Animal Massage and Music for Animals
Animal Massage and Music in the Lives of Animals
Most animals we share our lives with like to be touched. They let us know by their physical responses to us, what they like and don’t like. I even had a duck once who loved to have me stroke her bill and a chicken who loved her forehead stroked. It actually put them to sleep. Dogs, pigs, goats, cats, rabbits, horses, even rodents like certain touches, stroking, even massages and scratching from their human friends.
Everyone knows how beneficial massage therapy is for humans. It is the same for most animals. It feels good, is relaxing, it lessens stress, makes animals relax and feel safe. They can find relief from aches and pains and sore muscles, or help with sleep problems.
It is also psychologically beneficial to increase that bond of trust between you and the animals in your life. For older animals or animals who are recovering from illness or surgery or have gone through a traumatic event, massage will help them cope and help them heal. It can often increase circulation and give relief to pain or discomfort that they may be experiencing. If your animal is recovering from injury or a broken bone or serious illness, or on some medication it would be wise to consult a veterinarian before starting a massage regimen. In general, do not massage an animal that has been diagnosed with low blood pressure, suffering from heat stroke, with a fever, or in shock, etc.
There is no doubt that when an animal feels relaxed and is being nurtured through healing touch, that it has a very positive effect on them, physically as well as spiritually. There are numerous websites offering instruction, workshop and even degrees at accredited institutions in the profession of Animal Massage.
Another interesting development in nurturing animals that has really taken off, is teaching your dog Yoga. It is done with you and your dog together. The main effect is that you and your dog bond in the most natural way possible for a dog, by being active, jumping, rolling, lots of moves and motions and that dogs do anyway. They are naturals for learning yoga and take to it readily. It is who they are. They are almost always in motion. They also seem to enjoy the relaxing, deep breathing, and meditating part of yoga exercises. It teaches relaxation and stress reduction to both of you. Most dogs thoroughly enjoy the exercises and positions and they love the fact that you are doing it with them as equals.
There is a remarkable book by Jennifer Brilliant on teaching your dog yoga that is a delightful read, and an essential introduction to this practice of health and well-being. The images in this book of dogs doing all the yoga poses are delightful. You can do it in your own home or when you travel with your dog. It can be done anywhere. This dog yoga book is a full color book with photos explaining stretching, posing and closing techniques for a great yoga session.
Indispensable Websites on Animal Massage Therapy
Do Animals Like Music?
- Do Animals Have an Innate Sense of Music?
Jen Mapes, nationalgeographic.com January 5, 2001
Look up Nora the Cat online-she plays the piano. This one is with an orchestra and you can clearly see she enjoys the sounds and knows that she is playing herself.
[Mindaugas Piecaitis a Lithuaniancomposer and conductor who has worked with several major Lithuanian musical organizations. He gained international attention as the composer and conductor of the Klaipeda Chamber Orchestra featuring a performance by Nora, a cat who plays the piano.He composed the CATcerto around the song she seemed to always be playing. This youtube video got over three million hits. There are several Nora videos on youtube - she even has her own website.]
Our white German Shepherd Lady, howled like a wolf in a high soprano voice every time my daughter played her flute. She loved flute sounds and was obsessed with singing along.
Check these out: Then make up your own mind,
Years of fascinating scientific research that reveals how animals have secret inner lives of which, until recently, we had little proof. Karen Shanor and Jagmeet Kanwal take readers on an eye-opening voyage of discovery, showing how animals build, create, and communicate—expressing grief, joy, anger, and fear—which emphasizes just how animal we humans are. Karen Shanor lectures at Georgetown University and is a clinical psychologist and an advisor for the Discovery Channel’s Animal Planet programs. Jagmeet Kanwal teaches at Georgetown University and is an internationally recognized neurothologist.
Of Mice, Birds, and Men: The Mouse Ultrasonic Song System Has Some Features Similar to Humans and Song-Learning Birds Gustavo Arriaga, Eric P. Zhou, Erich D. Jarvis Research Article | published 10 Oct 2012 | PLOS ONE 10.1371/journal.pone.0046610
Not only can mice sing, they also may be able to learn vocalizations from hearing other mice. Only humans, songbirds, parrots and hummingbirds have so far been thought capable of vocal learning but a new PLOS One study suggests that “mice have limited versions of the brain and behavior traits for vocal learning that are found in humans for learning speech and in birds for learning song,” as Duke University neurobiologist Erich Jarvis says in Science Daily.
