Tiny “fix,” big adjustment
Tiny fixes for quick relief
Tiny fixes provide quick relief and make a huge difference in my quality of life. When I’m thirsty, it’s all I can think about. A tiny sip of water, and my mouth and throat are no longer parched. When my thirst is quenched, I can turn my attention to other, more productive topics. I have an itch, and one little scratch will usually be enough to assuage it. Staring at the computer monitor, my eyes fatigue. One sweep of fingers across my eyelids provides relief. Little intentional adjustments.
I could go on. So I will. Just a few other quick fixes are removing a pebble from my sandal, removing a thorn from my paw (I’m a Leo), wiping a bead of sweat from my brow that’s slowly dripping into my eye, flossing my teeth to remove an entrenched popcorn shard. Each of these is so distracting that my ability to focus, my quality of life, is severely hampered. It only takes a teeny tiny irritation. A little adjustment and voilà, my life can continue in its normal state of happy contented distraction.
Feeling the burn
Let’s say that while you are giving a PetMassageTM you place your hand on your dog’s body and feel an area of warmth. As your hand lingers on it, the heat in the tissues builds. Your palm gets hotter and hotter. What is going on?
Heat often represents an area where the blood is super-circulating through the tissues. There is more of it and/or it is closer to the surface. Heat could suggest a recent injury, internal or superficial bruising, muscle tears, ligamental sprains, joint strain, allergies, an infection, skin rash, or that the dog has been lying up against a heater or snoozing in a hot shaft of sunlight streaming through the living room window.
The warm area you sense is restricting the dog’s full quality of life potential. It needs a little adjustment. A little love. As bodyworkers, we are trained to feel and respond. So, what do you do? What informs your response?
You have so many choices. You can simply observe that the area is warm and that your palm feels heat. This is an absolutely valid recourse. Your acknowledgement validates the discomfort and may be enough to redirect the dog’s body to correct the imbalance.
Slow burn, fast burn, dorsi-burn, sideburn
You could absorb it, tracking it as it flows up into your arm, chest, and torso. And then, guiding it with your powers of visualization and breath, channel it down and out into the ground, where it discharges into the great Gaia energy.
You could deflect it back into the tissues, encouraging the natural healing that takes place when the body bathes itself in its own warm (body water) juices.
You could angle your palm and redirect it off to the side, projecting it out to dissipate into the ether (space). Sunlight reflecting off a mirror.
Intention and imagination
All movement of heat is directed with, and the result of, your intention. Your intention is created, choreographed, and directed with your imagination. Sometimes imagination in bodywork is made light of. Suggesting that we are imagining things, does not diminish their authenticity and value. Imagination and intention are reciprocal. Imagination and intention are essential. Movement of energy will not – cannot – happen until you create a vehicle for it and a path for the vehicle. You determine the speed, depth, and density of the heat as it moves up, down, within or away. Any direction is possible. When you are honestly and sincerely sensing and responding, and you imagine that there is a flow of movement, the movement is real. And, the movement you perceive is remarkable. And it is powerful.
Through the shared experiencing of the dog’s heat you are super-connected. The dog presents his body behavior as his call; he provides inspiration for your response. Now, the fate of the heat is in you hands, literally, figuratively, reflectively and intentionally.
You can intensify it. You can diminish it. You can embrace it and honor it as the normal part of natural healing. You can disperse it across a larger area. Or you can neutralize it by send cooling messages to your palm.
The heat you’ve been playing could be lots of things. It could be the body expressing that it is in the process of healing an injury. (Yea for me!) Or that it has a persistent chronic behavior it wants you to know about that is just part of this dog’s daily life. (Sad little me!) Or, we’ve been lying in the sun. (Pineapple drink with an umbrella, please!) You’ve identified that there is a distraction as represented by heat. Whatever its cause, your goals are twofold: help the dog to feel more balanced and comfortable now, and assist him toward a lifetime of continuing improvement.
A little bit of heat can go a long, long, way. And the way you imaginatively interact with it is the difference between a dog who is happy and content and a dog experiencing the little irritations that make life so physically, emotionally, and behaviorally distracting.
Learn more about how to deal with your dog’s life’s distractions in the Advanced PetMassageTM for Dogs Workshop. http://petmassage.com/?product=5-day-advanced-workshop-full-enrollment Advanced grads: Would you like to take the Advanced course a second or third time as a Refresher? http://petmassage.com/?product=foundation-workshop-refresher
The new PetMassageTM calendar for 2017 is now online. Plan now for next year. http://petmassage.com/workshop-schedule/