Pawspoint Reflexology for Animals

by Yvette Eastman

I love feet. Feet are important. As a Reflexologist, I understand them and because I do, they speak to me. And they probably have spoken to you if you have walked through a mall searching for the perfect gift, if you are a check-out clerk standing in one place for hours on end, if you are a hiker with new shoes, or if you are an inquisitive Reflexologist. They rule you. When your feet ache they announce their pain to your entire system. Our animal friends have 4 of them, and that can multiply their need for attention. So let me tell you a few things that their feet (read paws) tell me.

As the foundation of the body, feet balance the body for which they are made. The horse stands on his middle toe. This by itself is a magical feat (pun intended). And from that middle toe they have carried us, tilled our soil, fought in wars wearing armour, run races and helped physically and mentally challenged folk toward health. Our dogs and cats, domestic and wild, walk on their toes and ball of the foot, still precariously balanced and yet fleet of foot. Our own two-footed balance is just as insecure and we have the entire foot to walk from. All animals, including us, adapt our feet to our weight, our walk, our stance and even to our emotions. Stand up for a moment. Think of a happy time in your life and relive it. Now notice what your feet feel like and what they are doing. Now, relive an angry moment, a sad moment, a frightened moment. Note the differences.

When you are pregnant or if you gain weight, you adapt to this change in order to help maintain our balance. Your feet will lengthen and widen. And depending on your moods, your walk changes and even defines you. An animal's walk will adapt to physical changes in health, in emotions, just as yours does. Every step is a magical body-talk expression of himself. Emotions play a large part in the health of an animal. I watch people and animals as they walk. I assess their needs and work on their feet or tap on specific points to affect their health, state of mind and emotional attitude.

Watch your dog or cat walk; look at eyes, tail, legs and body. It is like reading a book, and another dog can read it from afar. He sees a stranger and his legs stiffen, his tail becomes more erect, a flag, that tells the other animal whether to be wary or to relax. Ah, you say, but my Rottweiler has no tail. Watch his approach. Is his rear twitching slowly from side to side or is it a softer wriggling motion. The first style says: Beware.

An animal reads your moods, your feelings from your body language. It speaks louder than words and can be read from afar.

That is why they act differently when you are sick or sad, and why they know just how much they can get away with when they are doing something wrong. They have even learned to count ... does your dog come the first time you call? They assess you and know that the third time means business. But let me ask you, would you come if someone yelled at you, "Susie, COME.". Next time you call, sound happy to have them come instead of angry and exasperated. Make your voice tone higher, happy, and expectant, but not louder. Only call once, then TURN YOUR BACK AND WALK AWAY. The results will amaze you.

Is your dog stressed or afraid? Here is a gentle correction. Tap gently just below his eyes on one or both sides, telling him, "Even though you are afraid of loud noises, you are wonderful and I love you." Keep tapping there. It is a wonderful fear release point. I have done this to my dog Sasha a few times. Last week there was a horrendous clap of thunder almost directly above us. She quit was she was doing, came over to me, stayed near me but never shook or panted as she always had in the past.

Use the "Even though... you are wonderful, you are OK and I love you" with any fear. It works.

There may be other concerns you have about her behaviour. For instance: Think to yourself or speak out loud to your friend about how much you care about her even when she doesn't listen, how happy you want her to be, how you want her to forget about some of the distress she went through when she was ill, how you forgive her for getting ill and tell her that she has never let you down. Just let her know in clear, specific thoughts how wonderful she is and how much she means to you. As you think these thoughts , or speak them aloud, tap on the outside portion of her "hand" (front paw). Then place your hand across her forehead. Wait till you feel a shift of some type within your self. Take a deep breath, let go, and notice the way your friend moves or acts now.

Now go to the tips of her ears. Hold them with gentle pressure. These are relaxation points. My dog was terrified of firecrackers. Now when she hears them she comes to me and puts her head under my hands for tapping instead of hiding, shaking and whimpering. I tap under her eyes, I tap on her hands as I tell her, "Sasha, even though you are afraid of loud noises, youare OK. You are a wonderful dog and I love you." I repeat this a few times. Ihold her ear tips. Then we hug. I do this several times a day, and not just when she is afraid but other times during the week.

Perhaps you want to do Reflexology on your friend. Please realize that your animal's paws are just her toes, or maybe her toes and the ball of the foot. The area that we call the instep and heel on our feet never touches the ground in dog, cat or horse. So if you try to work on paws alone, you will tickle and irritate more than correct and calm. The hock is equivalent to the heel and in Reflexology terms, the hock represents the buttock, hip and low back area. So now you can work on a larger area, gently compressing and releasing spots. If they seem tender, just hold or stroke them.

Try it now. It is amazing and simple.

About the Author
Click here to visit Yvette Eastman's fascinating website and to learn more about her manual, "Pawspoint Reflexology for Animals."

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