Episode 5 – Leora Weitzman

In this episode we talk with Leora Weitzman who provides and teaches therapeutic massage at the introductory and advanced levels. She also provides massage and Reiki for small animals, mostly dogs, and sometimes assists with interspecies communication issues. To learn more about Leora you can visit her website.

Check out this episode!“Welcome to the Professionals and Animal Rescue podcast, where goal is to introduce you two amazing people helping animals and share how you can get involved with animal rescue. This’ll Podcast is probably sponsored by do bert dot com. Do Bert is a free website designed to connect volunteers with rescues and shelters and the only site that automates rescue really transport. Now on with our show today, we’re talking with Leora Weitzman. Lior provides and teaches therapeutic massage at the introductory in advanced levels. She also provides massage and Ricky for small animals, mostly dogs, and sometimes assist with interest species communication issues. She recently completed yoga teacher training to gain a more complete understanding of the muscles used in common activities. Her current course offerings include muscle whispering tension patterns. Keep your body happy in a series of precision deep tissue courses focused on different body areas. The order has been working with small animals professionally since 2010. After taking a small animal massage class at Blue Sky Massage School. Lures website is back in harmony dot org’s highly are welcome to the show. Thanks, Chris and glad to be here, so tell us a little bit about you and what you do. Well, I am full time Akash, therapist and instructor. I teach introductory in the dance massage techniques and kinesiology along with massaging human clients. I also have animal clients, mostly dogs. You can’t interesting. How did you get from humans into massaging animals as part of your profession? Well, it actually, in some ways it’s the other way around. I learned humans because I wanted to do work that brought me two hands on contact with animals because of a dog that I lived with years ago, who I’ve been an animal person, that I’d only had my bird. And, um, I was a little afraid of dogs. This God really taught me how to communicate with her and give her what she wanted, which is your interest in the deal. But I was completely timed and head over heels, a dog person after that. So when I was looking for a career change from my previous academic job, I looked up. I had heard of something called healing touch for animals, and I looked it up. And if that meets the human massage school as a coincidence, and then he went massage became how I made my living. But then I looked for a class on animal massage to piggyback on that, and I found one at Sign Massage School in Grafton. Crash was taught by Bruce Begins er called Intro to Small Animal Massage. It was a 20 hour we can class, and I, following his advice, did about a year’s worth for free just to get X. Syrians know whenever I could get somebody willing to have me work on their animals, and then it slowly became a professional thing. And I have a small but study sideline of Dobbs alongside the humans. That’s awesome. So how do your clients come to mean? Are they coming because the animals were in pain or they Is it more of a pleasure thing like it is a lot of times for adults, it’s generally pain. Or, um, it’s a variety of things that generally pain pain, relief for mobility. A dog dead is limping, having trouble upstairs, getting older and not moving around as Petra’s well tripping or falling down occasionally just a dog that might be near the end of life. And the owner is seeking to comfort the dog or I’ve also occasionally been called in with behavior issues. And what I did was basically just really listened to the dog and, um, noticed what I could notice and talk to the human about anything I noticed in the interaction and that the human might not have been aware about. So it’s occasionally seems to help with anxiety fuelled behavior issues, too. Wow, that’s really awesome. So how do you approach this? I mean that for a new client, if they bring on a dog, rock us through. I guess how you do this. I wouldn’t even know where to begin. Um, and I want to say, First of all, I don’t know what I’d do it the same. This is other people. So this is just how I do it. I would quit the animal where the animals comfortable. So that’s usually on the ground. Maybe I’m a dog dead or a sofa sometimes outside. And I’m not picky. I’ll take the first place. The dog is willing to settle because often the hardest part with many dogs is just getting them to settle in. That for me to do the works after all, especially at first, they don’t know me, and I’m not exactly petting them. This is something a little unfamiliar. So anyway, way settle down on the floor or wherever they’re believed to settle. You see by them Sorry, you’re hearing my cockatiels is here with me then? No, I observed. I try to look for where do I can I see anything digitally that points me to wear? There might be a tense area. Or do I just let my hands find it? Or the animal? Show me it’s good anyway, before getting detail to do some general stroke, some relaxing, whole body kind of gliding, introductory relaxation. Then I try to zero in on areas that book that seem troublesome. And it’s helpful there that I have some experience with human, the side with a new theology. I know a bit about movement and what but where a muscle would be to create a movement and what muscle might be tied to the movement of impaired in a certain way. So I have some idea what I’m looking for. Once I find a tight area, there’s a variety of moves that could be helpful, and here I’m drawing on my human experience again. Can be just a little, very gentle little circles or gliding along the tight muscle the length of it. Um, it can be drafting the muscle between my thumb and finger gently like the sides rather than the tips, if I can, if it’s kind of a long skinny muscle and rubbing the muscle between my fingers or with one finger or with my palm, if it’s a broader muscle more in the body rather than a limb, so little circles rubbing, stroking could do a little bit