I am sensitive and responsive to the needs of my clients and their people, during each stage of their healing process.

By Jonathan Rudinger | January 18, 2024 |

Every time I enhance a dog’s quality of life with aquatic massage, I share their sensation of bliss.

By Jonathan Rudinger | January 10, 2024 |

In the water, in my arms, dogs discover their life affirming balance.

By Jonathan Rudinger | January 4, 2024 |

Importance of Documenting Animal Massage Sessions

By PetMassage | December 29, 2023 |

Full Title: Importance of Documenting Animal Massage Sessions

Author: Laura Riley

Date of Publication: August 3, 2022

PDF: https://petmassage.com/wp-content/uploads/Importance-of-Documenting-Animal-Massage-Sessions.pdf

Research Paper Text:

Importance of Documenting Animal Massage Sessions
Laura Riley
August 3, 2022

Massage practitioners work as a team with Veterinarians and clients to provide our pets the best care. This team approach is most effective when there is clear communication on all aspects of the animal’s health and treatment by the providers. One of the most effective ways of ensuring this clear communication between parties is by providing clear and cohesive documentation of visits. In addition, clients should be forthright with animal health care providers on all aspects of their animal’s health and treatment. In this paper, we will discuss importance of effective documentation by the animal’s providers and owners.

Important of Documentation by the Animal’s Health Care Providers:

Documentation is important by animal care practitioners in order to provide information on care, help resolve any client disputes, and protect practitioner from any malpractice claims. In addition, many states and certification agencies require documentation (Plit, 2001).

Prior to the appointment, the animal massage therapist should obtain the following documentation: 1) contact information and people authorized to provide animal care decisions; 2) medical history, current medications, and current treatments; 3) and signed consent forms (Plit, 2021). It’s also very important to adhere to state laws and regulations regarding animal care, and stay within an Animal Massage Therapist’s Scope of Practice (Rudinger, 2003).

At the beginning of the appointment, start out with explaining what you do, how massage compliments Veterinary practice, but doesn’t replace it, and explain that only Veterinarians diagnose and prescribe treatment. Point out any contraindications of massage and limitations of your work( Rudinger, 2003).

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, the Four Exams or “Four Pillars” provide the practitioner with important insight prior to massage, which include: 1) observation; 2) listening (e.g, vocalizations, heart and respiration) and smelling (breath, body odor); 3) animal’s health history (feeding, medicines/supplements, and lifestyle); and 4) physical palpation to look for any areas of tension, discomfort or abnormalities. The massage therapist should maintain documents on the results of the ‘four exams.’ techniques, areas massaged, and reactions to the massage. Document any observations on the animal’s behavior after the massage. Document questions, follow up information provided, or follow up discussions with client (Plit, 2021; Snow & Zidonis, 2011).

Comprehensive documentation is also important for the health of the animal and aids other practitioners, especially if your animal has multiple health care providers.

Similar benefits of documentation have been found in human studies. One study found that EMS records missing 1 or more measures of physiological data at the scene had an increased risk of client death (Dann, Schiff, Nathens, & Rosengart, 2010). Health care practitioners also found that comprehensive documentation by other providers lead to better care for the patients and improved safety (Bjorvell, Wredling, & Thorell-Ekstrand, 2003). In addition, documenting patient care and outcomes has been found to provide better patient outcomes (Morrison, 2020).

Importance of Client Documentation

In addition to the provider keeping good records, client documentation plays a pivotal role in the care of their pet. Animal massage therapists and other providers need accurate and thorough information from the client, in order to provide the best care. According to the University of Minnesota Veterinary College, one of the main responsibilities of clients is to provide accurate and important information on your animal’s health history. This includes any documentation of the pet’s past care from other Veterinarians or other providers. According to D’Arrigo (2022), the following documentation should be provided to a Veterinarian taking care of your animal:

• The names and doses of all of your pet’s medications
• The kind of food they eat
• Their eating and drinking habits
• Their toilet habits
• Any recent travel or tick bites
• Past medical records, including vaccine history

By providing complete documentation which is accurate and relevant, the Massage Therapist or other providers are able to provide better care. There are other benefits of the client providing documented history and health information on their pet. Documentation plays a pivotal role in developing a patient-centered care model.

