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 the water. Patterns of circles flow out, moving off away from you.
A waterlily gently bobs as the ripples you’ve initiated massage the underside of its pad. The simple turning of your shoulders is affecting everything around you.
You watch the spreading circles. It’s as if you can see your personal space, your energy, your life force expanding. It moves everything in its path. Everything you do has effects that spread out like the ripples on the water’s surface. It all starts with you.
In the real world, aside from visualizations, your movements enhance the life conditions of all the people, plants, and animals with whom you come in contact. You have immense power. You have the capacity to heal the world. At the very least, you can move a lily pad.
When you give a great massage to a dog, he feels better. He is observably happier. His coat and eyes are brighter. His movements are easier, with less effort, and in more comfort. You can see his gait, his stance, even his sit, is more balanced, expressed with greater vitality, and improved stability. That’s just the beginning. This dog is better able to fulfill his role as pet, service animal, companion, playmate, source for entertainment and emotional support.
The concerned owners see that their dog is in well-trained and well-intentioned hands. They are relieved. Their dog is getting the treatments he needs. Enthusiastically, they share the story of how massage has improved their dog’s condition. They tell everyone they see; everyone who will listen. They tell their vets, who are delighted to know that all the protocols they have been following are being enhanced and supported with treatments of massage.
Ripples continue to circle out. Family and friends take notice. Now they recognize that canine massage is a resource they can access when their dogs need care.
Everyone’s stress level drops just a bit.
They know that if and when their dogs are injured, are recovering from surgery, are stiffening or in discomfort because of age-related diseases, are depressed or acting out while processing physical, emotional, or environmental stresses, massage will help.
It’s comforting to know that canine massage is a thing. That it’s available and beneficial in so many ways.
If and when your dogs have any of the aforementioned conditions, remember to incorporate canine massage in their treatment plans.
Find a trained and certified PetMassage Practitioner.
Better still, learn the PetMassage approach to the skill sets for professional level canine massage. You’ll find original books, DVDs, and ways to register for on-site, hands-on workshops, and home study courses at www.petmassage.com.
It all starts with you. Turn your shoulders. Look around. Make some waves.
Help dogs with your practice of PetMassage. Who knows who or what will dance in the flow of your powerful expanding circles of influence?
*My thanks to my good friend Susan Bones for the “kayak in the pond” visualization.
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 their own natural resources.
Our dogs’ owners often attest to their dogs’ recoveries. They see changes in their dogs so profound, happening so spontaneously, and so surprisingly, that they describe them as miraculous “healings.”
In a recent session, I was describing to the owner, what I was feeling in my palm. I had placed them on a dog’s thigh, over a recently sutured incision. A trace of fresh blood trickled through the stitches. Pale yellow fluid seeped through the flaring raw edges.
My touch was gentle, consistent, and reassuring. Heat poured into my palm. My hand felt gentle vibrations. It felt tingly; like champagne under my skin. The sensation of holding tiny, bubbly effervescence began slowly; gradually increased in activity, and then subsided. I knew the shift within the tissues was complete.
I was neither projecting nor affirming. I was witnessing. I intuitively knew the two edges had aligned and joined up with each other. They were adjusting. Tissues fusing together.
I lifted my hand. Touching thumb to middle finger, I released the heat and absorbed energy. I again rested my hand on the wound. The skin was cooler. I looked at the leg. The sutures were even and clean. The borders of the incision had lost their raw discoloration. The bleeding had stopped. The dog rested his head on his front paws, slowly closed his eyes, and drifted. The room was still. It was a moment of happy quiet grace.
The dog’s owner, watching intently, looked at me and whispered, “When did you know you were a healer?”
If we pay attention, we recognize where our journey can take us and the potential when we are aligned with our highest good.
Sometimes the reminder is overt, like in the book, Zen Flesh Zen Bones, when the master takes his staff, and whacks the student on the head. PAY ATTENTION TO THIS MOMENT! REMEMBER!
Spiritual healing, a term that resonates with me and what I do, pertains to the act of healing others of their physical or emotional ailments. It’s inseparable from the physical massage. They work in tandem to disperse stagnation and stuckness at various levels. The magical force that maintains life is pure spirit. When it flows as it should, our dogs are healthy and in all ways harmonious. When it doesn’t – and we can track it – they are neither.
Through active presence and touch, we enhance the transference and diversion of their physical and spiritual energy.
This is the text message I received the next morning, with the photos accompanying this article:
“Miracle!!!! These were beet red and inflammatory. Look how nicely the tissue has changed. Luke has been in bliss since you left. (It was a home visit.) Thanks so much!”
After the next session 2 days later, she writes, “Hi. Good news: Luke is doing much better. (Progressing with toe touching.) So we can come to your office for his PetMassage on Tuesday. Have a blessed day. See you Tuesday at 11 am.
Tuesday afternoon, a couple of hours after his massage, she texted a video of Luke standing in their garden with his weight on all four paws. Then, through happy tears, I watched him begin trotting!
