Fizz is a beautiful 5 year old Border Collie who recently came for a session at Animal Energy Therapies along with her lovely owner Susan. Fizz had been coughing and exhaling air sharply from her lungs for some time, but it had escalated in the last few months. This was putting great stress on her respiratory system, and as a result Fizz was becoming very lethargic and seeking solitude, something which was very out of character.
Susan had taken Fizz to the vet, but after a course of anti-inflammatory medication, antibiotics, and other investigative procedures, they were at a loss as to origin of the problem. So, on the advice of a friend, Susan brought Fizz along to see if anything further could be done from a complementary therapy perspective.
I noticed immediately that Fizz was an anxious and highly strung dog. She immediately went off to explore the garden at my clinic, taking in all the new smells and investigating every corner. When called, Fizz was reluctant to come and be handled, and instead held back for a few minutes before eventually agreeing to let me check her over physically. As a behaviourist I recognised these as typical symptoms of an anxious dog. In order to feel safe they have to control their environment and personal space.
Physically, Fizz showed some tightness in her diaphragm which would have been creating some stress on her breathing. I also noticed her pectoral muscles on her chest were particularly tight. Tight pectoral muscles would not cause significant stress on breathing alone, but in Chinese medicine this would restrict the energy flow through the first acupressure point on the Lung meridian (Lu 1). This is located on the chest close to the hollows on each side of the body, and is an important energy flow point for the lungs. If blocked symptoms include coughing and breathing related issues.
Using Bowen Therapy and muscle release techniques I relaxed the diaphragm and pectoral muscles, then use acupressure to re-activate Lu 1 point and restore energy to the lungs. As with people, anxiety particularly affects lung energy as we tend to shallow breathe or hold our breath for periods. Anxious dogs often pant more frequently than relaxed dogs, thus creating stress in the lungs.
I addressed Fizz’s anxiety using neurological kinesiology techniques as I felt this may be the root cause of the problem. This was confirmed by more in-depth muscle monitoring techniques. Kinesiology allows me to tap into the subconscious to access information. Using age regression techniques I determined that her current level of anxiety and lung stress began 6 months ago. I asked Susan, the owner to recall anything significant happening to Fizz around this time. She was unsure and couldn’t recall a particular incident, although that was around the time symptoms began. Despite not being able to identify the particular incident with Susan, Fizz’s body was still holding the stress from that point in time, so I used Flower Essences and acupressure to rebalance the body and reduce the anxiety levels. At this point Fizz had fallen asleep and was snoring loudly. I continued to work on reducing her general anxiety through neurological techniques until the end of the session.
After the session Susan gave feedback to say Fizz was generally much calmer and the coughing has reduced by about 50%. We scheduled another session to delve further into the cause of the lung stress.
Fizz greeted me eagerly which was just lovely and she was noticeably calmer. She didn’t investigate the garden frantically as before and instead kept close to Susan and was engaged as I began the examine her physically. Fizz was physically more balanced and I was please to see that there is no tension in the diaphragm or pectoral muscles. I did however notice her tail hanging slightly to the left, and her neck had some tension on the right side. This is a sign of a spinal imbalance. Whilst not significant to her coughing, I corrected this as in order to maintain physical and emotional balance. It is key that the central nervous system can communicate effectively will all parts of the body through spinal nerves and neural pathways.
I then switched to neurological kinesiology and revisited Fizz’s anxiety. Kinesiology is a unique modality as there is a correction that asks the body ‘is this issue (anxiety) a reaction to something else that is going on?’ This may be another body system, something in the environment, or another energy system completely. Fizz’s muscle monitoring confirmed that is was indeed a reaction to something else that was going on, I just needed to find out what it was. I can ask the body lots of different things and by reading the muscle response I can determine which questions are related to stress held in the body. I finally got a response when I asked Fizz if she was reacting to something going on with Susan, her owner.
I began asking Susan questions about her health and wellbeing and very quickly found the connection I was looking for. Susan suffers from anxiety and as a result had become almost obsessive about controlling her environment. She was slow to trust people and found it hard to switch off as her mind was always racing, making her feel like she has ‘missed’ something. Her anxiety became debilitating six months ago when she began having panic attacks. The panic attacks came out of the blue and she literally felt like she was dying as she couldn’t breathe. She took some leave from work and was prescribed medication by her GP to help alleviate the symptoms. The medication had reduced the occurrence of the panic attacks, but her anxiety levels in general were now much higher. This is the ‘incident’ we had been looking for when working with Fizz, the first panic attack six months ago!
Susan couldn’t believe she had not noticed the similarities sooner, but recognised how Fizz had taken on her emotions and physical symptoms. The remainder of the session was spent on Susan, addressing her core anxiety and rebalancing her lung energy which was also blocked. Susan’s diaphragm was also in spasm as she took forced deep breaths, exactly as Fizz’s had been.
Susan contacted me a few days after the session to let me know to her absolute astonishment that Fizz had not coughed once since the second session, had much more energy, and was the happiest she had seen her is years. Feedback a few months on also confirmed that Fizz’s coughing had never returned and she was as fit as a fiddle!
Susan attended the clinic for a further two sessions to work on her anxiety as this was a condition she had been dealing with since childhood, but she is greatly improved and off all medication. Her panic attacks have never returned and her anxiety no longer impacts her life or her health. Susan left the following feedback:
“I cannot thank Claire enough for her expertise. It was a very confronting experience to find that my dog was reflecting my emotions back at me as I just didn’t think that was possible. The new lease of life my dog and I now have is nothing short of a miracle. Everyone needs to try this therapy!”