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My first foray into 'body work' with animals was massage and acupressure and TTouch. All bodywork modalities are beneficial for health and healing. Blood flow and lymphatic drainage are improved, digestion, even stimulating the immune system and calming the nervous system (stimulating the parasympathetic system) are aided by massage, TTouch techniques and acupressure. And touching animals helps us, it calms our nervous system and when we are less stressed our bodies can heal a little bit too. In fact, did you know that animals and humans both increase secretion of oxytocin when we are petting and being petted! Oxytocin in the medical situation is used to assist delivery of babies and induce milk let down. Oxytocin also is called the love hormone and it helps bond mother and baby, and partner to partner, and pet to owner! Cool huh! This is why some animals are love sponges-they just want to be pet all day long.
I took courses with two local animal professionals in our area: Jody Chiquone and Leea Foran for massage and TTouch.
Jody owns the only local pet rehab facility here is the Berkshires. We commonly refer clients to Fitter Critters in Lee, Ma. for physical rehab:http://www.fittercritters.org/
We sell Jody Chiquone's book on Canine Massage here: The Dog Lovers Guide to Canine Massage By; Chiquone and Jackson
Leea Foran runs Foranimals, one of our favorite animals trainers in the Berkshires.
My acupressure course was taught by the Tallgrass Institute. This course is based in TCM principals. This course greatly influenced my interest and pursuit of acupuncture certification.
Here is a link to their school: http://www.animalacupressure.com/