Scratching is the raking of the skin, coat or area on or above the body with fingernails. Scratching stimulates awareness on, in and beneath the coat and skin as it affects cardiovascular, neurologic and lymphatic circulation. Dogs can tolerate vigorous movements. Visualize a dog powerfully scratching his chin or ear.
I remind myself to breathe and smile.
I love being a great example for others to follow.
I compliment others and energetically I compliment myself.
I am willing to stay in the now (present time).
I am empowered, happy and successful.
Congratulations. You have chosen to help your dog to a better quality of life with PetMassage™. As with all affective therapies, massage initiates the “process” of self-restoration and healing. The symptoms that dogs present to us may not be the behaviors that need the most attention. For example, a limp and foreleg turn-in may be the result of a torqued shoulder which is compensating for a subluxated vertebra held out of alignment by tight muscles caused by a sore hip flexor which is the result of a swollen rear hock on the opposite rear leg. The swelling could be an allergic reaction to something in the dog’s environment or the root of this reaction could be an emotional upset. We only “see” the problem in the foreleg.
With PetMassage™ you are influencing the systems that, when working optimally together, develop optimal health and quality longevity. Ninety percent of the time, your dog’s response to massage will be a feeling of relaxation, calmness, balance and overall well being. He/she will be better in body, mind and spirit.
After the massage, allergy-like symptoms may surface for healing even though the dog received a massage to help a limp! PetMassage™ helps your dog unpeel to his deepest layers to resolve the real issues wherever they might be.
PetMassage™ is much more than “rubbing” your dog. It assists your dog to a greater level of homeostasis (inner body awareness). Each session is an opportunity to resolve more and deeper causes for chronic, current, and potential physical issues.
The symptoms that you see in your dog as behaviors are often secondary to the visible effects of other underlying causes. Another way to say this is the therapeutic effects of massage affect the underlying, often deeply rooted causes that express, or show themselves as behavior called symptoms.
These unexpected responses are sometimes called a healing crisis. They surface to be acknowledged and released so that your dog can continue his life journey lightened from his dysfunctional baggage.
Each dog is an individual and will have different responses to massage depending on his/her biography. PetMassage™, by its nature, affects the entire body in unexpected and unpredictable ways. Its function is to assist your dog on his/her path however and wherever it leads. PetMassage™ affects your dog on many levels.
The effects after a massage may include:
- Next day stiffness and soreness, lactic acid released into the musculature has yet to be reabsorbed, filtered and excreted by the body.
- Thirst. Your dog’s digestive track and metabolism have been stimulated. Lactic acid hormone released into the blood stream. Keep fresh water available for his/her hydration.
- Limping. It is highly unlikely that your dog will have been injured during a gentle PetMassage™. Muscle memory has been stimulated. Your dog may temporarily re-experience old unreleased behaviors and memories held in the fascia around “healed” injuries and traumas.
- Drowsiness and lethargy due to release of melatonin and other hormones into the bloodstream.
- Hyperactivity. Your dog may feel so good that he overexerts to possibly injuring himself. Restrict activity as necessary to prevent self injury from over activity due to release of endorphins and Cortisol into blood.
- Inattentiveness. Your dog’s body has been in a process called re-education, or reprogramming. He may be confused with the new programming. It may take 24 to 48 hours for the new information to fully integrate.
- Diarrhea or Constipation. Your dog’s digestive track, including the intestines, has been stimulated and may need time to rebalance.
- Urination. Your dog may require additional bladder emptying sessions.
- Seizures. Your dog’s neural tube and dura matter have been stimulated. Unresolved patterns of earlier or suppressed health issues may surface due to rebalancing levels of dopamine in the body.
- Allergy, Colds. The sinuses and lungs have been stimulated opening bronchial passages in the body that were not performing optionally and releasing mucous toxins retained in the lymphatic tissues. Your dog may exhibit these symptoms for 24 to 48 hours after the massage.
