Drake is an amazing agility dog. He darts onto the course taking the triple bar in stride, running smoothly and efficiently. His timing, movements, and keen attention are impressive. Not a moment’s hesitation dashing up and down the A-frame, over a double-oxer, through the chute, onto the pause table, then off again at top speed to the broad jump, and weaving around the poles – the consummate dog athlete!
While flying over the course, Drake is so excited, his natural pain-reducers called endorphins, flow through his veins. He barely feels anything except utter joy. During his off-course time, however, his shoulders and hips are obviously sore. He gets up from a nap and seems stiff at first, then stretches his limbs cautiously. Fortunately, with the help of acupressure treatments, Drake can still enjoy his favorite sport even at six years of age.
Agility, Frisbee, ball-fetching, strenuous hiking and other games we engage in with our dogs make for good, healthy exercise when not done to excess. Even activities not taken to the extreme, though, can cause irritated and inflamed tendons and stressed and sore muscles. As the dog ages, the likelihood of a dog athlete’s joints becoming arthritic is very high.
Acupressure can help your dog live more comfortably and still perform at his best. Over hundreds of years, this therapeutic treatment has proven to help resolve many of the painful conditions we see in athletic dogs because it can:
– Strengthen muscles, tendons, joints, and bones
– Enhance mental clarity and calm required for focus
– Release natural cortisone to reduce swelling and inflammation
– Increase lubrication of the joints for better movement
– Release endorphins to increase energy and relieve pain
– Resolve injuries more quickly by increasing blood supply
– Balance energy to optimize the body’s ability to perform.
Your dog will have a lot more fun if he feels good when chasing after a ball or simply jogging with you on the beach. For maximum comfort, we recommend two different acupressure treatments. The first, “Before Activity,” serves as a warm-up and gets your dog’s body ready for the additional stress of intense movement. These acupressure points are used to increase blood circulation and release endorphins that can enhance the dog’s athletic ability and help build long-term endurance. Hold these points by placing the ball of your thumb at a 90-degree angle to the dog’s body. Alternatively, you can place your middle finger on top of your index finger and press the point gently with the ball of your index finger. You should apply the Before Activity treatment at least one-hour, and no more than 12 hours, prior to the anticipated activity.
The second treatment is known as “After Activity”. This session will help your dog relax, will move lactic acid out of the muscles (thus reducing potential soreness) and will build long-term muscle, joint, and tendon strength to enhance stamina. Use the same point work techniques suggested for the Before Activity treatment. You can perform the After Activity treatment as soon as your dog has cooled down and you can work calmly with her.
Acupressure serves as an excellent complement to your dog’s healthcare since you can perform treatments yourself, but it is not a substitute for veterinary care. If your dog shows signs of acute pain or distress, we encourage you to take him to your holistic veterinarian for a check-up.
Whether your dog is a professional competitor or not, he will enjoy playing, running, and jumping much more if you help take good care of his body. Acupressure is safe, always available, drug-free, and gives your dog the added benefit of your personal, loving touch.