The Emotional Benefits of Canine Hydrotherapy
The whole body approach to healing and the importance of the emotions are finally getting recognition in the world of medicine and science. John Hopkins recently released a list of thing to do that would help keep cancer from taking hold in the body and this list included trying to live a stress-free life. There are numerous books and studies out now on how our emotions can help create dis-ease in our bodies. The healing potential of immersion in water on the emotional body is profound.
Anyone who is in pain knows how soothing it is to slip into warm water. A sense of well-being flows over the body and the mind begins to relax. We were all (canines too) held in warm fluids for the first part of our lives. This was a time of safety and being taken care of. The influences at the cellular level of being held in warm water are intensely profound on the emotional body.
Back to canine water therapy, there are 2 sets of emotions involved here. We have our canine friend who may be getting older, loosing mobility, has become disabled in some fashion, has some fear or pain around recent surgical or medical procedures, etc.... and then, just as important, we have that dog's guardian - their person who is seeking options for help for their best friend who is in need. The bond that usually exists between a dog and their person can be beyond words and any pain or dis-ease can bring up fear and emotional pain for the person.
There is a scientist named Masaro Emoto who has done some recent studies into how the molecular structure of water changes with emotion. He has photographed molecules of water which have been infused with an emotion and his photographs show how water is alive and highly responsive to every one of our emotions and thoughts and takes on its environment.
When you consider that the human body is made up of over 60% water, the potential effects on the physical body from the emotional are indeed baffling. Add to this the watery environment of the spa and the pool you are working in - and that's a lot of water molecules to be mindful of.
As a therapist in water therapy, I can not change someone's emotions but I can create an environment to help facilitate a change in their emotions, an environment that encourages thankfulness, joy and reduces stress.
It is at the top of my list of priorities in a hydro-therapy session that the dog in my arms feels safe. I am also aware of this dog's person at poolside and I am mindful of being respectful and nurturing to their emotions as well. Finally, I take special care of my pool water in a respectful way so that it can partner with me on my mission to do what I can to help restore health.
I was reading a study the other day on the therapeutic effects of being in water for blind people. In the safely of water, these people were able to move fearlessly without the thought of colliding into something. Water gave them a real sense of freedom. Various body positions were performed bravely and there was much laughter in the safety and freedom of this fluid environment.
... And so it is with our canine friends ...
if my canine client leaves their hydrotherapy session with a sense of well being and their person has experienced some relief or peace or gained some insight that will help in their unique situation, then my session has been successful and in line with the path for health.
Next: Continue reading The Spiritual Benefits of Canine Hydrotherapy ...
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