Canine Anxiety & Stomach Chi

By Nedra Abramson, 
Tallgrass Small Animal & Equine Acupressure Practitioner & Instructor-in-Training

There are many causes for anxiety in humans and pets but the more research they do on gut microbiome the more the more they are finding out about the gut brain connection. So if you have a stressed out pup diet may be another tool you can use to help alleviate their anxiety. 

Nearly 30 percent of dogs may exhibit signs of anxiety, which may include excessive barking, trying to escape, excessive energy, destructive behaviors and even aggression. Increased intake of omega-3 fats had a calming effect on anxious dogs and led to improvements in behavior. Bifidobacterium longum, a type of beneficial bacteria, was effective in reducing anxiety in anxious dogs.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, St 36 is used to balance out the gut support immune function and help with anxiety. Apparently the TCM practitioners made this connection thousands of years ago. So St 36 is a key point for point for anxiety and here are a few more to help out. 

A Few Points for Your Anxious Pooch…

• GV20 point is located right between her ears at the mid-point of the dog’s head. This acupoint clears brain and calms the mind. 

• HT 7 & Pe 7 are located in the depression between the tendon and the ligament. There’s a natural depression and pretty easy to find just above the bend in the wrist - hold bold sides just above the wrist. These 2 points clear the mind and calm the spirit. Great relaxation points and pups seem to really like this one if you can do both front legs that is great if they will only let you do one that is ok, too. 

• St 36 – To locate St 36, find the front of the knee and slide your finger down into the little groove on the lateral side of each knee. This point serves double duty it calms the mind and helps with any kind of physical stress that produce anxiety . It is also a great immune point and supports the immune system in case it has been over stressed. In addition, St 36 is great for nauseous, diarrhea, constipation, and vomiting, which can be caused by anxiety as well.

• Bai Hui point is found at the lumbar sacral space, on the dorsal midline. It is a calming point and most dog’s love to have it scratched.

• Ki 27 is found between the sternum and the first rib, two finger-widths off the ventral mid-line. This acu-point brings up and releases old issues and serves an anxiety release point.

acupressure points for dog stress