Becoming a Professional
Animal Acupressure Practitioner
By Lon Black
I began work at Hope Veterinary Clinic in Brooklyn, New York in 2004, immediately after graduating from the inaugural class of the Small Animal Massage Program at the Bancroft School of Massage Therapy in Worcester, Massachusetts. I knew before beginning my studies that I wanted to work with veterinarians and provide comfort to ailing animals. Hope had opened its doors in the summer of 2003 with a treatment philosophy that included holistic modalities. It all seemed perfectly coordinated in my favor and so I had my sights set on working at Hope after graduation.
I was invited to complete my massage internship at Hope. Based on some "miraculous" results with a few patients, the Medical Director asked if I would be interested in staying on with the Clinic as their Massage Therapist. I gladly accepted.
In 2006, I completed the Small Animal Acupressure program with Tallgrass. I quickly realized that the combination of massage and acupressure was very powerful. With my Reiki Master training, it was a perfect trifecta of hands-on healing.
The veterinary professionals support my services and I work primarily by veterinary referral. (I have also had clients referred to me by vets at other clinics.) Some clients, who would otherwise be skeptical about the value of bodywork for their pet, employed me only because of their veterinarian's recommendation. After seeing the improvement in their pet's health, their skepticism disappeared.
Fortunately, much of the population in my area accepts holistic healing for human and animal and many of these services are available here. And since many pet owners are new to animal bodywork, working under the guidance of medical professionals lends a sense of legitimacy and professionalism to my practice.
Being able to consult with the medical team about specific issues has provided a continual education for me. In turn, I have been able to teach others, staff and client, about the benefits of animal bodywork.