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How Craniosacral Therapy Can Help Your Pet

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How Craniosacral Therapy Can Help Your Pet

Help Your Pet Heal
Kate  Mackinnon
Kate Mackinnon More by this author
Dec 11, 2014 at 06:15 PM

Craniosacral Therapy (CST) is a noninvasive healing technique supporting your own ability to heal from the inside out. Practitioners are trained in anatomy and physiology, and learn skills to track physical and energetic changes. This allows them to feel into the source of your problem and help you access your own inner, self-healing mechanism. Through this process, you discover how to find health and balance in your body again. And, this same process is also true for pets and animals.

In my practice, the majority of animals I see are dogs when they arrive for their owners’ session. It is often at this time owners express their concern for their pooch.

I share a story in my book From my Hands and Heart: Achieving Health and Balance with Craniosacral Therapy about working with a big, furry Golden Retriever/Labrador mix named Gator. He was nearing the end of his life and Donna, his owner, just wanted him to be as comfortable as possible. He came into my office displaying a lot of anxiety: his tongue was hanging out, he was panting, and his heart was racing. He was arthritic as he had a triple pelvic osteotomy on the right hip at five months old and a left-hip replacement when he was three years old.

After completing my usual evaluation, I placed my hands in the middle of his spine, at the junction of his lumbar and thoracic regions of his spine. I worked on his hips and shoulders, placing my hands around them and sending in energy. Donna mentioned that she was surprised he let me touch his hips, as he was usually very sensitive in that area. By the end of our first session, Gator was noticeably less anxious and quietly dozing away. His stiff hips made it a bit of a struggle to get up, but he happily walked out wagging his tail. For the last four months of this dog’s life, he happily walked in with Donna every two weeks for his 30-minute treatments. He would lie down in his favorite spot in the room and sleep while Donna received her own treatment.

Because CST is accessible to everyone is just one reason I am so passionate about this technique. You, too, could try and put your hands on your pet although cats do not generally tend to be as tolerant! Maybe you know somewhere on your pet’s body that is hurting or arthritic, or you can just see where you are intuitively drawn. Here’s a tip before you do—make sure you have checked in with how you personally are feeling. As I’m sure you know, animals are very good judges of how relaxed or anxious you are. I imagine you can think of a time when you have walked into a room feeling anxious or angry and your beloved pet makes sure to steer clear of you! Or how they seem to have a sixth sense that you are about to take them to the vet! Because animals have such a high level of sensitivity, I always make sure to take a moment or two to check that I’m grounded and feel settled in my body.

Once your hands are on your pet’s body, hold a state of open curiosity. Notice how your pet is reacting and what sensations you notice under your hands. If your pet gets up and walks away, they may have received all they need for the time being. Try again later and see what happens. In the last chapter of my book, I describe in detail how to prepare yourself before putting your hands on and how to do some basic CST techniques that can benefit your loved ones, including your pets.

After working with a variety of different animals, I’ve witnessed noticeable changes in their wellbeing and behavior. Many therapists work with domestic animals, and some specialize in working with horses. CST has been shown to make significant changes in the health and physical condition of horses. If you haven’t experienced CST for yourself or your pet, I encourage you to give it a try.


*Kate Mackinnon is a passionate advocate for Craniosacral Therapy and published Hay House Author. Inspired to write From my Hands and Heart: Achieving Health and Balance with Craniosacral Therapy, Kate makes this powerful therapy understandable for everybody and shares some easy self-help tools. Through her workshops, presentations and book, Kate strives to bring more exposure for Craniosacral Therapy and have it become more widely recognized. Her clients include Hay House authors and staff, executives at Fortune 100 companies and leaders in health and wellness. For more information about Kate, visit To find a local Craniosacral Therapist in your area, visit Connect with Kate on Facebook or Twitter. 



About Author
Kate  Mackinnon
Kate Mackinnon PT, supports people in creating comfort and ease in their bodies. A Physical Therapist for more than twenty years, Kate has found CranioSacral therapy to be the key to her patients’ speedy, complete, and long-lasting recoveries, while Continue reading