In human medical practice, patient-centered care entails requesting information, seeking clarification on health and treatment, and the client being an active participant in recommendations for assessment and treatment (Tinetti & Basch, 2013). In a study by Starfield (1979), it was found that patients fared better on health outcomes when the health care provider and patient agreed on the problem and solution. Patients who provided more information to their provider were more committed to treatment (as cited in Frankel, 2022).

Similar to human research, clients who provide Veterinarian’s more complete information and documentation should be more likely to adhere to treatment and have better outcomes (Frankel, 2022).

Animal Massage Therapists need to record and maintain comprehensive documentation to provide the animal the best care. In addition, by seeking and obtaining all necessary documentation from the pet owner, you can have a comprehensive understanding of the animal’s health history. Communication regarding documentation leads to a client-centered focus, involving both owners and providers, leading to better trust, commitment to treatment, which can lead to better outcomes.


Bjorvell, C., Wredling, C. & Thorell-Ekstrand (2003, May). Prerequisites and consequences of nursing documentation in patient records as perceived by a group of Registered Nurses. Journal of Clinical Nursing.

Dann, J.L. Schiff, M.A., Nathens, A.B, & Rosengart, M.R. (2010, February). Lack of Emergency Medical Services Documentation is Associated with Poor Patient Outcomes: A Validation of Audit Filters for Prehospital Trauma Care. Journal of the American College of Surgeons.

D’Arrigo, T (2022). Before and After a Visit to the Vet. Healthy Pets, https://pets.webmd.com/before-after-vet-visit

Frankel, R.M. (2022). Pets, Vets, and Frets: What Relationship-Centered Care Research Has to Offer Veterinary Medicine, Journal of Veterinary Medical Education.

Morrison, J (2020, May/June). Measuring Patient Outcomes. Today’s Veterinary Practice.

Plit, A (2021). Veterinary Medical Records and the Importance of Documentation. In Equi Management: Business Solutions for Equine Practitioners.

Rudinger, J. (2003). Energy Work with Dogs: Assessing the Magnificent Body Language and Body Wisdom of the Dog.

Snow, A. & Zidonis, N (2011). Acu-Dog; A Guide to Canine Acupressure.

Tinetti, M.E., & Basch, E. (2013, June 12). Patients’ Responsibility to Participate in Decision Making and Research. Journal of the American Medical Association Network, 309(22), pp. 2331-2332.

University of Minnesota Veterinary Medical Center:


The Power of Mindfulness and Heart

By PetMassage | December 29, 2023 |

Full Title: The Power of Mindfulness and Heart

Author: Traci Evans

Date of Publication: July 28, 2022

PDF: https://petmassage.com/wp-content/uploads/THE-POWER-OF-MINDFULNESS-AND-HEART.pdf

Research Paper Text:

The Power of Mindfulness and Heart
Traci Evans
July 28, 2022

Dogs are constantly assessing us, to know if they ought to follow our lead and move into the feeling of safety and trust. They track the quality and confidence in our movements, our breathing patterns, our pheromones, our perspiration, and our level of engagement with them.
The way you move is important. Dogs can feel the difference if you are moving from your head, or your heart. When we are breathing comfortably, they feel secure, comforted and more connected. They can also tell when we are stressed, in pain, confused, concerned or worried, because we unconsciously hold our breath. (Ref. Jonathan Rudinger, PetMassage Institute)

When I began my journey to seek mind, body and spiritual peace and happiness – and learning how it all works together as a whole to bring complete balance to our life, I really had no idea the impact this would have on me and all other beings I would come in contact with. The goal, along with my own inner peace, was to have a more connected and ultimately effective outcome with the dogs I would work with.

Like most, I have done quite a bit of reading and watched a lot of documentaries to gain a clear understanding of how to accomplish this inner peace. Although my mind was comprehending this information, it seemed to be a very superficial feeling for me and I wasn’t sure if or how I would be able to make the internal connection. It’s so easy to get caught up in our daily distractions and stresses, that constantly reminding ourselves to “just let it go” seems practically impossible.

