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Acupressure Points for Pain & Anxiety in your Dog

Updated: May 29, 2023

Acupressure to help your dog

I wanted to describe to you two acupressure points that you can do on your dog:

One for pain and one for anxiety. These are really simple things that you can do at home, and you don't need to know anything about acupressure to do these points.

These two acupressure points can help relieve your dog from either pain or anxiety.

The first acupressure point for generalized pain is called the aspirin point. With acupressure, you use the pad of your finger. Traditional acupressure always uses the thumb, but you can use your finger as well, whatever's more comfortable for you. Don't use the fingernail, make sure you use the pad of your finger on the point that I'm going to talk to you about. You only need light pressure, you don't have to jam it in there, and let your dog tell you if you use too much pressure. If your dog reacts and pulls back or tries to get away, then you've gone too far. Just stop, settle down, and try again with a little less pressure. Some dogs don't like constant pressure they prefer a little motion, so you can do little circles kind of like a little massage in that area. You don't hold the points for super long, sometimes 60 seconds is enough, sometimes even less than that. What you're doing is you're holding it until you see a change in your dog, some sort of release. So a sigh, a yawn, any kind of relaxation signal tells you that you've released the point, and then you can let go and let the body do the rest, because as with all energy work this is unblocking the energy and allowing it to flow, and so once you get the reaction from your dog then the work has started, and it will continue to work for 24 hours afterwards.

Acupressure points for your dog

So, as stated above, I'll first describe the aspirin point, which is for generalized pain in any part of the body. I know some people don't know anatomy, so I'm not going to use anatomical terms, I'm going to just try to describe where the area is. If you look at the back leg you have their paw, then you go up to the point right where the leg bends, and then it starts to go up to the thigh. Right at this part that bends if you slide your hand in there, and you feel around, you'll kind of feel the bone ends, and then it becomes a tendon. It’s squishier, and you can feel a bone on the front part of the leg. If you slide your fingers in there you'll feel right above where the two bones join there's this really thin area, really fleshy, you can't really feel any muscle or any tendons in there. That's the point right above where the two bones meet in that fleshy kind of thin area where you want to press in. Just press in, and hold and while you're doing this the one thing you want to do is be in a very calm, relaxed state. So take some deep breaths in and out, really relax yourself, and that will help calm the dog. The other thing that’s really helpful is to keep your other free hand on the dog because then you can kind of feel their reactions, you can feel if they’re letting go, if they're starting to relax into it, and then you just watch your dog, and look for any kind of changes, any kind of release or reaction on their part. Very often, it will only take 10 to 60 seconds to get a reaction. Once you have a reaction, the work is done, and you can let go and let the energy move and continue to work on its own.

dog getting acupressure points

Next, I want to discuss the point that you can use for fear or anxiety. If your dog is fearful of something like, for example, fireworks or if you have generalized fear or anxiety, you can use this point to help them work through that anxiety and fear. This point is called kidney 27, and it is located on the chest. If you look at your own sternum, slide your hand along towards the center, and then underneath that you have your ribs, the point is a little indent in between the sternum and the rib cage. There is one on the left and one on the right. With your dog, you're going to feel in that area on them using what you felt on yourself as a reference point, and when you find the sternum and rib cage, you should be able to feel a little indent in there and that's where you want to put your finger. So again you can either just hold it in place or you can do little circles and massage if your dog doesn't like having it held in place, and then you’re just going to relax, breathe deeply, and wait until you have a reaction or release from the dog. You can do either side, you don’t have to do both sides at the same time, but if you want to you can hold both sides at the same time because there are two points on either side. If you have a very anxious or stressed out dog they might be moving around a lot, it might take a little more time, and you might have to come back to it, let them go, let them relax a bit and then come back to it later, giving them time to get used to the sensation.

I hope that these two points are helpful for you, and that you can use them with your dog if you have um any kind of pain or anxiety issues, to help them get quick relief.

Would you like to recognize the signs of pain in your dog? Download this list of dog pains to better understand yours.

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