knuckles. Dogs can feel the widening and closing of your palmer creases. They read a lot into how you see managing your life line, fate line, credit line, etc.

Preparing your hands will be the subject for next week’s Helpful Hint and YouTube video). Here’s a preview:

  • Clean and Trim your nails.
  • Wash your hands to get rid of scents collected during the day.
  • Warm up hands with stretching exercises.
  • Release baggage with Feng Shui Awareness.
  • Cool down and ground excess energy.


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