In the midst of this journey a new challenge landed in my path, literally. A nest of baby birds scattered around my yard would soon change everything for me. After an unsuccessful attempt to return them to their nest, I felt it was my responsibility to fight for them and give them a chance to survive. These five babies, only days old, were severely dehydrated and sick. My spouse took three of them and I the other two, and we worked to get them rehydrated. We were both doing our best to care for them, while also trying to read as fast as we could about their symptoms. Then, sadly, my spouse was holding the first baby when it died. I could see the others weren’t far behind. Based on everything I was reading, it seemed they were suffering from a yeast infection, both internally and externally. Warm baths in diluted apple cider vinegar to cleanse their skin and rehydrating with a tiny syringe, also filled with acv, were the best I felt we could do for them. Minutes later, another baby my spouse was caring for, died… then, the third.

That’s when something shifted in me. That is really the best word I can come up with for what happened. It was like a tunnel vision experience. I didn’t see or hear anything going on around me. It was as though the world had stopped. All I know is that I was holding these two lives in the palms of my hands, and in that moment, my whole being became about saving them.

I became aware of every second passing by. I became aware of the water enveloping their tiny body’s. I became aware of the color and texture of their skin… and of how their bodies were deflating and dying. It was as though it was all happening in slow motion. Even though my eyes were watching them fade away, something inside of me wouldn’t allow me to stop trying. I was physically seeing them die, but deep within me all I was feeling, was life.

I didn’t feel sad or anxious… I felt calm and full of love for them. I hoped that if I held them close to my heart, it could help them feel safe and secure. I hoped that they would somehow sense what I was feeling for them, and it would give them the strength and will to fight to live.

Each second, became minutes. The same way I was aware of them dying, I was now witnessing them come back to life… still, in slow motion.
Their bodies were beginning to rehydrate. Their skin went from pale to pink… their veins red and full again. I felt love and happiness on a completely different level than I had ever experienced.

With each day they became healthier and stronger. I continue to observe and learn about them. I think when we see birds, or any wild animal in general, we see them as a specific species that all function the same. That isn’t the case at all. They very much have their own distinct personalities.

I’ve also learned about their fears… which seems to be a lot of things! They’re afraid of things like, new objects in their environment and bright colors such as, reds and fluorescents. What I’ve found especially interesting is their reaction to certain sounds.

So, there are “sounds” that they are afraid of, but what I’ve witnessed has been physical responses to tones in voices and the energy coming from a person. Loud, obnoxious laughing and tense, or emotionally heightened tones in voices, cause them to become aggressive and bite at the person’s nose and mouth.

More than anything though, the energy we give off affects them the most… This, ultimately affecting me the most. This is where I began to piece together the things I had read about, with all of my experiences with the birds. I recalled reading about how mindfulness is when you are truly there, mind and body together. You breathe in and out mindfully, you bring your mind back to your body, and you are there. When your mind is there with your body, you are established in the present moment. Then you can recognize the many conditions of happiness that are in you and around you, and happiness just comes naturally. Mindfulness practice should be enjoyable, not work. Like breathing, it takes no effort. Allow your breath to take place. Become aware of it and enjoy it.

During the time you are practicing mindfulness, you stop talking – not only the talking outside, but the talking inside. The talking inside is the thinking, the mental discourse that goes on and on inside. Real silence is the cessation of talking – of both the mouth and of the mind. This is not the kind of silence that oppresses us. It is a very powerful kind of silence… that heals and nourishes us.
All of this makes so much sense and doesn’t really seem hard at all… but when we only know a life of mental chatter, turning it off isn’t that easy. So, there I was, at a place where I thought I was doing well and practicing my breathing to calm my tensions and stresses. I quickly learned, with a little help, that I wasn’t doing it quite right. I wasn’t breathing mindfully. I needed to focus my attention on it. This is my in-breath. This is my out-breath. When you do that, the mental chatter stops. You don’t think anymore and you don’t have to make an effort to stop your thinking; you bring your attention to your in-breath and the mental discourse just stops. That is the miracle of the practice. You don’t think of the past anymore and you don’t think of the future. You don’t think of anything, because you are focusing your attention, your mindfulness, on your breath. It takes practice, constantly reminding ourselves to just, stop.

