A new beginning

Jenny can help to shape, prep, and remind you of your purpose.
Jenny can help to shape, prep, and remind you of your purpose.

Contributed by Sandi Martinez

I remember when I first stepped into the new shoes of the Administrative Assistant and Receptionist positon for Rocky Mountain School of Animal Acupressure and Massage, back in March of 2011. I was in awe Lisa Speaker (former Founder and Executive Director) of RMSAAM. She had a sense of style, intuition, and business sense that to this day, I can’t quite put into words – not here and not now – just that she a had a magical way of connecting, and mixing elements of different and unique alchemical types, and meshing them together to bring about the perfect ingredients.

I was the Blog Administrator. I was the person that decided on the final template (that you see now), and implemented the blog design and platform for the blog. I wrote many of the articles that you can read back to starting in April of 2011-present. It did change a few times, but in the end, it was more like finding RMSAAM’s personality and making it cohesive and interactive with the website, and the offerings, information, and personality of RMSAAM that Lisa worked so hard to build and maintain.

I’d like to take my hat off to these two incredible women: Lisa Speaker, and Jenny Rukavina-Marchese, the new owner of RMSAAM! Jenny is a vivacious Gemini – but don’t be fooled, two faces can meld into one. She will always offer you up the things you want, but not the things you think you should have. She will show you the way, the ‘real’ way. You have dreams of becoming an Animal Bodywork Practitioner?  Bring it on… Jenny can help to shape, prep, and remind you of your purpose. If this isn’t what you really want, then what are you doing reading this? Go back, do your homework, listen to the whisperings of your soul and know this: Everything comes in its own good time and not yours. Destiny/fate has its own definition of timing and the fact that you’re reading this, tells me that you’re ready to take the first steps into your passion; becoming an Animal Bodywork Practitioner!

Can your furry friend experience soreness after a massage?

When your pet experiences their first massage, soreness can occur. So how will you know if your pet is sore? (Image: Sandi Martinez)
When your pet experiences their first massage, soreness can occur. So how will you know if your pet is sore? (Image: Sandi Martinez)

 

by Sandi Martinez

[Contributors: Lisa Speaker and Jenny Rukavina-Marchese]

For humans, the benefits of massage outweigh the inevitable soreness that can sometimes occur post-massage. The advantage the massage therapist has over helping us humans to minimize the impact of soreness, is that they can recommend that we drink plenty of water, and do some gentle stretches. Hydration is key in order to assist our bodies to rid ourselves of the toxins that are naturally released during massage.

All Animal Massage practitioners provide a form in which the owner specifies all pertinent details about your furry friend. Questions about your dog’s health and wellness are included. If your dog falls within the eligibility parameters of massage, the practitioner then has the honor of building a relationship with your dog on a therapist/client basis.

When your pet experiences their first massage, soreness can occur. So how will you know if your pet is sore? You know your furry friend’s (this includes your horses!) habits well by now – the first thing you will notice is that your pet is less active, or when in a lying position, will rise more gingerly or slowly than usual. If you have stairs, your pet may climb them more slowly.  The therapist’s goal is to minimize this possibility of soreness; it is not unusual if your furry friend does experience this, due to the unaccustomed feeling of knotted muscles being relieved and newly positioned.

Asking in advance of the first massage what to expect post-massage is highly recommended, as all animals experience the benefits of massage differently. Sometimes the changes in movement are more subtle. In cases like these, touching base with the practitioner post-massage might be a good idea. After the initial massage, if soreness continues, the practitioner can ascertain with as much detail provided by the owner, how best to adjust and customize the massage to fit your animal companion’s special needs during future sessions.

Here are a few ways to help your dog with the soreness they may be feeling:

  • Take your dog for a slow, short walk, post-massage
  • Make another appointment within the same week for another session; this will maintain, and prep your dog’s muscles for continued muscle relaxation and dexterity
  • Make water easily and readily available for them to drink after their session
  • Cold laser therapy will help in the more tense and reactive areas, in which soreness can occur

The ultimate goal for the animal practitioner when massaging your pet for the first time is to use less pressure in combination with intuition, to guide their best and positive intentions that lead to an awesome experience – for their first time on the table!

Geez, don’t Rune your week!

Algiz reversed encourages us to take our time, even if we may be late, in order to set the pace for a positive day, resulting in more positive outcomes.
Algiz reversed encourages us to take our time, even if we may be late, in order to set the pace for a positive day, resulting in more positive outcomes.

 

Contributed by Sandi Martinez

Who would have thought that you could use a letter from an old Scandinavian alphabet, to guide you in your daily living habits?

Algiz (pronounced: algeez) represents the letter Z in the Elder Futhark origin of runes (Runes are letters of the Germanic alphabet thought to originate in Scandinavia) dated from the 3-7 centuries. The Elder Futhark consists of 24 runes, broken into three groups of eight known as Aett (a division of the runic alphabet). Today, runes are used as a diving tool similar to the tarot for example.