Practitioners in spiritual healing attest to the grace they themselves experience in their acts of compassion. There is an ecstatic feeling of profound Divine connectedness. We are overcome with gratitude for realizing our sense of purpose; of validation of the truth to our personal spiritual and professional path, and the choices we’ve made to get to where we are. When we access our spiritual gifts and talents and use them to heal one another, the experience is beautiful.
When I felt the reciprocal compassion in canine massage, I recognized my life’s plan. First of all, I was comforted that I had a life plan. Sharing my insights and skills, teaching PetMassage, I help dogs, and I help other dog people. Through the modeling and testimonials such as these that I share in these blogs, my books, videos, and canine massage vocational training workshops, I encourage people like you to realize your dreams.
I can help you to create a career in which you can use massage to help dogs and validate your passions to care for dogs. I also feed my spirit. I take big helpings!
Who can be a healer? Some people cannot. They aren’t ready. They came into this life with other talents; alternative agendas.
Everyone who reads this article can. I truly believe that’s the reason you’ve been guided to these words. If you haven’t already felt the gentle nudge or the whack on your topknot, here it is: I’m telling you that you are ready. You can learn canine massage and help dogs with its energy applications.
You already know the skills. You just have to be reminded. You’ll recognize them by their ease and comfort to perform.
It is possible to learn to be a canine massage healer on your own. You have the raw talent; but, like playing a musical instrument, you will never reach your full potential without instruction, training, and practice. Let’s expand on your natural talents and take them to the skills of the healer.
You may have already begun by learning some form of healing such as Reiki, Healing Touch, EFT, NLP, polarity work, and Toe Twiddling. Yes. That’s a thing. It is easier to learn with an instructor. Hey: that’s me!
In the PetMassage Foundation and Advanced Level Programs and workshops, I show you, and help you, to learn and practice the skills to be a canine massage and canine energy work practitioner.
The Foundation Program includes the basics:
- Observation skills
- Basic canine anatomy
- Presence skills
- Grounding skills
- Canine massage and holding skills
- Canine body language
- Gait and body mechanics
- Dog handling in the context of massage, and
- Creating your dog massage business
The PetMassage Advanced Level Training focuses on the skills of a canine massage healer. At this level, you
- Expand your observational skills to learn why, what, and how, to massage dogs.
- Learn more in-depth canine anatomy, pathology, and medical terminology, to enable you to visualize and recognize patterns while working with vets doing rehab.
- Learn Dousing – pendulum work to expand your palpation skills to sense meridians, chakras, relationships within fasciae, neuromuscular patterns, and concentrations and boundaries of personal space.
So, I ask you, when did you know you were a healer? More importantly, when are you going to do the work to develop your raw talents so you can use them with dogs?
Here’s the link to the schedule of workshops for the remainder of 2019 and 2020. I look forward to helping you develop your skills to be a canine massage healer.
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 the door, they refuse to leave the security of the house. When explosives are going off, and they may be barely heard off in the distance, they often refuse to venture out into their own yards to pee and poop. It’s Scaryland out there. They’re terrified of what’s outside. So scared. So emotionally fragile. What can we do to help them?
Is there anything you can find, or buy, or do to help your dogs? There must be something we can find to calm their frayed nerves?
You’ve already searched online and have researched the traditionally recommended methods. Over the counter sedatives. Serious vet prescribed sedatives. Bach Flower Rescue Remedy. Essential oils like lavender and frankincense. You can play music to compete with the noise outside.
Jai Hamilton, of the The Lexington-Fayette Animal Care and Control Center, recommends keeping dogs inside during fireworks. They should also have collars and microchips. She suggests a way to desensitize dogs with training.
“Play a recording at a low volume. When your dog hears those noises, you give them a treat. Then when the Fourth of July rolls around and they hear fireworks, they think of happy thoughts when they hear those sounds.” But what about today and this week?
You may have already purchased a pheromone collar; and/or a Thundershirt, a jacket that swaddles the dog with snug fitting Velcro fasteners. Or, you may have tried loosely crisscrossing an ace bandage around your dogs rib cage and shoulders, T-Touch style. Some of these work. Some work some of the time.
From the perspective of massage, something essential is missing from all of these. What’s missing? The comfort of your touch.
If your child was anxious and terrified, the first thing you’d want to do is to find some nonverbal way to comfort them. You let them know that they are not alone. You are there for support. You’d hold their hand. Offer a reassuring touch or grace stroke on their forehead. A hug. An arm around the shoulder.
If you knew of a special point on their body, like the acupressure point on the inside of the wrist that eases the symptoms of air sickness; a point that would reduce their anxiety, would you stimulate it? Of course you would.
Your dogs have special calming points on their bodies that you can easily locate, access, stimulate, or in this case, quiet/sedate. Every PetMassage bodywork protocol includes a sequence to engage these points. Points which function to enable dogs to cope with extremes. Extremes in physical issues; extremes in behavioral, psychological and emotional issues, like the panictriggered by the loud, abrupt, and unexpected report of fireworks.
This part of the PetMassage is something you can do today, during the first rumblings of firecrackers and Roman candles, to provide your dog some relief. This massage reduces the hysteria your dog is experiencing; and the helplessness that you are feeling to comfort him/her. Let’s take both of your levels of anxiety down to more manageable levels.