For me, apparently it took the help of a little birdie on my shoulder. Or, two little birdie’s. They can sense my tension, before I even realize I am tense. If I am feeling stressed, or anxious about something, they let me know by fluttering in my face. If I am upset, or angry, and yelling for my dogs to stop chasing a rabbit, or another dog, the birds will come and bite at my nose and mouth. The same if I am just feeling the anger inside, because perhaps I had a tense encounter with someone. They sense it and let me know. It was during these times, that I learned to breathe mindfully. That is the key… and it changed everything. I became the safe, secure and loving place for these birds. They come to me for comfort when something scares them. They rest against my neck, or my chest over my heart – both where they can feel my heartbeat and it calms them. Mindful breathing quickly became a new way of life for me.

When you breath mindfully, you become aware of your body. The quality of your in-breath and out-breath will be improved. There is more peace and harmony in your breathing, and if you continue to practice like that, the peace and harmony will penetrate into the body and the body will profit.

Breathing in, you are aware of your body. Breathing out, you release the tension in your body. Peace now becomes possible. I was not only seeing how this was affecting my own being, but it was affecting all beings around me.

The coexistence between all of us – my dogs, birds and myself, became a beautiful harmonious dance. The dogs were able to understand how important the birds are, thus, no longer viewing them as prey. And the birds understand that the dogs have their place as well, and learned to maneuver around them. They are learning what different sounds mean, that the others make. They’ve learned what play is and they actually try to be a part of it. They all love to be loved and just want to be a part of the family. Both teaching the other how to coexist in harmony. None of this though, could have happened without a peaceful and loving environment. Mindfulness.


It is always possible to practice releasing the tension in yourself. You don’t have to wait for the right time, or place. It can be practiced many times a day – in the workplace, while you are driving, cooking, washing dishes, or while you’re watering the garden. There is no right or wrong time for it.

I walk dogs for other people every day. I’ve extended my mindful breathing, into mindful walking. Essentially, walking meditation. Every step is enjoyable. Body and mind together, I am completely aware. I am fully alive, fully present in the here and now, able to touch the wonders of life around me. When you walk like that, every step brings healing, peace and joy, because every step is a miracle. My growth throughout this journey has changed my interaction and ability to better connect with the dogs I work with. I make sure to always be aware of my breathing before I engage them. If I am having an “off” day, they instantly know it and our connection will be “off” as well.
As mentioned at the beginning of this writing, dogs are constantly assessing us, to know if they ought to follow our lead and move into the feeling of safety and trust. This essentially applies to all animals. It seems people tend to assume the position that the “pet” should just learn to adjust to a life with humans and all of the chaos that goes with it. And for the most part, that is exactly what they do. They try in their own way to let us know when something isn’t right, or isn’t balanced. The problem is, we don’t always pay attention, or we assume it’s just something with our pets. But what if, we actually took a step back to observe and listen with mindfulness… and in turn, move with our hearts.

They say that dogs live for the now. They don’t live in the past and they don’t live for an unknown future. This is true for all animals. And thanks to them, I understand it now. They have shown me that there is nothing more important than the present. That our mere existence is a miracle and a blessing and should be treated as such. And that we should respect, nourish and love it. There are teachers all around us, who can show us the way to a more meaningful and fulfilling life… all we have to do, is listen.

I love doing the work I do and I love helping others discover their passions.

By PetMassage | December 27, 2023 |

Speaking in Tongues

By PetMassage | December 26, 2023 |

Full Title: Speaking in Tongues

Author: Ashley Stroud

Date of Publication: April 6, 2023

PDF: https://petmassage.com/wp-content/uploads/Speaking-in-Tongues.pdf

Research Paper Text:

Speaking in Tongues
Ashley Stroud
April 27, 2023

Lap, lap, lapping up a cool bowl of water.

