During acupressure, you will use your hands to be aware of any changes happening in the body. These could either be an existing blockage or the free flow of Qi after removing a blockage by acupressure treatment. Learning to sense what the body is communicating takes practice. You can educate your hands by focusing on the various sensations experienced during these sessions and by learning what the sensations indicate.
Two-point work techniques include:
- The Thumb Technique: During this technique, you’ll use the soft and fleshy part of your thumb at a 45 – 90° angle to the dog’s body. It’s best to use the thumb technique on the trunk of the body or the limbs of large dogs.
- The Two-Finger Technique: To perform this technique, place your middle finger over your nail on your pointer finger, making a small tent between the two fingers. Then apply the soft portion of the pointer finger at a 45-90° angle from the dog’s body.
The meridians and acupoints that will be treated are just under the skin so you only need to apply gentle pressure. Extreme pressure could cause additional pain. If your dog ever shows signs of discomfort at any point, stop to apply pressure and move on to a different area.
If you are unable to feel changes in your dog’s body at first, that’s ok! It takes time to learn how to feel the sensation of moving chi and removing blockages through the hands. Simply apply gentle pressure for 1 – 30 seconds, focusing on the sensations created and closely watching your dog for any communication.
Signs that you’ve helped your dog release any blockages include release signals, such as yawning, rolling over, stretching, sighing, groaning, and passing air. Some dogs will even fall asleep during their sessions! Once your dog has shared a release signal, you’re safe to move on to another acupoint.
To work with your dog will not only help them to feel better but it can also help to build a strong bond between you. You’ll likely experience that your dog comes up to remind you that it’s time for their next acupressure session!