of vibration over it. So put my fingers on and not and just vibrate them a little bit. I might rock it a little bit. If I’m working a part time working with them, I might support the weight of it. And this is definitely a don’t try this at home if you haven’t had some similar training for humans, but I might rock it or move it through a range of motion with the weight completely supported. So there’s no gravity in the mix, and that helps the animal relax and trust me, and everything is very slowly so there’s no yanking. There’s no surprises. I’m watching for reactions. The whole time when I get towards the end of the range of motion is when you know just like you stretch yourself is when you start to feel it more intensely, and I don’t want to alarm the animal. The most common thing, if I do, is that it gets up. Mark’s away. So this is where patients come here because I may have something specific that I really want to do because I’m so sure it’ll help the animals. But if the animal doesn’t feel okay with me doing that, I better not do it because I will get walked away from or if it’s a cattle get scratched or bit. And so if I actually wanted to succeed in doing something, I’ve got to be very attentive to what the animal wants. It is open to and back off of my agenda, come in a different way, trying to get a sense. Look at the feedback. What what? She was welcome. What things unwelcome and build on what was welcoming? Yeah, that’s really cool. And definitely it sounds like a lot of patients. You talked a little bit before about some of the different benefits, but what if what are some of the stories or one of the things that you’ve seen that if you know, the animals have benefited from some of the most gratifying there was. The dog became able who haven’t even been walking and began to climb stairs again. Nor the husk you would had throat surgery and hadn’t eaten since the surgery and was really looking pretty wild because the surgery was very traumatic for her, and I was able to get her to start eating it, swallowing food again. Two cases of I want to say people of dogs were limping, who stopped, you know, who walked more evenly. They’re Waas recently of very old border collie who only lived a week after our session. But she had been stumbling and she didn’t stumble anymore after our session. There’s one dog I work with regularly, who was born with dwarfism, and, I think Kandra pleasure. So she had. She’s a German shepherd, but she has the short, stubby little legs, and her joints still connect properly, so I work with her to help her. Her legs just be able to move more easily and not get too stiff, because she essentially has to have her muscles after the many times stronger than most people because they’re kind of holding her joints together on top of living her around. So where do people go to learn about this? Is this something that there’s courses, online courses in your community? How do people get started with there are courses? The course I found was talk to a massage school. Although some of my classmates were not massage therapist, you didn’t have to be. That’s one place you can look. I tried to track down my old teacher because I wanted to give his info on the top, and his website isn’t up in more, and I didn’t see. Enlisted is currently teaching where I went and his email bounced back to me, so I would love to recommend him. But I don’t know if I can write down, poked around our minded it to see if I could find one, um, standout resource to send people to. And there’s there’s an enormous range of options. Right now there are schools that will train you in animal massage and acupressure, acupressure and stuff at a higher level than what I do and their certification programs, which right now are voluntary. It’s not regulated by the state, so it’s legal to do it without certification. But you can choose to be certified, and that certainly would inspire a lot of trust and probably allow you to charge more. I did see an online class, and I want to say, Don’t study it online on Lee What I learned from the in person class was really, really valuable. The guy was very serious about it because he brought his own animals, dogs and cats that he called his teaching a system. And he had us work on, and he had learned to read there feedback. And he also gave us feedback, as we were learning to be that when we were both going to deep moving to fashion, um, not paying good attention to them. I would not trust someone who had learned this only online to work on my animal because there’s a lot about the connection to the animal. It needs to be much gentler then. The humans much more rich, stressful in this, um, it’s actually transformed the way we work with humans, because now I work with them more how you work with animals and I’m watching much more for nonverbal feedback and feedback at the level that not even conscious or voluntary. It’s just, I think, of the muscles of little animals. They tell me things by their reaction is just that the animals? That’s really cool. So are there things that you would recommend to people that they can do with their own pets to calm them or their You know, their limitations for what they should be doing? The first thing I would say is, is respect and listening. There’s a lot more inside then than we give them credit for, and they’re not like little humans themselves. They’re not so verbal. They don’t think the same way, but they feel much the same way so they can have most of the same emotions that would say, and just when you would expect them to have them so they can feel competitive. Joe, uh, anxious, Afraid to trust bacon be mad at you. Catch particularly, have a very strong sense of their dignity. And so anyway, it doesn’t work to treat them as things or the way you could get away with treating a toddler. Maybe with humans, we tolerate more from each other to respect and listening to tell your animals, even if you’re not sure they understand, do your best to tell them. Try to visualize it, intend for them to get it. So those are the first things safety precautions. Um, if your animal has a fever, just like with humans, that’s not a safe time for them to have their circulation increase. So you