Panting in your face after a good game of tug.
Getting those last hard to reach tasty bits of peanut butter in the food puzzle. And who doesn’t love an exuberant slobbery kiss?!

That seemingly inert moist glob that is the amazing canine tongue is such an active background soundtrack to our lives with dogs, it’s easy to forget it is actually a complex muscle that is acutely connected to our dog’s health that can give us clues to behavior state and overall well-being.

In general, healthy tongues are moist and bubble gum pink. There are exceptions to note such as benign pigmentation spots which may appear in any breed, and the required breed standard of a blue/black tongue in Chow Chow and Shar-Pei, but let’s take an even closer look.

The main life-functions of the canine tongue are: moving food and water to the esophagus, aid in mastication, panting, and interacting with their world. A canine tongue is comprised primarily of skeletal muscle, nerves, mucous membrane, and vessels (2). It can also be described as intrinsic muscles (the muscles of the tongue itself) and extrinsic muscles (the muscles that 1 attach the tongue to structures). Its highly vascularized with the main blood supply being the lingual artery, as well as the tonsillar branch of the facial artery and ascending artery. At the most basic anatomical level it consists of a root, long body, and apex, with a dorsal and ventral side (1). The root is attached to the hyoid bone and the mandible via the hyoglossus and genioglossus muscle. The free, dorsal side is divided in two by the median groove. This side is also where the papillae are located which assist in taste, temperature, and touch response itself.

There are many nerves affecting the tongue; for a more complete view of cranial nerve roots please see attached plate from Dog Anatomy: a coloring atlas Plate 80. Some major nerves to note include (2):
glossopharyngeal nerve: taste and touch

hypoglossal nerve: motor function to muscles of tongue

facial nerve: chorda tympani branch joins lingual nerve and senses taste, motor to lacrimal and salivary glands
trigeminal nerve: sensory touch to the tongue and motor to mastication muscles

While technically the tongue CAN be palpated, it is generally not appreciated by your canine client. Being housed in the mouth, which may contain up to 42 teeth, it also may not be safe to palpate or physically handle the tongue. We can however use our powers of observation to glean information about our canine client’s state by taking a moment to consider the nuanced tongue as we go about the business of providing them with aquatic bodywork.

According to Four Paws Five Directions “the tongue is a visual gateway to the interior of the body. The whole body ‘lives’ on the tongue, rather like a hologram”(5)

Color, shape, and texture all give vital information to the state of your canine client. How is the dog holding their tongue…

Is it lolling out the side? Is it slightly curled or spatulate at the end as the dog heavily pants? Is it tucked securely inside a mouth that has tightening at the corners? What color is it—dark pink or purple? Grey? Bubblegum pink?
What texture is it…moist and shiny, dry, cracked?
As they breath in and out, what does their breath and mouth smell like?

How has the tongue position and color changed as you’ve moved though the bodywork session? Has their breathing changed throughout the session?

What are they trying to communicate to you the practitioner, with their tongue?

Licking of the mouth (YOUR mouth) is an indication of submissiveness. Licking their own lips or smcking/chewing motions also “indicate submissiveness, willingness to learn, and to join up with the pack.”(4)

“When he feels discomfort or anxiety when you are working on a particular area, he will distract himself by stimulating another part of his anatomy, licking, or scratching. The licking distraction gives him a sense of comfort and control and can become addictive.”(4) This can lead to self-mutilation.

While we may not be able to directly massage the canine tongue, often form follows function. Remember those basic life functions mentioned earlier? The tongue’s extrinsic muscles have a direct connection to the throat, jaw, palate, and head.
“…dysfunction of activity can occur when either the position of the tongue is disturbed, when structures attaching to the tongue are compromised, or when the tongue’s neurological pathways are adversely stressed.”(3) By providing relief and restoring balance where possible to compromised areas via bodywork, we can have a chain reaction to the form and function of surrounding areas and those further down the chain, like the humble tongue!


