It literally unblocks the body, emotionally and physically, by allowing the energy to flow.It opens up the body to allow the blood and oxygen to move to all the cells. It gets the whole body talking.
If you have ever had the wonderful experience of having someone work on your body who has learnt their craft in the East – you can feel the WHOLE body, mind, spirit connection is being attended to. I am not talking about the clinical Registered Massage Therapy which is in our Western culture, which is a process of automation from my experience. I am constantly looking for someone to be aware of my ENTIRE being.
And the same goes for our animals. They are looking for this too. We all must be respected and the healer must be engaged with the WHOLE being when it comes to working on any being’s body.
Brushing the body down consciously too is another form of getting the blood moving through the body and unblocking flow.
The process MUST be I believe for our small furry family:
- SET THE TONE AND SPACE.
The space needs to be quiet. Your animal must feel comfortable and safe from interruptions. Play some soft music. Do not do this after they have just eaten or if they are expecting to be fed as they will not relax and focus. Also, a pee break before your start is a good idea.
- ASK PERMISSION.
If they have never had a massage, please explain to your animal about the process, what it will feel like, that you will listen to them, follow their lead and to let you know if something is not okay. Let them know they can leave at any time also.
- BE PRESENT.
So, we can be aware of what the body is saying. A lot of the times, the place you think is sore is not the sorest place of all. So, presence, and attention is very important so you may collect information and take subtle cues from the body.
- BE ELECTRONIC FREE.
This is linked to presence, but also no signals near their bodies when gently massaging. No phones, routers, computers – no radiation whatsoever.
A lot of people associate massage with DEEP TISSUE, but sometimes this is really sore and does not help the body relax, it actually in some cases makes it worse I think. We must be gentle, so the being feels they can relax and this will result in release and repair.
- HEAD to TAIL.
Shoulders to Front Feet, Hips to Back Feet. Start from the HEAD, all around the jaw, the ears, etc. Many animals have headaches, so it is important to work on the head and get the energy released and follow it down the spine out the tail. This is all the nervous system. Pay attention to HEAT.If you find pockets of heat, stay here and gently release the heat.
You also want to bring the flow from the head down around the shoulders and down through the front feet. The shoulders hold a lot of stress usually, so spend time here. The whole concept is to get the energy down through the body, through the feet to the Earth. Give the energy back to the planet. You may have to do this a few times. Then do the same with the hips down the back legs. Watch for sore spots, and take mental notes. The skin should feel loose and the body relaxed, you will a difference from when you started and your animal will guide you. They are very clear.
Pay attention to changes in fur colour or consistency. This usually means lack of energy, movement, and blood flow. See what your animal tells you when you work in these places and take notes. Some animals literally cannot reach certain areas of their bodies, so sometimes this means blocked energy and the coat changes identify this. They need the muscles, cells to receive the oxygen and have this space opened up.
See the energy in your animal moving through the body, assign a colour that feels good to you, pink and green are the heart chakra colours in case you are wondering, feel the love flowing. This is very important. This will translate to your animal and give them the relaxation space they need to let go.
Sometimes, we will pick up on what they may be feeling. Do not dismiss this, watch yourself carefully. You are connected to them and most likely have experienced a lot together. Whatever worries you, will be impacting them. So, if you feel this come up – give gratitude to your animal, ask them not to hold on to this, but to let it go, and replace the space with LOVE. This is extremely important. No negative energy should stay stuck in the cells. Release, release, release.
Always keep a journal on your pet. Make good notes so you can see patterns if they present themselves. And never dismiss your feelings, always seek another opinion if you feel something is off.
Sure, you can hire someone to do this. But your animal would MOST prefer you. As long as you are happy and in good spirits, of course. Please take the time to relax, connect, and send love to your animal. Giving healing is a two-way street, it is fabulous for both parties. Just a whole lotta BLISS!
The Healing Touch for Dogs by Dr. Michael W. Fox
The Complete Dog Massage Manual by Julia Robertson
The Healing Touch for Cats by Dr. Michael W. Fox
And for our larger family members, where the horse is engaged with as a being and respected:
The Horse Lover’s Guide to Massage: What Your Horse Wants You to Know by Megan Ayrault
Beyond Horse Massage: A Breakthrough Interactive Method for Alleviating Soreness, Strain, and Tension by Jim Masterson and Stefanie Reinhold