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. All around the world there are people expressing informed variations of the history I thought I’d learned. We are addressing and engaging in some serious life-and attitude-altering conversations.

For some of us it’s too frightening to consider alternative points of view and we prefer to cling tightly to what we believe we know. Others of us are eager to discover other cultures with the intention to blend or accommodate the best of their perspectives.

When we hold a space that is open to communication, there is aways some unsettling discomfort; and yet our goal is to participate in and honor the conversation, applying the 3 Graces of Respect, Appreciation, and Love.

Protests, if and when they are acknowledged and replicated, can be very influential. An individual or small group will notice that something in their lives can be better; and be so moved by what they feel, that they organize gatherings, give heartfelt speeches, and create flashy banners to attract like-minded supporters to their ranks. What begins with a small group of individuals can quickly expand, influencing an entire community’s thoughts, feelings, and actually change long-established behaviors.

On the macro level, protests challenge the consciousness of society and potentially shift it.

On the micro level, it’s what we canine massage professionals are doing with each dog, each session.

Dogs bodies – all bodies – are happiest when all of the parts of them are functioning easily and as they should. We all crave the comfort of homeostasis.

When some aspect of the body politic is misbehaving, the body registers its complaint. From the perspective of canine massage, what is a cardiovascular constriction, a swelling, a sore, a limp, or an acting out, if not a commentary by the body about its current state of affairs?

When we’re hungry, our tummies growl. When we’re deficient in magnesium, we get leg cramps. When we’re dehydrated, we get thirsty, headaches, heart palpitations, or confusion. These are protests by, and for, the body. It’s the body’s way to draw attention to where it’s needed. It makes sure its demands are heard and keeps it up until they’re acknowledged. This is the Body’s Language.

Palpation in canine massage allows us to feel the disgruntled muscle or nerve cells, that want to shift the conversation of the body politic. Our attention is drawn to them as if they were brightly colored lights, bullhorns, and bouncing banners. We sense tightness, heat, stagnation, fluttering, and any imbalance, as signals in real time, as they are happening. Their bodies are displeased with what’s going on and these are the cries for help -protests- from within dogs tissues and overtly, in their behaviors.

Canine massage addresses whatever the body has identified, in the body and the mind. The CTA, Call To Action, may be

  1. cognitive/thought
  2. somatic/feeling, orbehavioral muscle memory/long-established habitual movement.
  3. behavioral muscle memory/long-established habitual movement.

Once they have our attention, we can redirect untoward behavior, and in so doing, influence the whole of the dogs quality of life, in this moment and for these of her days.

The keys to successful canine massage – one that assists dogs back towards their dream homeostasis – are

  1. to palpate with open awareness that includes touch, intuitive thought, feeling, and subjective context
  2. acknowledge the protests, and
  3. assist the dog on her resolution of those physical and emotional disputes with the 3 Graces of Respect, Appreciation, and Love.

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