How tough is it to be a pet animal?  Free shelter, free food at dependable intervals, an abundance of toys and attention, nudity encouraged in most cases . . . what are they lacking, and which of us wouldn’t sign up for that kind of life?

Pet massages have become a hot topic, and it appears that Fido and Fluffy enjoy muscle stimulation and relaxation at the end of a long day just as much as their pet owners do.

Dr. Takashi Ishino combines the latest approaches of Western and Eastern medicine to stimulate feline pressure points with gentle massages at the Kamakura Genki Animal Hospital in the Tebiro neighborhood of Kamakura City. Here are three easy cat massages from Dr. Ishino’s repertoire:

Back Squeeze

First, lightly rub the cat from head to tail with a toothbrush. The cat will get the feeling it gets when its mother is licking it, and this will help the cat relax. Then, grab the Governor Vessel (GV), which runs down the middle of the back, and stimulate it ever-so-softly. The GV has several pressure points along its route from the tip of the cat’s nose all the way to its tail.

“Stimulating these pressure points helps ease shoulder stiffness, strengthen your cat’s immune system and improve digestive functions,” Dr. Ishida said.

Face Stretch

Stretch the cat’s face into a smile, pulling from behind the head all the way to the bottom of the ears. There are pressure points beneath the cat’s nostrils and beneath its eyes that help soften muscles in the cat’s face, and stretching is great for warding off eye and nose problems.

Leg Massage

Cats can get shoulder stiffness just like humans, except theirs comes about differently because they walk around on their “arms” all day! You can help alleviate their pain by pressing in on the depression on the outside of the joint in the middle of their front legs. Push lightly for three seconds, hard enough to hurt (so good!) for three seconds, and lightly again for three seconds for a nine-second set. This massage should melt your cat into a purring puddle full of nothing but love for you.

Dr. Ishino urges those who want to learn more about massaging their pets to visit the Japan Pet Massage Association webpage (Japanese only, and text heavy!).

Source: Walker Plus News

▼This is one-year-old Maron. The demonstrator is softening her muscles by stretching her face into a smile.

▼Squeeze the back muscles to stimulate the pressure points.

▼Maron feels like her mother is licking her when the demonstrator lightly rubs her with a toothbrush

▼The demonstrator is easing Maron’s shoulder stiffness with this leg massage.