Posts Tagged ‘healing’

My vet can no longer help! Who do I turn to now?

Wednesday, March 4th, 2009

How do you decide where to turn when western medicine has run out of options? Almost everything available for humans is now available for animals but how do you decide between all the options. There are chiropractors, acupuncturists, reiki practitioners, homeopathic veterinarians, nutritional consultants, hydrotherapy specialists, massage practitioners, and many other options. If you read the internet there are hundreds of supplements made especially for animals and many sound like they work miracles.

Here are a few tips –

  • 1. Get a referral from someone you trust if you can. Many veterinarians will now refer to alternative practitioners. We don’t take their business and we send back happy clients. If your veterinarian cannot offer a referral check with your local pet food store, especially the neighborhood ones, they often have a list of referrals. They also work with animal people all day long so they know the word on the street on who and what has helped. There are also online referral sites such as IVAS and Animal Wellness Network and many sites with reviews of clinics, such as Yelp.
  • 2. If you are exploring the internet for products online check out the forums, such as, catster, and dogster, for suggestions. The companies selling the products will always give you glowing reviews. It is safer to listen to people who have actually used the product. A good veterinarian will also be able to help you determine if a product will help and if it is dangerous for your animal. Always check the safety of a product, especially if your animal is old, sick, or on other medication before using it.
  • 3. Only try one thing at a time and stick with it for at least a month. It is better to do one thing consistently then to jump around. Most natural therapies take time to work. Sometimes If your animal is extremely sick or has cancer you will need to make many changes at once. If you need to do this then working with a veterinary practitioner is highly recommended.
  • Because I practice acupuncture I often recommend it to start because I have seen how well it can work. Often times people start with a therapy for their animal that they have tried themselves and know to work. This is a good place to start. If something works for you, it probably will for your animal also.

    A good practitioner of any sort will be able to tell you how long to try something and when to decide if it is working or not. Most practitioners don’t want to go on treating with a method which is not working. With acupuncture I usually recommend three treatments to see if there is any improvement before recommending animals continue. Some therapies such as hydrotherapy will take a little longer. Always get this information before starting a therapy. And just because you try one thing and it doesn’t work, don’t give up. There are many incredible options out there for helping our animal friends.

    You are what you think

    Wednesday, February 18th, 2009

    We have all heard the saying , “you are what you eat”, but most people haven’t heard, “you are what you think.”

    Intention has an amazing role in healing and medicine. Even in Western medicine the power of intention and the placebo effect has been scientifically proven to exist.

    Because of the placebo effect drug trials in people have to be double blinded, meaning that both the patient and the doctor administering the drug are not told if they have the real drug or the placebo.

    Did you know that drug trials in animals also have to be double blinded? Obviously the animal doesn’t know if they are being given the real drug or not but the doctor or researcher also needs to have no knowledge of this. They have found that if the person administering the drug knows if it is the real drug or the placebo, then the results will be influenced by this knowledge.

    Yes there is a placebo effect in healing for animals but it is created through us! That’s pretty amazing when you think about it.

    So how can can we use this power of intention in helping our animal friends heal?

    Primarily we can believe that they can heal. If we have confidence that our animal companion can heal they can sense this and it will help them also believe in their own healing. When we think positive thoughts we release certain chemicals in our body which affect our nervous system in a positive way. This enhances our immune system and helps direct our body back to homeostasis.

    Because our animals are deeply connected to us they are also calmer when we are positive and get the same positive immune and nervous system response. While we can often share disease with our animal friends, we can also share health.

    Many studies have been done on the power of intention. One of the most well know was a study done on reducing crime by meditation and positive thought in Washington DC in the summer of 1993. Though meditation alone the rate of crime was dropped by almost 25%. A National Demonstration Project of Transcendental Meditation. Other studies have also been performed with similar results.

