A dog’s well being is reflected in his coat. By supporting his health with this simple acupressure session, you can help ensure he feels – and looks — his best.
Sam, a sweet young golden mix, is bright and shiny. Everything about him emanates health. His coat is soft, smooth and lustrous. His eyes have a happy gleam. He greets everyone with joy and vitality. When he plays with other dogs, he is a delight to watch.
It is obvious Sam is well-loved and given plenty of opportunity to be a “real dog”. Being a real dog means he gets lots of exercise and a healthy diet, and social interaction with humans and other dogs.
From a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) perspective, Sam’s heart is circulating nutrient-rich blood. His liver is actively replenishing his blood and making sure every part of his body is getting what it needs for him to be healthy. The liver oversees blood getting to places at the right time by feeding the bones, joints, soft tissues and brain. All Sam’s organs need to be functioning for his digestive, vascular and pulmonary systems to perform in concert.
A dog’s coat is a good indicator of whether or not he is doing well inside and out. His energy level and sense of contentment are other indicators. In TCM, supporting and maintaining a healthy balance and circulation of blood and chi (life-promoting energy pronounced “chee”, also seen as qi or ki) is essential to good health and longevity.
Making sure your dog has a healthy coat is therefore really about supporting all his physical and emotional requirements. Acupressure, which everyone can offer their dogs, helps with this all-round care. This hands-on healing modality provides multiple benefits by creating a harmonious flow of chi and blood throughout your dog’s body. Maintaining an energetic balance and nourishing the tissues supports the functioning of the internal organs, and that results in a dog that looks and acts healthy.
Acupressure session for a healthy coat
The acupressure session included here is specifically designed to support the health of your dog’s internal organ systems, which in turn is reflected in his coat. Do it every three to six days, and you will be providing him with a
health maintenance program to keep him feeling and looking his best.
Specific acupressure points on the dog’s body move and balance chi and blood. By gently placing the soft tip of your thumb on the points identified in the chart, and counting very slowly to 30 before moving on to the next point, you will be stimulating the circulation of chi and blood in your dog. The acupressure points are bilateral, which means you need to work with them on both sides of your dog’s body.
1. Kidney 3 (Ki 3)
Great Stream is a powerful acupressure point known to optimize overall body essence and functioning of the internal organs. This point also helps nourish the dog’s brain and bones. Ki 3 is located on the inside of the hind leg at the top of the hock, in the thin skin between the femur and calcaneal tendon.
2. Lung 9 (Lu 9)
Great Abyss is a point used to benefit lung function, which is necessary for the dog’s immune system. Additionally, this point brings nutrients and moisture to the surface of the body, hence nourishing the coat. Lu 9 is found by lifting the dog’s paw and tucking the tip of your thumb on the inside (medial) of the carpus joint or wrist.
3. Bladder 17 Diaphragm’s Hollow
strongly influences the nourishing quality and circulation of blood. Rich blood helps build strong muscles and feeds internal organs. Blood flow is absolutely essential for a healthy dog. This point is located in the seventh thoracic intercostal space; that is, on an average-sized dog, about two finger widths off the spine, approximately two-thirds the distance between the back edge of the dog’s shoulder blade (scapula) and the flat spot in the middle of his back.
4. Bai Hui, Heaven’s Gate or Point of 100 Meetings
This is a favorite point with most dogs for humans to scratch. This classic canine point enhances your dog’s spirit and gives him a sense of well being while also increasing the flow of chi through his spine and hindquarters. This is an acupressure point your dog will appreciate you working with any time you want to scratch it, even if you are not intentionally offering an acupressure session. The Bui Hui point is located at the lombosacrel space, which is right on the spine between the hip sockets where there are no spinous processes jutting up. It feels like a soft spot in the middle of the sacrum.
While you’re doing this session, focus your attention and intention on providing your dog with the best of health. Dogs love touch and acupressure helps you give him what he needs to be a “real dog” with a healthy body and coat and a happy disposition.
Amy Snow is one of the authors of ACU-DOG: A Guide to Canine Acupressure, ACU-CAT: A Guide to Feline Acupressure, and ACU-HORSE: A Guide to Equine Acupressure. They founded Tallgrass Animal Acupressure Resources, which offers books, manuals, online training courses, DVDs, apps, meridian charts, consulting, and many more acupressure learning tools and opportunities. Email: tallgrass@animalacupressure