1. Anatomylearner.com Dog Tongue Anatomy
2. Dog Anatomy: a coloring atlas Plate 51,80
3. Massagemag.com The Tongue: how cranial sacral therapy can help this important muscle
4. Four Paws Five Directions pgs 47-50


Water Asphyxiation in Dogs

By PetMassage | December 26, 2023 |

Full Title: Water Asphyxiation in Dogs

Author: Brooklyn Green

Date of Publication: April 6, 2023

PDF: https://petmassage.com/wp-content/uploads/Water-Asphyxiation-in-Dogs.pdf

Research Paper Text:

Water Asphyxiation
Brooklyn Green
April 6, 2023

Asphyxiation is the state or process of being deprived of oxygen, which can result in unconsciousness or death; suffocation. Specifically, water asphyxiation is when inhaled water or other liquids get in the airway and make it difficult to breath. This can happen to any species, any breed, and can occur over a period. Even temporary suffocation can have an influence on your dog. There are many signs, symptoms, and ways to avoid or help a canine from asphyxiation.

Have you ever wondered if a dog could hold its breath? Well, the answer is yes. Dogs instinctively can do this; it does not have to be taught. When a dog’s face hits the water, typically their heart rate slows down to reduce the need for oxygen. Their windpipe closes so that no water may enter the lungs. Dogs with longer snouts, long legs, webbed paws are usually able to hold their breath longer. On average 5-10 seconds is how long they are able to hold their breath. Now, just because a dog can hold its breath does not mean they will never suffocate from water. Inhaling water is still very possible while a dog is swimming.

There are many ways to prevent a dog from suffocating or inhaling water. First, make them take a break. When a dog like being in the water, they most likely will not tell you when they are tired or done swimming. So, keeping an eye on them is very important. If you can tell they are tired and taking in a lot of water, make them take a break. Some signs of exhaustion include hot ear temperature and excessive panting. At least every 30 minutes a dog should get out of the water and take some time off if not sooner. Also, encourage a dog not to dive under water for toys. Having their mouth open under water, chances are they will inhale some of that water. Choose toys that float and are flat so that their mouths can stay more closed. Another way to help avoid drowning would be to make sure that the canine is wearing a life vest. This way they have that extra support to keep them afloat especially since not all dogs can swim. A good thought would be to make sure you have plenty of drinking water for your dog so that they are not trying to drink water as they are swimming. These are just a few ways to prevent and improve the safety of dogs so that they do not suffocate.

There are many signs of suffocation in dogs and any inhalation of water, even small amounts, can affect them. Sometimes symptoms take hours or even days before showing up. Some symptoms include foaming at the mouth, coughing, blue gums, trouble breathing, loss of balance, and unconsciousness. Others may include vomiting with a hunched back and extended neck; vomit would look like a clear liquid. If he/she does this just once or twice no need to alarm, if it continues and other symptoms appear you will want to see a vet. Many would compare a dog’s symptoms to a drunk person, imagine the dog losing its balance and acting disoriented. Pawing at the mouth is also a very common symptom. Many times, if they are choking and having trouble breathing, they are not able to alert you by whining. So, pawing at the mouth is a sign that something is irritating them and in this instance that they cannot breathe correctly.

Another aspect to remember about water asphyxiation is that it does not just occur when dogs are swimming. It can also happen when a dog drinks to quickly or too much. If you notice your dog has a tendency to cough after drinking a lot of water, try limiting the amount given at one time. By giving smaller portions of water at a time it will make sure that they dog cannot drink too much too fast and help prevent asphyxiation.

If you are ever in a situation where you notice a dog suffocated from water inhalation there are a few things, you can do. First, you must remember not to panic. This will in turn keep your dog as calm as possible and keep their heart rate slow. When choking on water holding small dogs or puppies upside down can help drain the water from their lungs. For larger dogs if they are standing you can lift their hind legs so that water can again drain out. If you know how to do the Heimlich maneuver on dogs that could work as well. Those are if you notice right away that a dog is struggling to breath because they are suffocating on water. If symptoms of dry drowning start to appear after a period of time the best thing to do would be taking the dog to the veterinarians. Veterinarians will assess the severity of the case and evaluate what needs to be done. In some cases, CPR may need to occur. In most cases of drowning the dog will be hospitalized at least overnight for oxygen therapy and IV fluids. Depending on how severe the case is, the dog may be given some medications for brain swelling or antibiotics to prevent pain, nausea, etc. It in any instance you feel something is wrong, going to the veterinarian for advice is always the best thing to do.

