\ ˈa-kyə-ˌpre-shər: the application of pressure (as with the thumbs or fingertips) to the same discrete points on the body stimulated in acupuncture that is used for its therapeutic effects (such as the relief of tension or pain)
Acupressure is a safe and gentle integrative therapy used to relieve symptoms from many common disorders. Unlike some forms of Western medicine, this therapy does not involve the use of any invasive techniques. A skilled practitioner simply uses their thumbs and fingers to exert light pressure to specific body points.
Acupressure is closely associated with other forms of Oriental medicine, such as acupuncture and shiatsu. The philosophy of Oriental medicine originated about the year 600 BC when Taoism was developed; beliefs that center on the human connection to nature.
It is believed the changes in nature (i.e. weather) impact human lives mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually. Oriental practitioners believe disease is caused by internal (emotional), external (weather) or other factors, including trauma or an unhealthy lifestyle.
Many changes impact the body on a daily basis and affect the flow of Qi (pronounced “chee”), or vital energy. Chinese medical theory sets forth to correct this balance and produce harmony within the body.
The initial intent of acupressure is preventive. In traditional Chinese medicine, we intend to maintain a free flow of Qi and blood so that the dog or cat remains healthy and able to fend off any potential internal or external invasions that could lead to illness. If the meridians flowing on a superficial level of the body suffer any kind of imbalance of Yin and Yang, the whole body can become compromised and allow pathogens to go deeper and deeper into the body. This is why it is so important to be able to detect meridian imbalances and to perform acupressure maintenance sessions. We are able to resolve issues at the meridian level before they penetrate into the body.
Energy flow governs wellbeing in people and animals alike. Within all living animals are meridian pathways. These life-force channels govern the functions of all body systems, such as the nervous, digestive, endocrine, vascular, lymphatic and reproductive systems. The way in which energy flows through the meridians presides over wellness or dis-ease. Meridian blockages can cause all kinds of dis-ease. However, when the life force flows through the meridians in a balanced way, health, harmony and happiness results.
© Michael Reed Gach, Ph.D.
© Tallgrass Animal Acupressure Institute (TgAAI™)
Acupressure for animals
Acupressure is ideal for use with animals because it is gentle and noninvasive. It doesn’t cause stress, discomfort or pain, and yet yields powerful results. Animals respond intuitively to Acupressure’s power to heal emotional, behavioral and physical illnesses and injuries.
Acupressure supports animals suffering from acute conditions or who are rehabilitating from surgery or injury.
Our senior friends are excellent candidates for maintenance sessions as acupressure has proven to be extremely beneficial for arthritis, metabolic conditions and other health problems that tend to trouble older animals.
Animal athletes (i.e. agility, dock dogs, surf dogs and search & rescue animals) are also ideal recipients of acupressure to enhance strength while maintaining flexibility.
For animals who have a non-emergency acute condition or a chronic issue Acupressure is a wonderful healing method as well as a safe complement to Western Medicine, homeopathy, flower essences and all other forms of healing.
For animals with behavioral issues especially fear-based aggression or anxiety Acupressure is a powerful tool to help them relax and stop the cycle of panic or anxiety.
Acupressure can work well with training sessions and behavior modifications to help speed up the desired results.
For animals in transition Acupressure, combined with Reiki, is a powerful, yet gentle way to provide comfort, relief from pain, fear and anxiety; and to ease the transition.
People have been using acupressure to care for animals for at least 4,000 years. Over 230 generations have consistently recognized the benefits of this ancient healing art.
According to the IVAS [International Veterinary Acupuncture Society] there are over 1,000 vets that practice acupressure or acupuncture in the United States alone. There are also hundreds of qualified animal acupressure practitioners in the US and abroad. Check out NBCAAM or Tallgrass Animal Acupressure Institute on our Resources page for more information.
Acupressure is practiced all over the world on people and animals. Vet clinics, rehab facilities and healing centers are all using acupressure on animals to help facilitate the healing process or to maintain heath and balance.
While Acupressure is a powerful healing system on its own, it is also a wonderful complement to other therapies that may be helping the animal recover. It is not meant as a substitute for veterinary care. Always consult your veterinarian about the best course of medical treatment for your animal.