Algiz upright, (the rune was drawn reversed) symbolizes protection. Reversed, this rune reminds us that exercising awareness and reading the red-light signs; not just the literal red lights we obey on the road… is essential to preventing not only accidents on the road, but also the mistakes we might make by not paying more attention!

So the times when we’re driving to work in a hurry, our foot may get heavy on the gas pedal, and too light on the brakes! This is when accidents occur. When we brake just on time, we are saved and protected from harm. But when we are not aware and stubborn in getting there, well… we are unprotected and therefore cause harm to ourselves and others.

Algiz reversed encourages us to take our time, even if we may be late, in order to set the pace for a positive day, resulting in more positive outcomes. We may even run into others’, who have negative intentions toward us, and we may miss the signs – do you have paper trail to cover your tail? Did you lock your door and set your alarm before you left the house? Did you leave your purse in obvious view of those who don’t have the decency to return it to you, knowing it belongs to you?

The key to protecting yourself and those you love is awareness. Take care to be careful, lest you get clipped by the un-reputable! So this week folks, stay safe by being self-aware, and please… drive with care… fireworks will be flying soon, and so will our determination to have fun!

RMSAAM wishes you a wonderful and successful week!

Your Calling; are you stalling?

Congratulations! You did make a decision… or did you? (Image: Sandi Martinez)
Congratulations! You did make a decision… or did you? (Image: Sandi Martinez)

 

Contributed by Sandi Martinez

It begins with doubts, but mostly an immense feeling of freedom: Images of working with animals, and a ‘knowing’ that it’s just what you should be doing. But then, the boxed in reality of the job you go to everyday, the one that puts bread and butter on the table, come in and jumble your thoughts, throwing you into doubtful, cloudy, abyss.

Then comes the, ‘put it on the back burner’; it’s a lofty idea, completely unworkable.  For how on earth are you supposed to begin the process of getting the education you need in order to become a certified Animal Practitioner? The idea may seem far-fetched, and indeed a challenging one.

But who made up that saying, “Nothing worth doing comes easy” or something to that effect? So how do you begin the process? Is there a magical formula that you follow? An easy step-by-step guide on: ‘how to follow your dreams and make them a reality?’

Surely there is one? For if the magic swirls around you and inside of you, then a materialization of this concept must exist somewhere? So then the next thing is you go to the book store, and head over to the ‘Self-help’ section.

Oh my, tons of great books. Now, which one is the one? Suddenly, there appear to be too many. It’s almost as if by being confronted by too many choices, you now can’t make a simple decision as to which book(s) is the right one!

Instead perhaps the final decision is to go back home, and look up each book you wrote down as a possible good choice on Google Books. So, great! This is the decision for now. Congratulations! You did make a decision… or did you?

Days go by. Weeks go by. Years go by. The list still sits on your computer bookmarked somewhere. Perhaps you even bought a new computer in all this time, and oops, you didn’t save the link to the books list that you coveted and hid for later review so possessively, somewhere…

Early mornings and dog-tired evenings are when the thoughts come again. Especially when you are walking your dog, or playing with your cats, or feeding your rabbit – oh, how you would love to work with animals…

Do you think that you just randomly happened by this article? Do you think perhaps that you have just taken the first step to making your dream come true as an animal practitioner?

Click here, read on to discover how easy it is, to make an informed decision… Congratulations, you’ve now taken the first, real, and palpable steps to do doing what you love, instead of dreading where you’re going everyday… Congratulations!

Use Your Words

So where do you begin to truly use your words, not only to convey what you do concisely, but with pride and integrity? (Image: Sandi Martinez)
So where do you begin to truly use your words, not only to convey what you do concisely, but with pride and integrity? (Image: Sandi Martinez)

Contributed by Sandi Martinez

In a perfect world, words would convey EXACTLY what we are thinking. The reader would simply be drawn in by your intention, every inflection of your voice, through your words. We would not need to add images, or graphics; the reader would see it all in their mind, a bit like a neon sign…

But, this is not a perfect world we live in. We live in a world in fact, that involves nixed, mixed, confused, convoluted, and misunderstood communication. How to be clear, concise, and say what we mean with integrity? How to sell what you love to do as an animal practitioner with simple, yet intelligent buzz words that capture, and enthrall your prospective clients, while at the same time, marketing yourself with integrity, honor, and the highest good of all concerned including their humans?

It’s simple: Honesty. We shouldn’t be afraid to be honest. We shy away from it because we worry what others might think. We worry that we may say the wrong thing, or not say the right thing. We worry that we will be judged if we don’t sound a specific, educated way. Yet, we are. You are – educated. So where do you begin to truly use your words, not only to convey what you do concisely, but with pride and integrity?

