Amy Snow & Nancy Zidonis, Tallgrass Animal Acupressure Resources
Nights are longer, temperatures are dropping, leaves are yellowing – all tell-tale signs of autumn. The season is shifting and our horses and dogs need to shift with it in preparation for the even colder weather of winter coming in a matter of weeks.
In Chinese thought, there are two stages of the shift from the hot, verdant green, yang nature of summer. The first transition from summer is called Late Summer. It is distinctly different from the rapid, high-energy of summer. The nights are cooler, the days are shorter, the grasses are yellowing, and the crops are moving toward maturity. This transitional season is associated with the Earth Phase of Transformation in accord with the Five Phases of Transformation, also called The Five-Element Theory. All animals can feel this shift and begin their preparation for autumn followed by winter.
Autumn is a time of harvest and in-gathering of energy. Horses and dogs grow thick undercoats along with heavier outer coats so that they will be able to stay warm during the cold months. Animals exposed to the elements will add a layer of fat. This fat layer is essential to maintaining and sustaining internal yang chi, or internal warmth. The animals’ internal organs need to be warm to function properly during winter. Autumn is associated with the Metal Phase of Transformation or Five-Element Theory because of its contractive nature, like the density of metal.
We can offer our animals a brief acupressure session to prevent illness during the Late Summer and Autumn seasons. The acupressure session must focus on maintaining internal energy balance. The organ systems needing the most support during these seasons are Spleen / Stomach and Lung / Large Intestine.
Spleen and Stomach are responsible for creating nourishment. Horses and dogs need to consume food chi and be able to transform it into absorbable nutrient chi to nourish their bodies and build their strength in preparation for winter. We can enhance their capacity to retain internal yang chi, (warming chi), by using specific acupoints (acupoints), thus supporting them in Late Summer.
When the winds blow in autumn the Lung organ system is most vulnerable to the invasion of wind-cold. The more we can do to protect the Lung, the better, especially in Autumn. Any energetic imbalance of the Lung during Autumn often leads to respiratory illness. Large Intestine points are used to boost the immune system and increase Lung chi.
To support Stomach and Spleen function, there are two commonly-used acupressure points, also called acupoints. Stomach 36 (St 36) is the key acupoint for any issues pertaining to digestion. Spleen 6 (Sp 6) is a powerful point in the breaking down of food into refined nourishment for the body.
The Lung and Large Intestine acupoints that are known to support the Lung and immune system are Lung 9 (Lu 9) and Large Intestine 11 (LI 11). These two acupoints can help prevent illness during the encroaching autumn chill.