- Fever. Your dog’s autoimmune system is stimulated.
If your dog’s condition worsens. does not appear better or back to normal in 48 hours, or if you have questions or concerns, contact your PetMassage™ practitioner to reschedule for a restabilization massage session.
“Occasionally, in cases of extreme toxicity, the body initiates its own dramatic confrontation with disease. Then even alternative remedies may be superfluous. The confrontation, when it does occur, may even seem life-threatening, but tends to produce a recovery so radical as to seem a miracle of nature. To those holistic veterinarians who recognize it as a valid process—and not all do—the phenomenon I refer to is known as the healing crisis.
“Of all the dramas of natural healing I’ve witnessed, the healing crises are most spectacular, and the most awe-inspiring. I’ve seen animals develop horrible rashes overnight, become paralyzed, or grow feverish enough perhaps to die, only to stage their own recoveries at the same breathtaking speed with which the crises began.
“To any one unaccustomed to it, a healing crisis appears to be the final stage of a terminal disease. It’s not. Generally, a pet in ill health—but not in a healing crisis—will exhibit a steady decline of energy, a continuing lack of appetite, emaciation, and persistent or gradually worsening symptoms. A healing crisis, ironically, usually follows a period of seemingly renewed health. A pet’s symptoms have eased, his energy has rebounded, and his owner has concluded that all will be well. Suddenly the disease seems to reappear. Various signs of increased elimination may occur: mucousy diarrhea and darker, more concentrated urine, mucus from the nose, excessive salivation, and all manner of inflammations and flakiness of the skin. The pet’s fever spikes up, perhaps as high as 106 degrees. Yet the pet, though likely in pain, seems oddly engaged by the process, as if he knows something his caretakers do not.
“At that point, the animal can lose his appetite and curl up in a corner, off by himself. This is no more than an extreme case of what animals in the wild do when they isolate themselves to gather strength and get well.”
Ref: Healing Crisis, The Nature of Animal Healing, Goldstein, Martin, DVM, pp. 163-164, Ballantine Publishing Group, 1999
Choosing the right music to play during a PetMassage session can be confusing. What would your dog want to hear? What music would be most relaxing and “therapeutic” for the PetMassage experience? Would the dog benefit more from the Pachelbel “Canon” or “Kind of Blue” by Miles Davis? How about smooth jazz, or classical music, or country, or R and B, or rap? Maybe working in silence is the way to go.
What we have determined, is that dogs entrain with our moods, emotions and quality of presence. So, when choosing music, select sounds that calm you. (In ambience and music selection, it’s all about you.) And, the dog will follow.
Do not select music that you know very well. Your mind will be following it and anticipating the upcoming passages. When you are connected to the music, you disconnect from the dog. Stay connected, my friend.
We have found that animals tastes in music are not very discriminating. In fact, in an experiment with horses, comparing and contrasting their responses to various radio stations, we concluded that the most calming sound for them was a slightly staticky male voice from Christian radio broadcast.
We know that dogs are easily distracted by nature sounds i.e., thunder, waves, birds, crickets, and frogs. Oh, and of course there are the lions, tigers and bears, _ __! So we do not play anything that have these sounds on them. Percussive sounds of drums, rattles, and bells are also distracting.
We invite you to visit us at www.petmassage.com While there, download the FREE PetMassage music that was commissioned to celebrate PetMassage for Dogs Day. The link is on the left side of the screen under the poster of the dog on the massage table ($15).
We are continually updating our course listings and products such as the new “Unleash your inner puppy” T-shirt($15). Would you like a fresh hard copy of our Petalogue? Just email us and we’ll send one to you.
We all have a tendency to hold our breath whenever we are confused, shocked, traumatized, or are under water. Holding your breath effectively stops air movement. Trapped air can’t get out. Fresh air can’t get in. As CO2 levels rise, pressure increases. Body stress is triggered. The nervous system signals the body that something is amiss; and, that there must be an urgent need to move into flight or flee. The body spontaneously goes into self-preservation mode.