It is important to keep a close eye on any dog that is near or in water. Especially knowing that as little as 1 mL can lead to dry drowning. All the fear and anxiety of what to do if a dog is drowning can be eliminated by taking preventative action. If you ever fear that your dog is dry drowning it is important to seek medical attention. Even if it is a minor case, seeking medical attention is never a bad thing.




Expanding Your Ability to Palpate

By PetMassage | December 26, 2023 |

Full Title: Effects of Arnica Montana Treating Scratches

Author: Jodi L. Schosek

Date of Publication: December 22, 2023

PDF: https://petmassage.com/wp-content/uploads/Expanding-Your-Ability-to-Palpate.pdf

Research Paper Text:

Expanding Your Ability to Palpate
Ashley Laskey Crawford
October 28, 2022

Canine palpation is an art and gets easier with experience. While experienced massage therapists may already know this knowledge, those newer to the massage industry will quickly learn that palpating muscle tissue is not as easy as it seems. Below are a few examples of exercises that will help expand your ability to palpate the canine.

Paper and Hair & Towel and Rice:
An exercise to learn palpation is to take a hair and place it under a page of a textbook without seeing where you placed it. With your eyes closed, palpate for the hair until you find it and can trace its shape under the page. Next, try to find it under two pages and palpate to locate and trace it. Continue to increase the number of pages placed over the hair until you cannot find it. If this exercise is repeated, the number of pages under which you can locate and trace the hair will gradually increase, and your sensitivity will improve. If that is a little too difficult, you can also start with using a towel and rice – place rice pieces in the towel, with eyes closed and palpate until you feel all the rice. You can also add another layer of towels, similar to the paper and hair exercise. Once you feel comfortable, move back to the paper and hair to expand your ability to palpate.

Another exercise is using internal palpate techniques According to PetMassage Manual, the best ways to do this are, sensing thought core intuition, yielding and redirection of sensed forces (feeling movement in tissues). Watch your reaction of the canine and the canine’s reaction to your touch, being empathic to the canine. Furthermore, the canine also does their own palpation by the experience of your touch.

Take it to the next level by practicing on a canine. For skin and superficial fascia – lightly stretch the top layer of skin in one direction without compressing or sliding it. Release and sense how it comes back into place. Then press skin into the superficial fascia – feels thick, spongy and springy. Next, gently explore kneading this layer, lift and roll the skin and superficial fascia in several areas, noticing the differences in their thickness. Now try the muscle tissue – explore tracing the different muscles. Then, follow along the fibers from one end of a limb to the other and contrast palpating muscles along and across the fibers.

In the end, practicing these exercises frequently will elevate your knowledge and expertise of canine palpation. It will give you a greater appreciation for the art and science behind your ability to palpate.

Effects of Arnica Montana Treating Scratches

By PetMassage | December 26, 2023 |

Full Title: Effects of Arnica Montana Treating Scratches

Author: Jodi L. Schosek

Date of Publication: December 22, 2023

PDF: https://petmassage.com/wp-content/uploads/Effects-of-Arnica-Montana-Treating-Scratches.pdf

Research Paper Text:

Effects of Arnica Montana Treating Scratches
Jodi L. Schosek
August 3, 2022

The purpose of this research paper is to study the effects of the homeopathic remedy, Arnica Montana on scratches and bruises obtained from canines while providing therapy sessions in a warm water environment. Although preventative measures should be in place when swimming dogs for hydrotherapy purposes, sometimes hydrotherapists can get bruises and scratches from the canines. Past remedies attempted included OTC topical ointments, and the no-fool remedy of “time heals everything”. Since working with animals and being connected with nature go hand-in-hand, it made sense to take my next treatment steps in the homeopathic direction.

