A-Z of dog wellbeing: Healing

Rolo giving me ‘thank you’ cuddles after his self-medication session post-surgery

When an animal suffers disease, physical or emotional injury, the healing process works to restore the normality we know as health where the body is currently unbalanced, diseased, damaged or lacking in vitality.

Thinking of injury or dis-ease as a body out of balance, rather than broken or faulty is a far more gentle way of thinking, and one that suggests the ability to get back into balance with the right support. ‘Ease’ is a kind, positive word and I use this energy as part of my animal wellness therapies.

Healing involves the repair of living tissue, organs and the biological system as a whole to help the body return to normal functioning or homeostasis. Healing is also the process by which emotions are balanced to the degree that the animal is able to lead a normal or fulfilling life without being overwhelmed.

Emotional trauma such as abuse or an unknown history of a rescue animal, or anxiety based issues can also be supported and eased with a number of different healing modalities. You just need to explore the ones that would best support your pet and their needs at this time…

How do you speed up your pet’s healing journey?

Your first port of call for any physical injury should be your vet.  They will help you ensure that any damage is minimised, re-connected and supported so your animal has the best possible chance of healing fully. They may also be able to help with emotional issues by suggesting a behaviourist, however medication does not always help the situation, rather it serves just to sedate the problem

However, there are things that you can do to help your animal to heal faster from emotional and physical issues, provided your vet consents to this additional support (and most forward-thinking vets do!).

Herbal self-medication

Our animals have the ability bring themselves back in to balance by self-medicating from the healing properties found in leaves, flowers, berries and roots, however we rarely provide them with the opportunity to access the plants they need to achieve this balance themselves.

A herbal self-medication session opens up that wonderful world of herbal remedies to your pet and they are given the time they need to pick the right plants that will help them get back into balance guided by how each plant tastes and smells.  There are a huge range of physical and emotional issues that herbal self-medication can support.

During a session I will help you to spot and observe your pet’s responses and body language. This guides me to look at what your animal selects, in what quantity, form, or application – it could be topical, ingested or inhaled. The choice is theirs, but every option has its own power!

While herbal self-medication can provide great benefits, there are also some contraindications and so you should not attempt this without training, so please speak with a qualified Herbal Self-Medication practitioner like myself first.

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Massage & Myofascial Release

Merishia MCanine massageassage and myofascial release can help a range of physical injuries including sprains, strains, broken bones and muscles tears. It can also help to provide relaxation and emotional support. A variety of massage techniques including stretching, Swedish massage and myofascial release can stretch out tightness and loosen scar tissue.

Massage encourages blood circulatory movement and relaxes muscles, helping to deliver more oxygen and nutrients to soft tissues and organs. This increase of vital nutrients into the tissues accelerates the healing rate of injured areas, although muscles commonly tighten after injury which leads to reduced movement, creating restrictions throughout the body, not just at the site of the injury.

Care must be taken not to cause any further damage to the injury, and so a minimum of seven days is required for the wound to start healing, however vet consent must be given for massage to take place around the injured area.  Please consult a qualified Merishia Massage Practitioner like myself before massaging an injured area.

Red light therapy

photizo zenThroughout the ages, sunlight (as the earliest form of photo-therapy) has been known to have both healing and wellness properties. Light is energy, and energy sustains life.

Red Light Therapy, also now as phototherapy or photobiostimulation harnesses the healing power of red and infrared light at specific wavelengths & frequencies proven to be effective in accelerating natural healing of the body, reducing swelling and inflammation, stimulating the immune system and relieving pain. It is great for helping physical recovery.  Read the science behind phototherapy.

Cells that are injured can actually be rejuvenated by light. Using a red light device appropriately over injuries helps to stimulate the healing process, reduce recovery times and scarring and relieves acute and chronic pain without side effects.  The amount of light used is very important as over-exposure can have the opposite effect, so please consult a Registered Photizo Practitioner like myself before using a red-light, or cold laser device.

Reiki energy healing

Dog-reiki-sessionUsing the hands to touch and heal is a natural process.  Animals are already in tune with this energy and you may notice that when you are feeling poorly your pet will want to sit with you or lie at your feet, give you their paw or rub their noses on you.  If your pet is out of balance themselves, then a cuddle just isn’t enough and this is were Reiki comes in.

Reiki (pronounced ray-key) is a gentle Japanese energy-balancing method that translates to ‘universal life energy’. It is a process that aids natural healing (used in the sense of regaining harmony) and works on physical, emotional, and mental levels. Alongside acupuncture and homeopathy, Reiki is part of the group of energetic healing practices being rediscovered but having been used in ancient cultures for hundreds of years.

As Reiki flows through a sick or unhealthy area (be that body or mind), it breaks up ‘blockages’ and allows the area to function in a balanced healthy way, replacing illness with wellness and supporting the body’s natural ability to heal itself. Animals appear to be much more sensitive to the Reiki energy than humans and feel it strongly and immediately.

I am happy to offer my Reiki Master energies to support your pet with physical and emotional issues.

All the therapies I offer are complementary to veterinary medicine. They can work in conjunction with regular medical treatments and you should firstly see your vet if you have any healthcare concerns, but these additional healing modalities may give your pet the boost they need to kick-start their own self-healing journey.