A gasp … rapid inhalation and holding it in, traps and locks the memory of the event into the fabric of your body. It remains there as a warning to you that surfaces whenever a similar event is happening or imminent . Think of the first time you scalded your hand over a steam kettle. Ouch! You gasped and held your breath. That one experience should have been enough to remind you to be cautious reaching over boiling water .
If you are experiencing trauma, such as tripping on an uneven sidewalk, or tumbling, flailing headlong into a bottomless abyss, or confronted by an anxious dog, keep breathing. I promise, you’ll be alright.
We welcome the opportunity to share the PetMassage™ approach to canine massage with you and to teach the gentle skills you will need to propel you toward your dynamic future.
The most exciting people in the world are drawn to PetMassage™ workshops. This is training for people who would like to work either in veterinary offices as therapists and/or create productive, loving and prosperous businesses helping dogs and their guardians. The PetMassage™ program is accredited to provide RVTs CE, Continuing Education through RAIVE (Registry for Alternative and Integrative Veterinary Education).
PetMassage™ teaches students to support the self-revelatory, self healing, intuitive abilities of dogs through the use of knowledgeable, compassionate touch, fascia releases, and utilizing open body-language communication. The Foundation workshop includes Home Study modules in anatomy and physiology, Creating and Marketing Your Animal Massage Business, Confident Dog Handling and a case study. Our intention in this one comprehensive workshop is for you to learn the basic working knowledge of canine massage, understand the canine body systems from a Western medical model, and help you develop your professional career. The PetMassage™ WaterWork™ workshop prepares you to offer a most unique service to competition dogs, older dogs, overweight dogs, and dogs that are undergoing veterinary rehabilitation.
Our workshops attract students who are inclined to share our philosophies of touch, connection, service, and commitment. We are not entrenched in the physical therapy – medical massage mind-set. Our approach is holistic and spiritual. Still, our practice supports and integrates easily with the work of veterinarians and other animal health and wellness practitioners. We incorporate many concepts and practices of TCM and Tai Chi in our massage theory and practice. In our on-site workshops, students learn specific PetMassage™ theory and techniques hands-on, every day, with live dogs in the classroom and during a field trip to our local ASPCA.
The animal massage and bodywork business you create will be the reflection of your personal vision; your experiences, intuitive development, your charisma, your drive and persistence. It will be your journey. It will be totally and exclusively a reflection of you, your dream, and your commitment to market yourself and your service.
Our students transitioned themselves from occupations that include practically every vocation imaginable. Our students have put in their time and learned their life lessons. They are ready to revive and finally act on their lifelong passions to care for dogs. Over 90 percent of our students are women, most of whom are now ready to create new rewarding careers working with canines. Their life lessons have provided them with the experience and perspective to finally know what makes them happy. Expanding their natural talents and skills with PetMassage™ training enhances their lives, their dogs lives and the life conditions of everyone who seeks out their services.
This testimonial arrived after this student completed her first workshop with us:
“I wanted to thank you all for inspiring me to do what I feel I was put here on Earth to do! My life is now clear and I am focused on a goal I know in my heart I will achieve. Thank you for helping me find myself! You’ve truly touched my life!” –Heather H.
This is an exciting time for you as you think about the next part of your life’s journey. We encourage you to assess all of the schools that offer instruction in dry canine massage and WaterWork™. When you do, we are confident that you will discover that PetMassage™ – which focuses exclusively on canine massage training – offers an exceptional educational experience; one that will prepare you for your new rewarding career.
We applaud the students who attend our workshops. You are the dreamers and the risk takers. You see the demand. You see the opportunity. You see the need to help dogs and their owners. You see the awesome potential of PetMassage™.
You know you can make a difference. Through massage and touch, with one dog and one dog owner at a time, you can, and will, change the world.