Holistic massage is a manual technique that considers the whole being. In the holistic massage it is taken into account that what is being massaged is not only an "anatomical body", but a being also made up of psyche, mind and emotions.
The holistic massage consists mainly of a series of circular and smoothing massages. Their purpose is to activate some superficial nerve endings in order to reduce tension, stress and improve concentration .
As well as the holistic massage brings wellness to us men, it also transmits it to our dogs and cats who willingly undergo various massage techniques as long as they are well-designed, gentle, gradual and that they provide, even from the first touches, a feeling of relaxation such as to make them aware of the benefits received and therefore collaborating .
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Holistic massage in dogs
First of all, we must start from the assumption that some dogs love to be manipulated and others do not and that every dog has particularly sensitive areas that it does not allow itself to be touched willingly, such as for example the plantar pads, the tail or the neck.
For this reason it is important to know how to approach dogs in order to make them collaborative and be able to practice an effective holistic massage. Given this, here are some tips for carrying out a massage on the dog:
> Start slowly : the first session should help you understand what is bothering the dog and convince him that the massage will be a pleasant and not stressful event.
Therefore we must not sit in front of the dog or shoulders, but by his side, preferably on the ground and then let him sit as he sees fit. It is advisable to always use the same rug or the same blanket that evokes in him, for future sessions, the memory of a wellness and relaxation ritual.
> Close the door and keep the lights dimmed so that there are no noises and the room is muffled.
> Understand when the dog is tired of being manipulated : if it begins to show signs of impatience, stiffening or withdrawing from the touch, it is good not to force it and stop immediately. On the contrary, if it relaxes, stretches or even falls asleep, we can continue without problems.
> Remember that every dog, like every person, has preferences : some love a deeper massage, others more delicate, some longer, others shorter.
> Gradually approach the most sensitive areas (fingertips, tail, neck), gently massaging the neighboring parts for longer and longer times, trying to reach the goal without haste and with the consent of the dog, giving him a prize when he allows us to do so.
> Understand when the time is right to perform the massage. The right time for the dog, of course. The right moment is one in which he tries to be pampered and be caressed: these are the opportunities to be exploited.
> Avoid practicing holistic massage if we are not in the right mood : we will transmit tension and negativity to our dog rather than wellness and relaxation.
The holistic dog massage consists mainly of four moves :
1. Touch : consists of a prolonged massage performed with the palms of the hands always in a cranio-caudal direction. It is an excellent technique to use at the beginning or end of the session because it is a rhythmic, delicate and relaxing maneuver.
2. Knead : always with the palm of your hand you make circular massages starting from the center and moving away, maintaining however the same pressure. It is indicated for the more muscular areas.
3. Lift: it is carried out on the neck and on the back, where the skin is more elastic, gently lifting the folds of the skin as a light pinch.
4. Tighten the tail : the tail should not be excluded from the massage, but the maneuver should not be sudden and violent. Grasp the base of the tail gently and proceed towards the tip, tightening it gradually and gradually.
Holistic massage in cats
Some cats do not like excessive physical contact and after a few strokes they react by running away: it goes without saying that, since the holistic massage must be a pleasure for those who receive it as for those who do, it makes no sense to retain a recalcitrant cat because the only result would be stress for him and scratches and bites for us.
Fortunately, however, cats that like to be pampered, caressed, are the majority. It is typically feline that, for whatever concerns them, the best time is the one chosen by them, by cats. And so it is with the massage: when you rub and rub the muzzle and side against us, when they come closer and purr, when they jump on our lap, then we can gradually and gently start our session .
You begin to massage the whole cat gently, but effectively, starting from the plantar pads and then climbing up along the limbs, the abdomen, the chest, the back, the neck up to the head.
It is necessary to alternate deeper linear and circular movements with wider and wider superficial strokes, insisting particularly at neck level where most cats love to be manipulated.
With great sweetness, while performing the massage, we must synchronize the rhythm of our breath to that of the cat until the harmony is complete and the harmony that results from it will benefit both.
Cats, which are notoriously very sensitive beings, relax if the one who is massaging them is relaxed and positive : otherwise, it is better to avoid all contact because we will only transmit stress and nervousness.