The PLOS One study looked at the ultrasonic sounds that male mice make when they are wooing a female and found that the mice’s vocalizations contain some features similar to those of birds who are able to learn songs. While it has been assumed that mice lack the brain structures for learning to change the sounds they make and that they produce the sounds innately, Jarvis and his colleagues found that a certain region of a mouse’s brain (the motor cortex region) become active when they sing. This region indeed “projects directly to brainstem vocal motor neurons and is necessary for keeping song more stereotyped and on pitch.”
Moreover, the scientists found that male mice actually rely on “auditory feedback” to make their songs and that, in contradiction to earlier studies, mice sing in pitch (and you thought all they could do was squeak).
Here are four other animals besides birds and us humans who sing.
- Toadfish sing (or, to our ears, hum) for the same reasons male mice do, to attract females. While these sounds are “not as complex as what you hear mammals and birds doing,” fish are not silent denizens of the waters, Andrew H. Bass, a professor of neurobiology and behavior at Cornell University, notes to MSNBC.
- Male Mexican free-tailed bats also sing for supersonic songs to court females, researchers from Texas A&M University found. Towards other males, thebats‘ songs are not welcoming, but of a “stay away” nature.
- Not every animal that sings does so for, well, sex. Harris’ antelope squirrel trills to communicate for safety reasons. The squirrels live in desert environments in the southwestern U.S. in burrows at the entrances of which they are known to pause, stamp their forefeet and vocalize before entering. The small rodents have to constantly be alert as coyotes, hawks, snakes and bobcats prey on them.
- I still remember excitedly pulling the little plastic recording of humpback whale songs from an issue of National Geographic to listen to. The sounds were nothing I had ever heard and the fact that they came from a creature who lived deep in the ocean made them even more intriguing. Other whales who sing are killer whales or orcas, who use ultrasonic vocalizations and have dialects, and beluga whales,who have a whole repertoire of “chirps, squeaks and clips” and are rightly dubbed “sea canaries.” Read more: http://www.care2.com/causes/5-animals-you-didnt-know-can-sing.html#ixzz2hGxHisQP
Excerpt from article:
Ask any farmer of a family farm and they will tell you cows like music, They also respond with pleasure to those farmers who sing to them.For centuries, Swedish shepherdesses or 'cowgirls' have used a particular singing voice called, kulning, to communicate with cattle.
These cowgirls wander the Swedish countryside in the summer, and sing until the cows come home. And they do follow the shepherdesses. You can listen to a sample of this technique on the link provided by The Morning News. According to The Morning News, in 2001, two British scholars introduced different musical styles to more than 1,000 Holsteins. For 12 hours every day, from 5 a.m. until 5 p.m., the Holsteins listened to Beethoven's Pastoral Symphony and R.E.M.'s "Everybody Hurts."This group of Holsteins produced .07 more liters of milk each than the herd that had listened to the Beatles' "Back in the U.S.S.R." The lead scholar, Dr. Adrian North, concluded that milk yield could be increased by three percent simply by playing certain types of music to cows.
Queens University in England has a new study from its School of Psychology that has demonstrated that dogs in shelters exposed to classical music are calmer and are more adoptable than shelter dogs not exposed to classical music.
The shelter dogs were exposed to four types of music, which ranged from heavy metal to classical. The dogs exposed to heavy metal were more agitated, barked more and had more frequent and restless pacing than dogs that had listened to classical music.
Chimpanzees also like music.At least, that is the opinion of the Primate Foundation of Arizona that had done a study with chimpanzees. In 2003, researchers at the Primate Foundation used a toy piano with four plastic, xylophone-like keys, to which they attached a handle. The researchers presented the pianos to the chimpanzees, and observers watched. Each key was color coded, (red, green, blue, yellow), with one color being assigned a specific type of music or performer.
The researchers would periodically change the color-coding, so that a particular style was not ALWAYS associated with the same colored key.
The researchers began with Pavarotti assigned to the Red key, but then changed it to Yellow, and so on. One of the questions researchers had was this: Would the chimps always hit a particular color key, (such as Red, indicating a preference for the color Red), or would they search until they found Yellow AND Pavarotti?The results surprised the researchers. After finding whatever music is on the key color, the chimps ignore it, and prefer to create their own music.