    Here’s some simple exercises you can do to help your animal if they are sick

  • 1. Take five minutes each evening and morning to picture your animal in health. Picture their body healing and imagine them happy and pain free. Sometimes it helps to visualize them in an activity that makes them happy such as running through a field, playing at the beach, or chasing butterflies.
  • 2. Take some time to calm yourself either through meditation or some other activity that relaxes you. Meditation is a simple practice that can be done for as little as five minutes a day. Most cities have groups which ofter free meditation classes and there are many CDs and books available which will guild you through how to practice. Other activities that can help are things such as running, yoga, tai chi, qi gong, or just taking a few moments to stop and breath deeply. Do whatever is right for you! By taking care of yourself you are helping your animal friend.
  • 3. If you find yourself starting to worry about your animal’s health, acknowledge it, and then try to think positive. Don’t push your worries away or try to suppress them. Often times just saying the words, “I’m worrying, ” will help. “I’m worrying but now I am going to think about what it would feel like to have my friend feel better and how that would make me feel.”
  • It is amazing to see how the little things we do can help our animal companions!

    Here are links to three very good books and audio tracks on meditation
    A Path with Heart: A Guide Through the Perils and Promises of Spiritual Life
    Meditation for Beginners
    How to Meditate with Pema Chodron: A Practical Guide to Making Friends with Your Mind

    Healing as a family

    Wednesday, February 11th, 2009

    Did you know that we often share the same diseases and health conditions with our animal companions?

    I can not count the times that I have been in a treatment room with someone and declared that their cat or dog had say asthma to have them comment, “that’s odd I also am asthmatic.”

    Many times it goes beyond just two creatures. I remember telling one woman that I thought her cat had inflammatory bowel disease.

    “That’s so strange, “ she said, “because my husband is in the hospital with IBD and has been for the past week and the whole time he has been in there my stomach has been bothering me also.”

    Many families may not share specific diseases but related ones. I have found that people with fibromyalgia and lupus tend to have animals with inflammatory bowel disease, asthma, and muscle or tendon pain (especially in the back). In Chinese medicine IBD, asthma and back tendon pain are one condition called liver qi constant. This is a disease that gets worse with stress like fibromyalgia and lupus.

    When I first see an animal, I often ask their person if they have sensitivities to certain drugs or herbs because it is often the case that if the person is sensitive to something that their animal will be also. People that have strong reactions to acupuncture will often have animals with strong reactions to acupuncture. When people cannot tolerate a certain drug it is often the same for their animal.

    So what is going on here?

    The first response I usually get is, “Oh no! Did I make my animal sick?”

    I don’t think that is the case.

    And let me just add that not all people and animals share illness. Just because you had a dog die of cancer doesn’t mean you will and just because you have diabetes doesn’t mean that your cat will become diabetic.

    I have definitely given this some thought over the years and have a couple theories on this strange phenomenon. These are from my own experience and I would be interested to hear other people’s ideas.

    I think that we tend to attract into our lives people and animals who are like us. Because of this we also attract in animals who share the qualities that make them more prone to specific illnesses.

    “But I picked my animal out, “you may say.

    Did you really?

    How many times was there just something about that one who caught your eye?

    “He was just reaching through the bars of his cage, I couldn’t leave him there.”

    “There was this one puppy who just wouldn’t leave my side.”

    I think they often do as much of the choosing as we do.

    I also believe that some animals choose to come to this plane of existence to help us with our experience. What I mean is that they are like our guardian angels in animal form. They come to help us work with our own health and healing and to teach us about grace and love. When an animal shares a disease condition with us they are helping us work with our own illness. In seeing how they work with disease we are able to bear the burden of ours better.

    I’ve gotten in arguments with people over this idea because I’ve had people think that I was implying that animals are our servants. I believe the opposite, that they are more enlightened creatures than us and have chosen to help us.

    I want to add one more important thought. Sometimes there is an environmental reason why we share disease. By all means if everyone in the house has lung conditions please make sure there isn’t a mold or toxin problems. Everyone knows about using the parakeets in the coal mines. Don’t ignore warnings that there is something wrong with your home.

    When we share disease often curing ourselves helps our animals and helping our animals helps ourselves. When I began to work with my own anxiety my dog Jake became less anxious. When I am not taking good care of myself my cat Rudy will stop eating. All I have to do is look at Rudy or Jake to see where my own health is.

    Often times we need to work towards healing ourselves to help our animal companions. Healing is not a journey to undertake alone. How amazing that we have these teachers and guilds right in our own homes!