want to be very aware of large gliding strokes or big movements with your hand that would increase their circulation if they’re sick. If you don’t want to spread infection around their body by increasing their circulation with humans also have high blood pressure. You don’t want to increase their circulation in case their system can handle the higher blood pressure in it in this temporary kind of way, so that I imagine that caution applies. Two. If your animal has an injury or a fracture, don’t look at the injury, obviously, and don’t work farther out. Like, say, the injury is in the knee. Don’t work in the foot because it has to do is have a circulation, is affected by the injury, and you could get more toxins sort of locked in that area that can’t get through the barrier of where the injury or fractures so only work closer to their center. Then the injury don’t work further out. I mean, I’m talking about here. It’s like a factor. A wound open. If there’s an infection, don’t work at or our father out, man controlled. Yeah, And I also noticed Li are from your from your website that you also do raking and you mention that before so talk a little bit about Ricky. And do you do that both on humans and animals? Yeah, I used raker. You actually more often with animals maybe than the humans and especially with camp because I just encountered a number of cats, too. Were skittish about having the massage them that love the raking and I’ve seen catch Watch me give dogs Riki and they look like they can see the energy, which is just fascinating to me. I don’t see anything, and I don’t always feel anything, but the cats look at me like they’re looking at something. They look at the space between my hands and the dog or my hands and themselves with the caps. Basically what I you should know the cuts have all different personalities, but some of them that I want to do something that’s not there, idea. Forget it. The massage was not their idea, even if it was their humans ideas. But Ricky’s I’ll take because they don’t feel I’m trying to manipulate. Um, I’ve also used it as a way to relax the dog who didn’t want to settle. I would just give her a key until she looking sleepy, and then I would begin to move in and do more massage. That’s really cool. And it definitely sounds like you’ve worked that into into your approach. Yeah, Another interesting thing is that dogs are different by breed in terms of how ready, there to settle in a Let me massage. So I sound labs are very receptive and mellow that I could do just about anything I want with, Um, let’s see who else didn’t. I’m working with some colleagues now who are very interesting. One of them cut on very fast, started trying to teach me stuff. German shepherds seemed very widely, but they have minds of their own, for sure, and if they’d rather play, might be tricky. Depends on your age to younger dogs are harder to get. A little older dogs are more willing, more interested. So you know, I can’t say to them, This is the massage. You’re supposed to life so they don’t listen that well, right? So if there is bored and they want to play them, they want to play now. It won’t help to indulge them in play, because then they’re in play mode and they really don’t settle. But I do let them walk away and come back. A. Don’t assume that one hour continuous massage is the model that drives for them. I kind of let them call the shots that way, common for them to want a break. And then it’s some point after discern. If they actually have had all that they want or should have for the day, and it may be an hour, it maybe e 20 or 30 or 40 minutes. That’s really cool. I never would have thought that different breeds would react differently. Toe Well, this is somewhat of a generalisation from the chin up against on tons and tons on many different please. But I have noticed some pattern. That’s great. This is really interesting stuff, though. Yours or anything else you wanted to share absolutely to share and that people could do with their dogs with out experience that might. This is just the solution with one dog and, um, could be a really simple solution. For perhaps other times, this was a dog who had constipation for days and I can’t remember. There was maybe a diet changed involved, and the owner was getting really worried. And I remembered that with humans there’s a kind of abdominal massage to use to get Things started again, and it worked at the dog just great. There were no further problems. And the way it works you have to visualize the large intestine which goes around your abdomen clockwise, that you’re the sea just facing the person or dog. And you know they’re facing you there. Delhi is towards its clockwise, so the direction it moves is from the lower. After looking at them, the your lower left up and then across under the rib cage and then down the lower right and the best way to do it. Until you do these little short strokes, you dont go That whole blanket first. Think of it is if you’re sweeping out the hallway that is full of, I don’t know, just or pine needles the whole way. If you started at the back, you kind of get a log jam. So you start near the exit and you just sweet the little from just before the exit. You just sweep down to the exit like you’re sweating it out the exit, and then you back up a little bit and you start a little farther back, you’re going towards you, and then you back up a little more and you work your way all the way back to the beginning of the hallway. Or, in this case, the beginning of the large intestine. Descent makes them Absolutely. That’s really a cool way to visualize it. Well, great. We’ll stay in my pocket. Hell is expressing his opinion. He’s got a lot to say, doesn’t he? He does. He does have a lot to say. Well, thank you, Leo. I appreciate you sharing all this with us, and we appreciate you coming on the program. You’re very welcome, Chris. Thanks for inviting me. Thanks for tuning into today’s podcast. If you’re not already a member, join the air P A to take advantage of all the resources we have to offer. And don’t forget to sign up with do bert dot com. It’s free and helps automate the most difficult tasks in animal rescue.”

This show is available on