Scratch the side of your dog’s neck moving from shoulder to ear. Notice the ruffled pattern of coat where cool air accesses the skin.
Touch your dog’s deltoid muscle and watch the entire body shift its center of balance. It will either move into your hands, toward you, or away, to the other side.
All the muscles in the dog have switchable, interchangeable modes, from flexor to extensor, agonist to antagonist. They alternate from active to passive, flexed to relaxed, on to off. The messages that the muscles respond to are chemical switches that affect entire systems of muscle bundles and the fascia that holds them.
It is fascinating to imagine the workings of fascia and muscles, and how they react to simple strokes like scratching the dog’s neck or compressing his shoulder. It is even more amazing that the dogs get so much benefit from our touch and use it to reestablish balance in their minds and bodies.