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Animal Reflexology

Pawspoint To The Rescue by Yvette Eastman

Animals are excellent candidates for Reflexology. They benefit from Reflexology as much as people do and perhaps even more than petting! They walk and live in the same stressful settings as we do, breathe the same air, drink the same water and lead noisy, angry, deprived lives. For the love of humans, they have given up much of their freedom, most of their instincts. It is time for us to give them something very special.

When you first work on an animal, you need to relax them with little moves that treat the foot gently eliciting sigh of pleasure. Just as in humans, you start with “treats” and relaxation exercises, then move into specific reflexes. So take their whole foot in your hands and gently turn it, and stretch it and “wring it” as if it were a dish cloth. Gently pull a foot away from the body stretching it slowly backward, then forward, and at each position, hold it a moment, then stretch it a bit more.

Hold the tail root with both hands and softly pull backwards. They will probably pull forwards. This gives excellent traction and feels great on their spine and neck. This is especially true of dogs that pull on their leashes and harnesses and horses improperly saddled and shod.

Reflexology techniques also involve the ears. Stroke and manipulate them both inside and outside paying specific attention to the very points of the ear. This calms any animal and even brings them out of shock. I could put my donkey, Gringo, to sleep just by brushing the inside portions of his ear. There isn’t a dog alive that doesn’t grin when you give them an ear rub. Holding the very points of the ears gently, causes an animal to relax.

EFT is powerful for all animals. A client had a beautiful older dog who was grieving for his deceased companion. He mourned, wouldn’t eat or play. A few gentle taps below his eyes and on the outside of his paws allowed him to become his old self again. And although it was a different emotion, tapping in the same places for the miniature schnauzer who was afraid of big dogs and anything new turned her into a very social being, now bolder and braver than her human!

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 is called 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.

As the foundation of the body, feet and paws balance the body for which they are made. The horse stands on his middle toe. Can you imagine the muscular strength it takes a horse to carry us, pull plows and hay-wagons, follow and round up cattle and win races. And we trip over our feet! All animals, including us – the five finger-five toed kind - adapt to our weight, to the way we walk, to the way we stand and even to your emotions. Watch a happy yet exhausted dog returning from a long hike, compared to a tired dog who has been bored, asking you to take a walk. His emotions are in every step.

So take a few moments with your companion to stroke and knead the area above the toes – the metatarsals, and the heel. Move the skin over the flesh rather than massaging it. Move it in circles one way and then the other. Push the skin up, hold it there a few moments then pull it down. Keep repeating this in different spots along the foot, then moving up the leg toward the knee and finally work on the thigh. Now repeat the procedure on the “hands”. Just like us, their hands are different from their feet and are used differently.

Remember that the toes represent the head and you can knead them gently for eye and ear problems. The funny shaped pad reflects to the lungs. The metatarsal area relates to the liver, gall bladder and ascending colon on the right side and the stomach, spleen and pancreas on the left side. Although horses have no Gall bladder they do have a gall bladder function, so work that area.

Ah! The magic of feet! They are truly an enchantment to us Reflexologists who learn to read your system’s feet first! The manual, Pawspoint Reflexology for Animals by Yvette Eastman, can show you step by step how you can work with your friend. You can find it, and more on the web at

Copyright 2007Yvette Eastma. Touchpoint Institute of Reflexology gives regular classes in Pawspoint Reflexology for Animals as well as all levels of Reflexology and Touch For Health. Yvette Eastman is your facilitator. For more information, phone 604-936-3227 (USA) e-mail.

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