Vectoring is a series of simple hand holds that are applied on your dogs body.
These hand positions are a sequence of 6 combinations of slow hand placements. Each combination is applied gently yet securely. Each hold is held for 5 or more breath cycles. Slow inhales to the count of 5, hold for the count of 3, and slow exhales to the count of 7. The order follows the sequence of Traditional Chinese Medicine Meridians. So, the order your hands follow when they move from place to place on your dogs body is significant. If you apply the sequence in a different order, you will not harm your dog; the resulting effect will just not be as pure.
There’s a place for us… Take your dog to a safe place where he/she feels comfortable. A favorite spot, a chair, a blanket or a pad. A place with a friendly scent. Open a door or window so the popping and cracking sounds are still audible. As you sit with him/her, apply the following sequence of hand placements, breathing at the rate described above. You can play some soft music if that calms you; but you still want to hear the offending fireworks. Hold my hand and I’ll take you there…
The hand placements are
- One hand on the chest, the other over the withers, or spine just behind the neck. Breathe and relax.
- One hand on the spine just behind the neck, the other on the spine, just in front of the tail. Breathe and relax.
- Cup the bulge of the hip joints in both palms. Breathe and relax.
- Slide your hands forward to inside the armpits cupping the rib cage. Breathe and relax.
- One hand on the top line at the back of the rib cage, the other underneath, supporting the belly. Breathe and relax.
- Retain the hand where it is on the top line at the back of the rib cage, move the other hand to the chest. The breastbone cupped in your palm. Breathe and relax.
This is an excerpt from the new book Canine Massage for Passionate Dog People that describes Vectoring.
“As you hold each vector, visualize the waves of the ocean lapping up onto the beach washing the rocks with foam. Each wave retreats back into the water, leaving a shimmering lacy residue. In its wake, you see all the small rocks and shells repositioned in the sand. Then, caught by an inflow of the next oncoming wave, part of the water as well as the debris suspended in it, is carried back up onto the beach. The new waves push through the resistance and create new patterns.”
Repeat as necessary based on your dogs responses. If and when your dog begins to stress and pace again, repeat.
These gentle and intentional holds engage internal patterns in your dog’s nervous system. Patterns that provide strength, resilience, and calm.
Please let me know in your comments how helpful PetMassage Vectoring is in alleviating your dogs’ firework and thunderstorm anxiety.
Vectoring is described more fully with accompanying illustrations in PetMassage books and DVDs. Here are the links so you can order yours today.
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 in animal massage therapy? Thank you so much.
Initially, I thought, no, you’re too young. You don’t have the life experience to appreciate how amazing it is to care for dogs. Most of our students have put in the time. They’ve learned the lessons and are training for new 2nd or 3rd careers in PetMassage, canine water massage, or they are expanding on the careers they have.
Then, I thought about all the enthusiastic young people that are training to be hair stylists, dog groomers, and dog trainers. No one is required to have previous experience in their fields.
So yes, if you have figured out that your passion is caring for dogs, and RVT and vet schools are not possibilities, learning dry canine massage and/or canine water massage is a perfectly rational choice. It’s a great choice. So, yes. Yes. Yes.
Before you attend the workshop make sure you have access to a heated indoor pool that accepts dogs. That’s where you will be working. That’s where you will help sport dogs with their conditioning, injured dogs in their rehabilitation, obese dogs to lose weight, and older dogs who suffer from arthritis and joint mobility issues.
It’s curious that I get this request now. I’ve been witnessing firsthand how overwhelmingly stressful the decision making process is for high school kids. It’s the biggest question for Juniors and seniors. What are you going to do when you graduate? Our extended family includes a this years grad, a junior, a sophomore, and 2 fresh persons. The decisions these kids are asked to make will determine the course of the rest of their lives. The kids are stressed. Their parents are stressed: they are dealing with their baby growing up and leaving the nest. They are also stressed by college tuition sticker shock! Even their family pets need more massages so they can cope with all the tension!
The kids have so many decisions to make. Do I go to a 4 year college, or 2? Which one is the best fit? What’s the culture there? Where do I want to live: close to home or as far away as reasonable? Can I stay connected to my friends? What should I study? What am I interested in? What do I like? What do I want to do -to be- in my forever career? How long will it take? What can my family afford? That if I learn a trade until I really decide? What can I be good at? What would make me happy? What would make me money? What can I do that will make a difference, that can create value? What can I do that helps dogs?
Training onsite at the PetMassage School is about a week. Then you practice, practice, practice. Especially if you want to massage dogs at Carnegie Hall.
PetMassage workshops include a feature that we don’t talk about that much. That is, post workshop counseling support. We are here to provide advice for as long as you are practicing canine massage professionally. For free.
The PetMassage Canine Water Massage Program includes onsite training for 6 days. The full program for certification includes home study courses in basic canine anatomy and dog handling in the context of massage.
The PetMassage Foundation Level Program is 5 days of onsite training. It also includes home study courses and post workshop work.
The PetMassage Advanced Level Program is 5 days onsite, home study courses and post workshop documentations and videos.
I look forward to training you in your first career.