Books to Inspire..

I recently took part in #bookfacefriday by posting some of the books that have inspired me, and have shaped my work as an animal kinesiologist.

I thought it would be useful to compile these into a blog that can be shared.  I hope you enjoy these titles and find your own pieces of inspiration….


Claire Oats, Founder of Animal Energy Therapies.

// ‘Animal Wise’ ~ Virginia Morell //

This book helped me greatly in understanding the emotional capacity of animals, and how they align very closely with our own emotional range.

This book details studies from the pioneering field of animal cognition research and challenges old beliefs that ‘lesser’ animals did not have memory, feelings, personality and self-awareness.

Did you know that ants teach?

Did you know earthworms make decisions?

For me, this book confirmed my belief that animals have a very similar emotional range as we do. They are constantly making decisions and adapting behaviour to meet their needs. We see this ‘adaption’ on a daily basis with our dogs, cats and horses making these species highly trainable (well…except cats maybe 😉, they tend to train humans), but ALL animals have this capacity.

Morell beautifully, through storytelling, explains the undeniable animal-human bond. It is enlightening and heart warming.

// ‘Our Dogs, Ourselves’ – Alexandra Horowitz //

Horowitz explores the profound affection we have for dogs not only in our household, but within our modern culture. She discusses the symbiotic relationship we have with our dogs, yet identifies some of the contradictory aspects of this same relationship.

“We celebrate their individuality, but breed them for sameness. We have conversations with them, though they don’t talk back. Despite our deep emotional relationships with dogs, legally they are property to be bought, sold, abandoned or euthanised as we wish.”

This is a really charming book that explores how our relationship with dogs has changed over the years.

Highly recommended !!

// ‘Your Dog Is Your Mirror’ // – Kevin Behan.

This is an AMAZING book. It views dog behaviour, training and the partnership of animal and human as an energetic relationship. Behan analyses the afore mentioned dynamics from the perspective of ‘electrical charge’.

It is certainly an ‘outside of the box’ kind of viewpoint, but one I have found in full alignment with animal kinesiology. Behan does, however, introduce the concept of Natural Dog Training which I didn’t quite get onboard with. I found the techniques overly complex and sometimes slightly controversial. There seemed to be no evidence that the techniques had the edge over positive reinforcement training, but I will stay open to learning more.

This book has certainly has it’s moments of genius. It expands the mind and introduces new way viewing our relationship with dogs. Behan saw things other trainers didn’t. Sadly, Behan passed away recently, but this book will form part of his legacy without a doubt.

// ‘Animals Make Us Human’ ~ Temple Grandin //

I am a huge fan of Temple Grandin!

This book builds on almost 30 years of research, experimentation and experience to show us how to give our animals the happiest of lives. Grandin challenges the assumptions of animal contentment, and in the process, teaches us how to honour our relationship with all species.

Grandin gives great insight into animal behaviour from the viewpoint of autism, and draws amazing parallels between autism and how animals process the world around them.

I loved this book as it continually reminds me to challenge what we accept as ‘normal’ and it encourages me to always think outside the box to solve problems whilst pushing my work into new and unexplored territory.

// ‘AcuDog’~ Amy Snow & Nancy Zidonis //

This is a book I refer to ALL the time. It is absolutely loaded with TCM information and techniques. I find this to be one of the best books detailing dog meridians and the properties of each of the acupressure points.

I use this in 2 ways:

If I am treating physical pain in a dog I will refer to the meridian that runs through the affected muscle/area. As well as using bodywork techniques I will also clear any ‘blocked’ acupressure points in the area. This has been the game changer in bodyworks – combining TCM with physical therapies.

If a dog presents with an illness, such as digestive problems or skin allergies I will refer to this book to identify which meridian controls this condition. Balancing the meridian and the specific acupressure points becomes incorporated into my kinesiology balance.

This book is not only used for reference, it contains lots of techniques you can use yourself. It is a publication I recommend to all of my students!!

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