If you think your feline friend is wiser than most of the people in your life, you could be right. For one thing, cats know how to open themselves to the wonderful healing effects of acupressure.
Cats are smart. They know the healing value of touch. Notice how your feline friend purrs and arches her back into your hand when you stroke her, enjoying every moment of your interaction?
Feline energy is particularly suited to the ancient healing sciences. Cats seem to have a natural intuitive sense of the tenets of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). They know how energy flows through their bodies and how to support their health by balancing this energy. This inner understanding makes them very open to acupressure, which is based on the concepts and theories of TCM.
Chi chi chi
Acupressure is based on the ancient concept of Chi (also seen as Qi or Ki) which can be defined as “vital life force energy”. This energy circulates through the human or animal body. In Chinese medicine, health is indicated by the balance of Chi flowing through the internal organs, bones, and soft tissues. Any sort of disruption in the harmonious flow of Chi can result in a breakdown of the immune system causing illness and energetic imbalances that can lead to injury. Acupressure uses gentle pressure to activate specific points on the body found along the meridians or channels through which the Chi energy flows. This activation eliminates blockages and gets the energy moving again.
Cats are very aware of Chi energy flowing through their bodies. After they have been exposed to acupressure they can be demanding when they need or want another session. Of all the animals who receive acupressure, cats are most interesting to watch. They are highly responsive to the energy work while also taking charge of the session. Most cats will let you know very clearly when they want a session, when they don’t, and when they are done with it. Now, isn’t that just like a cat!
An acupressure session usually has three segments: Opening, Point Work, and Closing.
Enhance her health – Try it!
Here’s a general health maintenance session you can offer your cat every five to seven days. Use the soft tip of your thumb or first finger and apply light pressure on these acupressure points. Remember to do both sides of the body.
Large Intestine 11 (LI 11), Crooked Pond – This powerful immune system point is located on the fo relimb in the lateral (outside) crease of the cat’s elbow.
Stomach 36 (St 36), Leg Three Mile – Located on the outside of both hind legs, just below the cat’s stifle (knee) toward the front of the leg. Bai Hui, Heaven’s Gate or Point of 100 Meetings – Located on the sacrum right on the cat’s midline.
About ten years ago, we had an interesting experience with an older feline. A friend’s cat, Sandy, had been sitting in the “sick cat position”, her legs tucked under her body, her head erect, eyes closed and holding herself very still. After assessing her condition, we selected acupressure points we expected would help resolve her health issue, then began her acupressure session.
An acupressure session usually has three segments: Opening, Point Work, and Closing. Sandy gratefully received the Opening, which entails stroking down the length of the body from head to hind paw three times on each side of her body. We selected four acupoints to apply light pressure to during the Point Work section and Sandy seemed very satisfied with them. As we progressed through the session, Sandy opened her eyes, stretched her legs to the side, and yawned. These were good signs that energy was flowing unimpeded through her body.
Acupressure is ideal for active cats. It enhances their strength while maintaining tendon and joint flexibility. Cats that have access to the outdoors are especially in need of acupressure to keep them agile and healthy.
After completing the four acupoints on each side of her body, Sandy stood up and walked to the other side of the room, jumped onto the back of the couch and proceeded to groom herself. We realized she was doing her own Closing and completing the acupressure session entirely on her own! She was preening directly and specifically down her own meridians. Sandy did not need us to perform the last segment of the acupressure session, she could do it herself! And, by the way, she went on to live to the ripe old age of 23.
We are fortunate to be able to make optimal use of both Western and Eastern approaches and techniques when caring for our cats. The beauty of acupressure is twofold: not only are cats especially responsive to it, but we all have the necessary healing power to do sessions at home. All you need is intention, since a major part of healing animals with acupressure is the intent you bring to a session. With just a little knowledge of TCM, you can perform acupressure sessions that will contribute to your cat’s health and well being, and give him many years in which to enjoy life.
Acupressure for older cats
Senior cats are excellent candidates for acupressure maintenance sessions. Acupressure has proven extremely beneficial for arthritis, gastrointestinal issues, metabolic conditions, and other problems that tend to plague our older felines. Many of the more chronic issues can be managed with consistent acupressure along with wholistic veterinary care, improving the older cat’s quality of life.