The Invisible Link: How Human Well-Being Affects Canine Health #15

#canine #debono moves canine connection Apr 08, 2024

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Key Takeaways from this episode:

- There's often a correlation between physical issues in dogs and their human owners

- Addressing both the human and the dog is important for resolving issues


- Humans' movement, breathing, and thinking can affect dogs


- Mirror neurons may play a role in sharing maladies between humans and animals


- Emphasis on the interconnectedness of humans and dogs and the importance of self-care

- Resources and techniques offered to improve movement and well-being for both humans and dogs


- Humans can transmit ease and new possibilities to dogs, regardless of physical issues


- Encouragement to take responsibility for well-being and recognize the influence we have on our dogs



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All information is for general educational purposes ONLY and doesn't constitute medical or veterinary advice. Please consult a qualified healthcare provider if you or your dog are unwell or injured. 


Thing I've noticed is that in doing this work for more than 30 years, I've, I've come across so many instances where the dog and the human share a very sim similar malady, let's put it that way. Like whether it's a particular part of their back that's tight or sore, or a leg that's kind of wonky or, you know, something else,

maybe a neck issue or whatever it happens to be, or a gi issue. It's happened so much more frequently than I can just, you know, say it's a coincidence, right? Because, you know, given, given the, the statistics of chance, it's like it couldn't keep happening, right? Unless there was something more to it. So I started noticing this many years ago,

decades ago, and it was always, you know, always very intriguing to me. And I started working with this idea that it's so important to address both the human and the dog, or the cat or the horse for that matter at the same time. In other words, if you just work with one part of that equation. So let's, this is a dog podcast,

so let's talk about your dog. If I just work with your dog and I don't help you, a lot of times things won't fully resolve with the dog. Oh, and, and in case we're meeting for the first time, my name is Mary Debono and this is the Easier Movement, happier Dogs podcast. So it's, it's an interesting thing, right?

So the, the, my book, for example, grow Young with Your Dog has exercise, you know, awareness exercises for you to improve your movement and your wellbeing, as well as teach you hands-on things you can do to help your dog. Because again, your part of these, this equation when you are with your dog, it's like you're not just a human with a dog and you're both separate,

but the very fact that you have this relationship makes it that you have some interdependence. So your health and wellbeing is kind of in interdependent. So I always say that the way you move, the way you breathe, even the way you direct your attention, in other words, your thoughts are experienced by your dog and they help shape your interactions with your dog.

Your dog is so sensitive, your dog will pick up on things. So whether that's anxiety or something else, and I've often thought about too, are mirror neurons involved in this sharing of, of maladies? So if you think about mirror neurons and just very simple explanation is that if you see someone doing something, like just say I touch my face in a certain way.

Oftentimes if someone is talking to me and they watch me do that, they will automatically do The same movement. Or if I put my hand on my hip or I, you know, cross my arms, a lot of times when you see someone doing that, you just automatically do it. And apparently we have these mo or these mirror neurons that we mirror,

in other words, what someone else is doing. And I found that they can, seems to be, I mean, I didn't do any scientific studies on this, but it seems to be something that animals sometimes do to some degree with us as well. So obviously they're not gonna cross their arms when you do, but there is some ways that they're interacting with us.

They're picking up our cues and following them, and, and we can go back and talk about this whole thing of, you know, how different, you know, neurochemicals are released when we have interactions with animals and drive certain, certain processes in the brain and then behavior. But the bottom line is, again, when you're with your dog, you're not just a human with a dog and a dog with a human,

but you're an interconnected system, okay? A human canine system or canine human, however you wanna think about it. But that you both share things. So again, we're not just talking about sharing viruses or something like that, but you may be sharing ways of being okay. And so this is good news for us, so don't worry. Some people are like,

oh my goodness, it's too much pressure, too much responsibility. I look at it the other way. I look at it like, okay, this gives you added incentive to take better care of yourself. It's added incentive to be intentional with what you're thinking about. You know, you've got those negative thoughts. I mean, I certainly haven't gotten rid of all mine,

and, but we can, we can start to help corral them in a way, right? We can start to replace them with more positive thoughts. We can get a handle on stuff like that. We can get a handle on our stress. We can do things. And, and that's why in my resources I give you, I have that training on connected breathing.

I have the, the big training on rhythm circles because these help you as well as help your dog so they can help quiet and calm your nervous system at the same time that they're doing that for your dog. They can help bring more body awareness for you and your dog. So the, the work is always designed as a win-win. So if you haven't grabbed that free resource,

go ahead and do that. It's mary Debono dot com slash love dog, all like one word and all lowercase. And it'll, the link will be in wherever, wherever you're watching or listening to this, it'll be in the description. But again, just to emphasize for this shorty episode, is that, to think about How you influence your dog and how potentially your dog is influencing you.

And to give you another example, just say you have a dog that tends to, you know, bark and lunge at other dogs on the street. So when you go out on a walk, maybe you're, you're having that anticipation, that stress anticipation like, oh, wait a minute, is that dog gonna come down the street and my dog is going to react badly?

Or something like that. So you, you start to build up already this idea that a stressful event may happen. And so now your dog is feeling that. So even if your dog had no intention of barking and lunging at the other dog before, well now like your dog is noticing that, hmm, something's not right in this environment because they pick up on your anxiety.

Okay? So that's just one little, a little example of that. But again, I wanna say this is not just about anxiety, it's actually physical things that I see shared between the species. Now you probably know I also work a lot with horses and riders. The same thing is true. Now, in some ways you can sort of rationalize that or explain that away a little bit differently with horses.

'cause you're like, well, most people ride their horses. And so maybe physically, if you're really tight in the shoulders, for example, that means that you end up having lack of feel in the reins. And so now your horses neck and shoulders are tight because of how you're riding. That is one example. So you can say, well, they share that because there's something mechanically happening.

However, what I started to see is that even people that weren't riding their horses were having the same experience that they and their horse were sharing things. The other thing I noticed again, is I started seeing this so much with humans and their dogs, and we don't ride our dogs. So there you go. So it's something again that I think is very empowering for you,

because no matter, even if you're dealing with some physical issue, do not let that disturb you. Because the idea is, if you are looking at it in this more proactive way, in a optimistic way, and my work is all about new possibilities for people and their animals, you can transmit that sense of ease and new possibilities to your dog. So again,

even if I've worked with people that were really, really disabled and they were able to transmit a sense of ease and new possibilities to their dog. So this isn't about you having to have like perfect, you know, perfect physical specimen, right? That there's no aches or pains. Not at all. It's about how you deal with that. Do you do something like the work I teach The Feldenkrais method where you're improving yourself,

right? Are you doing something for your dog to help improve your dog's movement and wellbeing? So it's all about recognizing that yes, we influence each other, right? You influence your dog, your dog influences you, you have those wonderful interactions, but, and can you then take ownership of that, right? Like, take responsibility for the sense of I'm gonna really work on myself because this will help not only me,

but will also help my dog. Because remember, your dog's senses your, your underlying feeling of either strain or ease. So either ease or effort, you can call it. And again, that influences the, the interactions that you have with your dog. Your, your dog will notice that and it shapes the interactions you have. So just wanted to say,

re think about that. And if you haven't, if you haven't grabbed that resource, mary Debono dot com slash love dog, that can help calm and quiet your nervous system and your dogs at the same time. And so it's this win-win that I love. So very much so. Thank you. Speaking of love. Thank you. Thank you for being here.

I love sharing this work and I really appreciate you being here. Looking forward to talking to you again soon. Bye for now.