There are things we know to be true in our own daily lives. We have witnessed what a hug can do to calm and assure another person. The simple act of touching someone gently offers the unspoken message of being present with concern and care, as we are ‘in the moment’ with them at their time of need. So with that in mind, when I read about a class called “Canine 10 Point Wellness Class” being offered in my town at The Yellow House, I had to learn more about it for LEO and myself.
First let me introduce LEO to you...he is my friend, my companion, my courageous brave-heart, my protector, my gentle giant, and my joy. He came to our family as a rescue in 2009 his eyes sightless with cataracts and glaucoma, about 30 pounds underweight, scared of the unknown and yet trusting to the touch. After a year of treatment, under an ophthalmologist’s care in 2010 we had to have LEO’s eyes removed for his continued health and comfort. Not missing a beat, LEO takes walks off leash, runs toward any unusual noise in the woods barking his warning, jumps logs as he comes to them, can be at your side as soon as a food wrapper is crinkled, surfs the dining room table with ease, and is your shadow throughout the day. With patience and kindness he showed us how much he appreciated being rescued into his forever home ...and somehow...he has rescued us.
So when this class was offered I thought what a wonderful opportunity to learn how to connect even more closely with LEO...using only my own hands through the power of touch…and off we went. Not only did we go to the 10 Point Wellness Class but we enjoyed it so much that we went a few weeks later to the class specifically mindful of (whisper please) ‘Senior Dogs’. (There is also a class scheduled for ‘Athletic Dogs’ but LEO isn’t really into high performance and tries to keep his energy levels grounded.)
Our instructor, Jamie Yates-Yee, began by explaining acupressure as a form of Chinese energy work which has its origins over 5000 years ago. Many of us have had acupuncture with needles to help alleviate some pain or to stimulate energy flow to correct imbalances within ourselves. However, acupressure is a non-invasive, holistic approach using the same acu-points and meridians. Through the use of your own thumb or fingertip pressure on certain points along the meridians of your dog’s body you can bring wellness to an area of illness or pain. As Jamie describes, “the main objective is to bring the body’s energy back into balance.”
With hands on learning, while in a small, intimate setting with about 6 other dogs present, Jamie went through the meridian chart explaining as she went the key acupressure points as they relate to particular systems within your dog’s body. She showed us how to apply the pressure to help increase energy at a deficient point in order to release blocked energy that may be causing illness or stress thus returning the body’s energy into balance. There were breakthroughs while we were in the class, for example, Rosie, a little beagle friend of LEO’s, who rarely sits...always standing and or moving. Well...with hands on touch...not only did Rosie sit ...she relaxed and laid down. As far as LEO was concerned, he enjoyed the Bai Hui part of the lesson which benefits and strengthens the hindquarters of any lameness, paralysis or rheumatism as well as help with hip dysplasia and arthritis of the hip joint...all the while...he thought I was just rubbing his hindquarters for the sheer smile on his face!
Acupressure can help:
· Strengthen the immune system
· Relieve muscle spasms & joint stiffness
· Increase blood supply & remove toxins
· Aid in the recovery from an injury
· Strengthen muscles, joints & bones
· Increase energy & relieve pain
· Reduce fear, anxiety & stress
· Treat acute & chronic health problems
· Comfort Senior dogs
Jamie’s goal in the class was to help our dogs return to a well-balanced, harmonious life and to teach us how to maintain the harmony and balance. I want to encourage anyone who has the opportunity to take a class or learn more about this ability we each have within us to connect more closely with our dogs. As the old saying goes..."Give and you shall receive”...well, through this class I have learned your Tatra will respond to your efforts …so… ”Touch and be Touched.”
I want to thank the kindness of Jamie Yates-Yee, CAA for allowing me to write of our experience in her classes. Her website is httpwww.heavenandearthenergy.com
Many thanks also to the generous staff at The Yellow House, a community center for learning in the town of Palmer, MA. They have provided the photographs taken during the classes, and the impetus to write the article.