Homeopathy is a holistic medical system based on the belief that the human body can cure itself when given all-natural substances and some individuals believe these stimulate the healing process in the body. Homeopathic medicines are made from a variety of sources, such as plants, animals and minerals (4). These remedies are prepared according to guidelines set out in international pharmacopeias. Homeopathic medicines are considered safe and free from serious adverse reactions.(2)

To start my research, I went to the good ol’ world wide web. According to the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, “Arnica is used topically for a wide range of conditions, including bruises, sprains, muscle aches, wound healing, superficial phlebitis, joint pain, inflammation from insect bites, and swelling from broken bones. More recent studies suggest it may also be helpful in the treatment of burns. Homeopathic preparations are also used to treat sore muscles, bruises, and other conditions caused by overexertion or injury. Homeopathic doses are extremely diluted. They have no detectable amount of the plant in them and are generally considered safe for internal use when taken according to the directions on the label.”

I then traveled to see Sara Allen (1) at Natural Health Choices, a homeopathic healing center located in Buffalo, NY. NHC provides Naturopathic medical care which is one of the oldest systems of primary health care in the United States, combining centuries old natural and non-toxic therapies with current scientific advances in medicine. Sara Allen received her Master of Social Work (MSW) degree from the University of Buffalo School of Social Work in 2006 and obtained her LMSW license in NY in 2007. She has been practicing counseling since 2004 in various settings including hospitals, college campuses, mental health agencies and private practice. She has taught as an adjunct professor at NCCC, served on the Niagara County Trauma Task Force, and is a member of the NCCC Human Services Advisory Committee.

When I asked Sara about Arnica Montana, she replied “This remedy relieves pain, bruising and swelling associated with trauma, surgery or overexertion. The reason arnica works is because, like many plants, it has antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties, says Anderson. When arnica cream or arnica gel is applied, it stimulates circulation, helping the body’s own healing system react—which encourages some speedy relief. It assists the body in reducing swelling and relieving pain.”

Sold. After explaining to me how to properly take the Arnica Montana, which involved dissolving tablets under my tongue for fastest absorption, I purchased a vial, shot down three of those bad boys, and my trials began! My first round of scratches and bruises were obtained on June 15, 2022 and I had significant scratches to my belly and thighs. After two doses of the Arnica Montana, both on June 16, 2022, I woke up on June 17, 2022 with almost NO SCRATCHES on my stomach and thighs.

Second testing period for Arnica Montana and scratches obtained from a canine hydrotherapy were on June 30, 2022. Three doses of Arnica Montana were consumed, one on June 30, 2022 and two on July 1, 2022. On July 2, 2022, all scratches obtained from the June 30th hydrotherapy session were undetectable.

In conclusion, personal feelings towards Arnica Montana and its effects on scratches obtained from canine hydrotherapy are similar to any medical remedies available, every substance/treatment affects every single individual differently and it all depends on your genetic molecular makeup. Luckily for me (and hopefully for you), Arnica Montana significantly helps heal scratches obtained from canine hydrotherapy sessions.

Allen, Sara – Natural Health Choices – 3734 Delaware Ave, Kenmore, NY 14217 – (6/16/22)
Tournier A, Klein SD, Würtenberger S, et al. Physicochemical investigations of homeopathic preparations: a systematic review and bibliometric analysis–part 2. Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. 2019;25(9):890-901.
Cotroneo R, Gray A, Schor H, eds. Homeopathy. In: Clugston RM, Goldblatt E, Rosenthal B, et al., eds. Clinicians’ & Educators’ Desk Reference on the Integrative Health & Medicine Professions. 3rd ed. Mercer Island, WA: Academic Collaborative for Integrative Health; 2017.
Rao ML, Roy R, Bell IR, Hoover R. The defining role of structure (including epitaxy) in the plausibility of homeopathy. Homeopathy. 2007;96(3):175-82.
Adkison JD. The effect of topical arnica on muscle pain. Ann Pharmacother. 2010;44(10):1579-84.