Acupressure for Dogs: The Incredible Health Benefits

Katelyn Son
By Katelyn Son
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Acupuncture and Acupressure are popular since ancient times. Prominently, they originated in China, and as far as the techniques go, acupressure is almost similar to acupuncture except for the use of needles.

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and biological theories point out some specific and special points (i.e., acupressure points) that lie along the meridian channels of the body. These meridians or invisible channels of energy that flow inside a living body contain ch’i, which many therapeutic practitioners consider as vital life-force energy.

The theory of TCM describes these acupoints (same for both acupuncture and acupressure) as a network of communication that connects the brain to organs. Therefore, it is a common belief that if one meridian channel gets blocked, then the entire body or at least a major part of it may be out of balance or might experience occasional illnesses.

What is Acupressure for Dogs?

As the TCM theory suggests, disruption in the flow of vital energy through the body creates imbalance and makes a living body prone to illnesses. Thus, restoring energy and enabling a smooth flow is extremely important.

In simple words, acupressure utilizes optimal efforts in order to maintain the energy balance inside the body. Firstly, in acupuncture, trained and certified professional inserts invasive and fine needles at the acupoints that are usually near the convergence of blood vessels and nerves (i.e., meridians).

The needles play a critical role in diverting and guiding the energy flow within the blood vessels and nerves (ch’i). The needles impact the blood flow and help to improve blood circulation. Thereby, many people report a sensible healing effect and better physical as well as mental health level.

What’s more, the needles impact the blood circulation in such a way that the signals from the nerves and blood vessels experience a better release of anti-inflammatory substances.

For that reason, therapeutic acupuncture is serving as an optimal non-medicinal yet invasive healing and pain-relieving method of treatment. However, in acupressure, there is no need to insert fine needles inside the meridians. In fact, the force of the trained practitioner’s body is the main tool.

Moreover, the practitioner will use his fingers, hands, elbows, knees, and, rarely, some devices that create a vibrating effect to stimulate blood circulation and enable healthy muscle relaxation. This all applies to dogs and other animals but might not be suitable for each and every one.

And for that reason, only your pet’s vet might be able to suggest an alternative or minimal precautions of undertaking acupressure. In reality, dogs might not easily tolerate the needles, and this could lead to further pain and worsening of health if it is already struggling with conditions such as arthritis, autoimmune diseases, etc.

Benefits of Acupressure

Allergies

Allergies are never a quick fix, whether for humans or dogs. In fact, your dog may need multiple acupressure session to show favorable and healthy effects. Acupressure (similar to acupuncture) triggers holistic relief by engaging with your dog’s hyperactive immune system.

Digestive disorders

Digestive disorders are a form of illness that, according to Traditional Chinese Medicine, occur due to a disruption in the flow of ch’i. This is a disruption in the body fluid quantity and flow as well. Therefore, stomach and intestinal problems are a common consequence.

For one, an acupressure session focuses on the easing of stomach pain that leads to a healthy stomach and digestion process.

Anxiety

Anxiety is associated with several different conditions. However, one way to deal with anxiety is massaging and positively affecting physical touches. Therefore, acupressure is an optimal treatment and holistic relief option for anxious and aggressive dogs.

What you should know that applying physical affection will not only soothe muscles, body, mind, and pain but also create a more affectionate bond between you and your pet.

Pain

As earlier, acupressure readily affects blood circulation and enables the release of anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving substances inside the dog’s body. Conclusively, this leads to better inflammation and muscle stress control in your pet.

Arthritis

Acupuncture, acupressure, natural supplements, and some other popular organic and authentic ingredients-based supplements (i.e., soft chews) are just a few treatment options for arthritis.

There is research as to how far manual therapies and acupuncture/acupressure go in treating musculoskeletal pain and inflammation due to arthritis and similar health conditions in dogs.

Chronic Illnesses

Chronic illnesses are nearly inevitable in canines. Nevertheless, a responsible dog owner will feel inclined to look after their pet’s health. While there may not be enough evidence to support the prevention and cure of chronic illnesses via some holistic treatments, certain researches indicate hope.

Research shows how acupressure/acupuncture affects diseases and pain in dogs. It is a limited study and involves intergender breeds of dogs.

Cancer

Cancer remains a highly incurable disease despite the efforts of doctors, scientists, researchers, etc., worldwide. Nonetheless, there are promising and hopeful studies that depict how acupuncture/acupressure affects cancer-related pain and chronic symptoms.

