Doggy Chiropractor

Loker never lies down on his own in the car. Right after the chiropractor, he did just that!
Loker never lies down on his own in the car. Right after the chiropractor, he did just that!

Loker never lies down on his own in the car. Right after the chiropractor, he did just that!

I’ve always been a skeptic of holistic medicine. I am a very rational/logical person and got a degree in Biology after all. Fortunately, I’m very open-minded (as you all know).

Before I crossed over to positive reinforcement based training, I didn’t believe in using drugs or supplements to treat behavior issues. I believed that behavior should be addressed for what it is – behavior. After all, you can just “snap dogs out of it,” right? At least that’s what I used to think and do.

A couple specific classes I took while getting my degree have helped me learn about how drugs affect the brain and, therefore, behavior. Those classes were: Animal Physiology, Toxicology, and Brain and Behavior. These classes connected behavior and bodily functions to chemical pathways in the brain and I was able to understand that the brain, drugs, and behavior are not exclusive from each other. Everything functions as one.

Relaxing at home after his first chiropractor visit.

This realization and understanding lead me to start Loker on a supplement (L-theanine). Soon after I was able to see a change in him. When it was time to relax, he was able to relax more quickly and more deeply. He actually will lie on his back in bed with us for belly rubs for 1-5 minutes at a time which he never did for even 10 seconds before.

After a recent interview for my podcast, which I haven’t published yet, the benefit of seeing a chiropractor for reactivity was brought up. My guest talked about how most reactive dogs need some sort of adjustment and that once that was addressed, the reactivity became much less intense or sometimes even disappeared.

So my quest to find a local, qualified, and recommended chiropractor began! Friends recommended that I contact local agility groups because they often have a chiropractor for their doggy athletes. I soon came in contact with a human, horse, and canine Network Chiropractor that came highly recommended. (If you’re in Austin, TX and want to know who I’m going to, feel free to message me privately.)

Our First Appointment

Loker was extremely worried about where we were. It was a new location, lots of new smells (both human and dog), and chicken was barely cutting it. I was trying to wrestle with the leash, checking in/filling out paperwork, and keeping him away from people. We got in our private room and waited patiently for the chiropractor to come in. I was waiting for Loker to get in her face, like he always does with new people…

Well, she walked in and he barely even noticed her. It was a reaction, or lack thereof, that I had never seen from him. She was very friendly and talked to me about the process, the spinal cord network she works on, and how it settles animals and people. I explained his past. As we talked, she touched Loker ever so gently – and he let her. We had him lie down and within a few minutes of touching the panting and panic subsided. Oh, and tears began to gather in my eyes.

This was the first time I had seen someone other than me or Sean (my fiance) touch him – and she was completely new to him. It was eye opening to see his calmness and her connection with him. I also felt that she understood what I had gone through with him, that he was such a challenging first dog to start with on my journey of dog ownership. Even though I love him, he has caused me a lot of stress.

She told me about how the nervous system stores past experiences as energy waves and this process changes the frequency of those waves to remove or change memories. She explained how Network Chiropractic touching had helped a particular woman move forward from her childhood trauma. That woman now says that she understood that the trauma had occurred to someone like her, but it was no longer part of her. It removed those memories from her consciousness. She suspects that the same occurs with animals even though they cannot explain it to us.  It will take several visits to heal Loker’s trauma, but she is confident that it will help him move forward. To become more in tune with his parasympathetic nervous system (rest/digest) instead of his sympathetic nervous system (flight/fight response). I’m willing to give it a whole-hearted effort because I would love for him to restore his sanity – and mine.

The results I saw from our first visit and experience has me wanting more. Only time will tell, but I’m hoping for the best. I’d love for him to function as a normal, happy dog who isn’t stressed out all the time.