Monday, June 10, 2019

Ember: Reflexology, Belly Rubs for Newly Adopted Canine Family Member

Ember's favorite ear reflexes
Ember found a home; I am Ember's mom and her live in reflexologist if you will. Her exact age is unknown but she is young, and yet has a complex past.
Ember has been getting Reflexology ever since we adopted her one rainy November day and we have come a long way:  
Dien Cham/Facial Reflexology 
- also some Ear Reflexology.  How can anyone resist these ears, they have a life of their own and are so inviting!  Bionic, a friend called them;- )
- She also gets a bit of Paw Reflexology on all four paws, (hands and feet if you will) (Central Nervous System, diaphragm, lung/heart reflexes).  She has webbed toes like her late brother Mowgli, she swims.  
 The daily practice has been rewarding in many ways and was quickly extended to the booty rub which she asks for already and it is great for red lights when I feel we (yes, we!)are not grounded enough and/or it's a bit too noisy (sirens, construction, etc.).  And I wish I always remembered. 
Her absolute favorite for now seems to be the belly rub.  She gets it clock and counter clockwise in multiples of nine.  Ember very clearly demonstrated one afternoon out on the street that she needed some of that, by throwing herself on her back and thus exposing her belly.  I at that moment remembered that we had rubbed her belly when we met her and how calm she was.  Ever since it has been part of the daily routine.  Luckily, she loves being touched in general, and I picked up on the significance of the belly rub.  (Mowgli as he got older was obsessed with the booty rub and found ways to even ask strangers for it, and loved the morning dien cham ritual).  How do I know that he did not just endure it?  Well, he might have yawned or stretched and did not pull or walk away.
Ember's morning sessions last probably between 3-10 minutes, often she also gets a little something at night, or possibly during the day, too, at least when I am with her, and she also gets kisses and hugs.    

Ember loves touch.
Acclimating/integrating the new family member requires creativity and tips from many of our friends/trainer Bruno with respect to Ember and has been a journey.    What has worked for brother Mowgli (not biological siblings of course) was a great start, but Ember needs much more, we are also 10 years older, and 2019 is more complex than 2009, that is the big picture. 
 Healing is an ongoing process and she is not an adult yet, so she is still developing.  She has made a lot of progress very quickly considering she now lives in a very busy New York City neighborhood, and is exposed to dogs of all ages, breeds, temperaments daily, people, people, people, sometimes coming from all directions at the same time cars, bicycles, strollers, walkers, and sirens, etc.., you get the idea daily life
in NYC, or any other big inner city.   
Healing is never quick enough, is it?  We tend to want convenience at all times, including the perfect pet - we may want them low key when we are tired, engaging when we want to engage, etc. 
Kentucky girl on carriage bench 
Ember is from Bowling Green, Kentucky, and came to New York City with a Muddy Paws rescue van (link below) whom we wanted to thank as well as Maddy and Ryan, two fosters.  I personally am in awe of the animal rescue community (consider adoption please***) - they are so committed. Ember is still a bit hesitant about getting into the car at times. -Could that be related to this long journey, maybe yes, maybe no? What works best if she is given some time and if someone gets in first, if we stop often and take her for walks.  She still throws up from time to time but also loves going places, usually the country.          

What is fostering my bond with her and provides daily relaxation is reflexology and other touch, from time to time, some crystal singing bowl.  Reflexology is a major ingredient, and it can be sustainable.

Mowgli enjoying
Losing Mowgli so suddenly - he was both mine and my partner's pillar for nearly ten years - last October was very painful.  

Ember we met randomly outside our buildinwith her foster Maddy after an adoption event.  I have been at one of these events and have been at shelters, and know how very stressful it can be for dogs.  A few days later I found her on social media.  There were a lot of likes, tags, blessings, but she still had no home. 
Well, adoption went through within a week or so.  We met Ember for the second time with her foster dads, Ryan and his partner, and brought her home on a rainy November day, about three weeks after Mowgli's passing.  Who knew?  (Ok, she found us!)   

- She likes her private space (her crate) which she inherited and she has been going in there more and more.  She loves the frisbee, balls, ideally squeaky ones, she goes running with her dad.  
The foundation of Ember's wellness routine (based on Dien Cham by Marie-France Muller) can be the start of a wellness routine for any pet or can be added to any existing practice, it only takes a minute. 

I am pretty sure most animals open to touch will at least like some of these reflexes immediately I found and the practice only takes a minute, so it can be done often, that is without a doubt part of the Dien Cham magic.
  As I like to say it's fast, fun and yum.  Once they are used to it, don't be surprised if they find ways of asking for it and/or find them pressing a very specific part of the face against something.   
However, I came to the conclusion they probably know their  reflexes, meridians, nadis, and chakras, etc.  Why wouldn't they?  They are much more in their bodies than we are.   Wondering what fellow practitioners/animal parents think and have observed (note to myself: do research)?  However, it's great fun to to do it for them; remember it's bonding and an opportunity to connect on a very deep level and to learn as a practitioner and/or parent.       

- Since we got Ember, some of my observations have reminded me of what I recently learned during the 300-hour Trauma Center Trauma Sensitive Yoga Training (TCTSY) which I recently graduated from. (TCTSY has foundations in Trauma Theory, Attachment Theory, and Neuroscience).  Although animals were not covered in the training, puppies just like babies need care, and if that is not provided, wellbeing is impacted. 
While we do not know much about Ember, I do know that she was either abandoned or never had a home in the first place.  Like every person, every animal has a unique story and Reflexology can be a way to support healing.  
Thank you for your visit, as always, please, feel free to check out the links below. 

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#reflexologytreatsareyum, #heartMowgli #emberbatgirlgoodgirl

Birgit Nagele, ARCB, LVCY, TSY
Reflexology/Y.O.G.A. Your Own Guru Always
Private Clients/Corporate/Communities
- NYC-based, International 
- ICR Humanitarian Award 2017
- NYSRA Member of the Year 2012 (website will be updated soon) 
Shifting to a few mindful breaths can at times allow for more ease...

Ember and I at Pier 95

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