Following that, there are speculations as to how acupressure and the use of acupuncture-related techniques can affect dogs.

Old Age

Old age simply demands prevention and the reduction in the progress of chronic diseases. Other than that, it is the lethargy, mood swings that can affect your dog’s lifestyle. Acupressure can initiate a healthy flow of vital energy and boost physical and mental health in old dogs.

When to Use Acupressure on Your Dog

Acupressure is among the popular holistic treatment options for dogs. Still, you need to consider a few factors beforehand if you want to comfort your pet with pain-relieving and highly beneficial acupressure techniques.

A medical plan that entails all the possible treatments for your ill dog will help you in determining any underlying conditions that may worsen. More importantly, a physical examination to assess the physical vulnerability of your dog coupled with adequate veterinary advice will prove fruitful in the long term.

Acupressure Points on Dogs

Head and Face

A dog’s head is filled with pressure points that are critical for the entire body’s energy balance. Massaging spots such as GB 20 is an example of increasing calmness while reducing irritability and nervousness. While the points run from the face, chin, lips to the neck, there needs to be professional care for excellent results. Some of the points include Yin Tang and Yang Tang.

Ears

Ears are a part of the head, and, therefore, rubbing and massaging the ear back and forth can help relax your dog. For one, you must have seen this already when you gently stroke your pet’s head. A vivid description of the distributed pressure points around and over the head is available on the internet.

Front Legs

One of the acupressure points is in the armpit of your dog; it is the point where your pet’s front leg meets the inside of its body. A circular motion massage can help your pet sleep and may even make them feel light which is a great response in case of pain. It is the Heart-1 point. Other points include Heart-7, Pericardium-7, and Pericardium-6.

Feet

Feet are, in a way, a cluster of acupoints. Also, some dogs don’t like being touched at their feet. So, you can simply start at the wrist and move gradually to the feet and their base. You can gently massage it and make use of specific points as a guide to improve health and wellness.

Spine Base

The most common points are the Heaven’s Gate and the Bai Hui that lie at the forefront and the base of the spine, respectively. Stimulation of the spine area can help in improving blood circulation, relaxing back pain, improving lethargy, and even lead to pain relief.

Back Legs

Ankle and hook joints are some of the common back leg acupoints. One reason is that they are easy to massage and can greatly soothe your dog’s movement. However, as it is a flexible area where your dog’s motion strength lies, it is advisable to consult a vet beforehand.

Other Holistic Ways to Help Your Dog

Diet and Exercise

A healthy dog is less prone to muscle stiffness, soreness, arthritis, and similar autoimmune diseases. Despite that, most of the canines do contract these health diseases.

Therefore, it is vital to ensure that your dog is getting a nutritious supply in the form of a regular diet that will prevent deficiencies and promote better health. Similarly, exercise can prevent obesity that gives rise to excessive pressure on joints, health problems, etc.

CBD

CBD Oil is an anti-inflammatory and pain-relief option that is gaining immense popularity nowadays. Apart from that, there are solid studies and research that depict how beneficial CBD can be for certain conditions and health problems in humans and animals alike.

CBD Oil tinctures and CBD Mobility Oil are some of the best CBD pet products in the market that come from reputable brands.

Natural Supplements

Natural supplements range from natural herbs such as turmeric, ginger, alfalfa, Boswellia, etc. Conversely, there is a wide range of healthy food options, including eggs and vegetables, that are capable of delivering healthy nutrients in order to prevent any nutritional deficiencies.

To start off, you can use the Mobility Soft Chews that contain glucosamine and chondroitin, which are incredible in supporting healthy joint development in dogs.

Our Final Thoughts

No matter how beneficial acupressure may be, it is always advisable to go with the proper veterinary care and consult a holistic veterinarian. Overall, it is the use of the best medical care and the provision of excellent supplements that yield better results.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you perform acupressure on a dog?

You can start by massaging the acupoints on the head of your dog and move to the spine base or feet.

Do dogs have pressure points to calm them down?

Yes, in fact, near the head GB 20 and alongside the base spine (Bai Hui), your dog can experience calmness and relief when massaged.

Does acupuncture for dogs really work?

Research and studies show that under certain circumstances, there are positive results of the use of acupressure.

Where to rub a dog to calm them down?

You can massage the Bai Hui (base spine) or the GB 20 over the head to calm your dog.