Honesty: What do you really want to say? It may sound ‘out there’, but in fact, aren’t we all weird in our own way? Don’t we try to disguise it by the way we dress, speak, or through our lifestyles? You are an animal practitioner. This means you have committed your life to helping and aiding in the self-healing of these beings, as well as your own as a human being. Begin with what’s weirdest, and work your way to what’s realistic and understandable.

Talk about your weaknesses and round it out with your strengths. Type up several drafts, and put yourself in several positions as a helper; an advocate for the wellbeing of animals around the world, and then edit it, and cut, and add, and don’t be afraid to cut some more, and replace with more magic words… it all begins in the first drafts, and ends with the final – it’s all about who, what, why, where, and how you’re going to offer your services: Pride, confidence, belief, honor, and integrity. Am I missing something? Please don’t be shy and share with RMSAAM the things I might have left out…

You’ve got nerve! Oh, and so does your animal companion!

Did you know there are 45 miles of nerves in the skin of a human being?
Did you know there are 45 miles of nerves in the skin of a human being?

Did you know there are 45 miles of nerves in the skin of a human being?  That’s a lot of nerves!  It’s no wonder that when we get stressed, our nerves are frayed, the need to yank out a hair or too is prominent (or more commonly, we lose hair here and there on our own), and our skin suffers, as well as a host of other stress-related problems that ensue.

So how does stress affect animals?  Yes… animals do get stressed.  Both their skin and coat suffer.  Some of these triggers include: Noise, fear, sudden changes in their environment, boredom, inconsistencies in their water or food, separation anxiety, pain, and the ageing process are contributing factors.

Stress hormones are first released for example, when your animal companion is crated to go to the vet – and amazingly, they are very perceptive intuitive animals, and do know they are facing that dreaded visit!  The hormones are released into the bloodstream, causing shedding for a few days.  If stressors are daily, shedding becomes a bigger problem.  Typically, keeping in mind different breeds and species, hair is first shed on the body and rear hips.

It’s no wonder then, that the world of Animal Massage is becoming a much bigger, better place.  Here’s how massage helps your animal companion; prolonging their life-span and yours too (humans experience the same benefits through massage)!

  • Boost the immune system
  • Improve the quality and symmetry of movement
  • Support better joint health and function
  • Promote earlier detection of stressors and strains
  • Stimulate circulation for greater health of all tissues
  • Help reduce risk, severity, and frequency of injuries
  • Improve athletic agility and coordination
  • Reduce the effects of stress
  • Minimize restrictions caused by old scar tissue
  • Reduce or eliminate adhesions, knots, and other restrictions
  • Improve skeletal alignment for more efficient movement and posture
  • Release endorphins (natural pain killers)
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Improve digestion

If you’re interested in bonding, and connecting more with your furry friend, RMSAAM offers Canine Massage Correspondence Program for the enthusiast!  This is a non- certificate program for animal owners / lovers!  We look forward to hearing from you!

K9 Nose Work; is it for you and your dog?

K9 Nose Work uses the dogs’ sense of smell to locate a specific odor(s) and find its source. (Image: Office.com)
K9 Nose Work uses the dogs’ sense of smell to locate a specific odor(s) and find its source. (Image: Office.com)

A new sport, K9 Nose Work was created by founders: Ron Gaunt, Amy Herot and Jill Marie O’Brien.  They used their extensive experience in the professional canine detection arena to create a fun, safe, and stimulating sport for dogs and their owners.

K9 Nose Work uses the dogs’ sense of smell to locate a specific odor(s) and find its source.  First, they start by searching for their favorite toy, or food that is hidden in a variety of places, thereby increasing challenges, as well as adding new search skills, as the dog advances.  The most common target odors that people prefer to use in Nose Work are anise, clove, and birch.  However, the owners or handlers can still use food, or their toys to keep it interesting and still progress in this fun activity.  For those whom may prefer to use essential oils, RMSAAM offers a great Essential Oils course!

Four different search elements are introduced to the dog: container, interior, exterior and vehicles.  These search elements allow the dogs to increase their hunt drive and learn foundational search skills.  For those wanting to eventually enter into a K9 Network competition, later stages will introduce advanced detection and handling skills to teams.

What are some of the benefits of this fun sport?

  • Dogs easily burn lots of mental and physical energy doing searches
  • Searches can be done anywhere you can take your dog
  • No prior training is required and no obedience is needed
  • In classes, dogs work one at a time and rest crated or safely in a vehicle between searches so reactive dogs can enjoy the activity, too
  • Shy or fearful dogs build confidence and overactive dogs put their energy into fun searches
  • Stronger bond between dog & handler as handler learns to observe, understand, and rely upon his dog

This sport truly is all about the dog and allowing animal companion and human to bond; making it possible to get to know your dog better.  Create a fun and scentsational experience with your dog!