Acupressure is one of the most ancient healing arts. Like acupuncture, which uses the same pressure points, it is based in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). The primary difference is that acupuncture uses needles to activate the points. There is evidence that shows veterinary acupressure has been used since 2000-3000 BC. In ancient times, eastern cultures would use this art not only on themselves, but also on their animals.
Acupressure increases circulation, releases muscle tension, and improves the flow of energy or qi. This form of therapy which brings energy and blood to an area can be used to alleviate the pain and inflammation associated with arthritis and injuries, it can reduce anxiety, motion sickness, and nausea, and can even help with behavior disorders.
The Bladder Meridian is a great place to get started if you want to provide overall wellness for your dog. It begins at the inner corner of each eye, over the head and then breaks into two lines along both sides of the spine and runs down the back to the tail and down the back of the hind legs. There are many association points along this meridian that provide qi to all of the body’s organs.
To stimulate the Bladder Meridian, get your dog into a relaxed position on the floor alongside you. Start at the base of the neck, using your palm if you have a large dog, and fingers if you have a small dog. Press gently but and with healing intention as you follow the line down to the tail. Do not massage across the spine itself, which can be painful, but to each side of it. One side at a time. Skim over any raised or inflamed areas very lightly. Press gently into any depressions or hollows you feel for a few seconds. If your dog is not interested in the massage, don’t push him and save it for another day when he is more receptive.
Another easy way to activate pressure points is with FitPAWS Paw Pods. There are acupoints located along the side of the base of the nail bed on the various digits. Paw Pods gently press against these areas when your dog is standing on them. It’s a great way to incorporate a little acupressure wellness with training and balance improvement exercise.
If your dog has a serious imbalance of any kind and you want to try alternative therapies, find a holistic veterinarian or certified therapist who is trained to identify the correct points to bring your dog into balance and restored health.