5 acupressure points you can learn to treat your own dog
Acupressure vs. Acupuncture
Acupressure actually utilizes the same principles as acupuncture however, acupuncture is done by a practitioner using needles whereas acupressure can be performed by layperson, since pressure is applied only by one's fingers onto the acupoints.
5 Important Acupoints on your dog
While there are many pressure points all over your dog's body, here are my 5 favourite ones you can do at your own home:
- The GV-20 is located in the middle of the top of the head, level with the front ear canal. Use a gentle back and forth massage stroke to create a calming effect on your dog. Also a point to treat seizures, shock, sleep issues and psychological disturbances.
- The GV-4 is located in the middle of the back and stimulating this area to support kidneys, calm spirit, manage pain in back area and bring energy and vitality to your dog.
- The ST-36 is located on the outside hind leg just above the knee joint and stimulating this pressure point is good for muscle and tendon problems as it increases blood flow and oxygen to tissues and organs. It is also a very good point for hind limb and lower back issues, tonifies whole body.
- The LI-11 is located on the outside of the upper part of the foreleg. Pressure here aids in infections, allergies, and arthritic pain as it clears heat from the upper body, also a very good point for any digestion problems.
- The GV-26 is located at the point where the nose meets the upper lip. This is a key point for emergency resuscitation, seizures, or collapse. Applying pressure to this point can actually revive consciousness but also calms spirit and clears the brain.
Important Tips and Reminders:
- Apply pressure only to the hollows or openings.
- Stimulate acupoints with your fingertips, with medium pressure for 10 seconds than release for another 5. Repeat this 5-6 times per treatment.
- Fingers should be completely straight up and down stance.
- Start and end each acupressure session by gentle massage down the back (BL channels) and try to keep your dog calm during treatment.
- Performing acupressure sessions on your dog 2 to 3 times a week for maximum benefits.
- Although not meant as a replacement for traditional medical care, holistic treatments such as canine acupressure/acupuncture, can provide pain relief, reduce your dog's stress, or support the overall well-being of your pet.
Reference: A. Snow & N. Zidonis , Acu-Dog a guide to canine acupressure, 2013, Tallgrass Publishers, Larkspur, Colorado, US