By Yvette Eastman

Animals are excellent candidates for Reflexology. They benefit from Reflexology as much as people do and perhaps even more than petting! They walk and live in the same stressful settings as we do, breathe the same air, drink the same water and lead noisy, angry, deprived lives. For the love of humans, they have given up much of their freedom, and most of their instincts. It is time for us to give them something very special.

When you first work on an animal, you need to relax them with little moves that treat the foot gently eliciting sigh of pleasure. Just as in humans, you start with “treats” and relaxation exercises, and then move into specific reflexes. So take their whole foot in your hands and gently turn it, and stretch it and “wring it” as if it were a dishcloth. Gently pull a foot away from the body stretching it slowly backward, then forward, and at each position, hold it a moment. Hold it a few moments and stretch it a bit more. Watch both your friend’s breathing and yours making sure not to hold your breath.

Hold the tail root with both hands and softly pull backwards. The animal, whether it is a dog, cat, or horse, will probably pull forwards. This gives excellent traction and feels great on their spine and neck. This is especially true of dogs that pull on their leashes and harnesses and horses improperly saddled and shod.

Reflexology techniques also involve the ears. Stroke and manipulate them both inside and outside paying specific attention to the very tips of the ear. This calms any animal and even brings them out of shock. I could put my donkey, Gringo, to sleep just by brushing the inside portions of his ear. There isn’t a dog alive that doesn’t grin when you give them an ear rub. When held gently, holding the very tips of the ears, relieves stress. Watch their faces relax into a smile.

The points directly below the eyes release fear. My dog, Sasha, delighted in having these spots tapped. They released her fear of firecrackers and thunder. I knew a beautiful older dog that was grieving for his deceased companion. He mourned, wouldn’t eat or play. A few gentle taps around his eyes and on the side of his front paws and he was his old self again. Although it involved a different emotion, tapping in the same places for the miniature schnauzer who was afraid of big dogs and any anything new turned her into a very social being, bolder and braver than her human!

Perhaps you want to do Foot Reflexology on your friend. Please realize that your animal’s paws are just her toes and the ball of the foot. The area that is called the instep and heel on our feet never touches the ground in dog, cat or horse. So if you try to work on paws alone, you will tickle and irritate your friend rather than correcting and calming. The hock is equivalent to the heel and in Reflexology terms, the hock represents the buttock, hip and low back area. Remember that the toes represent the head and you can knead them gently for eye and ear problems. The funny shaped pad reflects to the lungs. The metatarsal area relates to the liver, gall bladder and ascending colon on the right side and the stomach, spleen and pancreas on the left side. Although horses have no Gall bladder they do have a gall bladder function, so work that area.

So take a few moments with your companion to stroke and knead the area above the toes – the metatarsals, and the heel. Move the skin over the flesh rather than massaging it. Move it in circles one way and then the other. Push the skin up, hold it there a few moments then pull it down. Keep repeating this in different spots along the foot, then moving up the leg toward the knee and finally work on the thigh. Now repeat the procedure on the “hands”. Just like us, their hands are different from their feet and are used differently. And if you already do Reflexology and know how to “hook” “inch” and “walk” to affect the reflexes, perform those on your animal friend and receive looks of love and pleasure.

As the foundation of the body, feet and paws balance the body for which they are made. The horse stands on his middle toe. Can you imagine the muscular strength it takes a horse to carry us, pull plows and hay-wagons, follow and round up cattle and win races. And we trip over our feet! All animals, including us – the five finger-five toed kind - adapt to our weight, to the way we walk, to the way we stand and even to your emotions. Watch a happy yet exhausted dog returning from a long hike, compared to a dog that is tired because he has been bored, asking you to please take him for a walk. His emotions are in every step.

Ah! The magic of feet! They are truly an enchantment to us Reflexologists who learn to read your system’s feet first! The manual, Pawspoint Reflexology for Animals by Yvette Eastman, can show you step by step how you can work with your friend. You can find it, and more on the web at

For more information, e-mail: and check her website at phone 604-936-3227

Author's Bio: 

Yvette Eastman, Director and Founder of Touchpoint Institute of Reflexology and Kinesthetics, Ltd., has spent the last 35 years instucting students around the world in Pawspoint Animal Reflexology as well as all levels of Reflexology, Touch For Health and Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT). She is constantly writing new programs and discovering new and easier ways too improve health. Yvette has authored books on Foot, Hand, Face, Body, Ear Reflexology, Pawspoint Reflexology for Animals, Meridians on the Feet Reflexology, Chakras on the Feet. Each is available both as hard copy and as an E-book. Her Reflexology learning aids are awesome, from her How-To video to "Dial-A-Reflex" to "Seminars On a Page". Her classes are jewels of learning and sharing. Even the distance learning programs are personal journeys for each participant.