Focus on Acupressure for Animals

Focus on Acupressure for Animals

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Some alternative therapies are accepted more than others, that’s just a simple fact.  Acupuncture being one these – and with many Vets incorporating this valuable tool in to their arsenal, it has more than proved itself over the years.

Canine and Equine Acupressure are very similar to acupuncture, the main difference being you use your fingers instead of needles, which I am more than happy about as the last thing I want to be doing is dropping a needle in a stable (can you imagine?!) or forgetting to take one out, which happens more often than you might think.

The deceptive ease of application defies the power this therapy packs – acupressure can help your animal in so many ways, it’s beautiful to see the effects this deceptively simple treatment has on your horse – releasing endorphins, releasing muscle spasms, boosting the immune system and creating a better flow of energy for the horse, dog or cat to then better enable the animal to heal itself.

I find it almost hypnotic to give this therapy as the animal goes into the zone, blinking, releasing, processing whatever is needed to let go of and so satisfying seeing how the animals respond, we have general protocols for maintaining health and more targeted protocols where specific points are chosen to best suit the animals current individual needs.  With many acupoints to choose from and various protocols for particular conditions,  you may, with the best will in the world, intend to use this protocol or that acupoint, only for the animal to be quite clear in where they want to be treated on that day, sometimes physically shoving your hand there or gently moving themselves and placing their body such that you are in the best place – and they always know best – so I often work intuitively, but then when drawn to certain points, (or when the horse/dog asks that you treat him here), you can often see a pattern emerging that makes total sense when you look at the overall picture

Working with acupressure involves the use of Master Points, which affect specific anatomical regions of the animal’s body, Influential Points which have influence on a particular tissue or functional system of the body, Additional Points are more useful points so we can cover most conditions that we are faced with and Alarm Points which directly correspond to each organ.

Some points are contra-indicated in pregnancy, so be sure to mention this prior to treatment, if you think your mare or bitch might be pregnant

I can leave simple protocols for the owners to incorporate in their lives where helpful – whether this be teaching the owner acupoints for doggie car sickness, to reduce anxiety, for skin allergies, to strengthen the immune system or to relieve pain, there are many numerous benefits to acupressure, not forgetting if we leave an animal in a relaxed state, this is always a good thing and very conducive to healing – a stressed animal cannot heal, he or she is in fight or flight mode – geared to survival, where healing is not a priority – we want rest, digest and heal, not fight, flight or freeze – we know and read about the hidden dangers of stress to humans, it’s no different for our animals, except they often have no say in their lifestyle or what makes them stressed, so helping to relieve the tension and put them into a relaxed state, should be their right and our gift to them as much as we can.

It’s also great to have a ‘calm’ button for over excited, playful dogs, it’s so easy to find the turbo charge button, but finding the ‘off’ switch too, can be just what is needed for a harmonious household for the times when you wish you could take the batteries out, for just half an hour of peace! Speaking from experience here!

Many years ago when I got my first Low Level Laser, I was taught to use light on various acupressure points by Professor Gordon Farmer, who himself qualified as an acupuncturist, after studying for six years full time in China, back in the day, it was all I could do to just remember the basic points and use the light on them as I was well aware of the beauty and benefits of light therapy.  Now I understand and have a deeper appreciation for acupressure, having seen for myself the effectiveness and versatility of the points in themselves, I am just so grateful to be able to offer this as one of the combinations of therapies available to the animals I treat


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