As I mentioned last week, Clouded Leopard was one of the first touches I learned. I think a lot of people do something like this pretty much naturally, at least the touch part. What I believe is equally important is the intention while touching, along with simply being present. Being present is a lesson I seem to have a hard time learning, by the way! Clouded Leopard uses the pads of all five fingers. The fingers are slightly curved, but not perpendicular as with Bear. The idea is to get below the fur to the skin, but certainly not to apply enough pressure to be considered massage. It is easy for me to go too quickly with Clouded Leopard, so I consciously try to slow my breathing and stay relaxed.
Blue is not nearly as fond of Clouded Leopard as he was of Bear. I will continue to work with him and try to help him reduce his stress levels. Marley and Carson both melt into this one. I use it quite a bit along Carson's neck under her chin, which is a bit of a touchy area for her. I need to find my rhythm, however, so I can flow from one circle to the next without it feeling so "jerky" to me.
Week 3 will be spent on Belly Lifts. These are used not only for digestive issues, but also for sore backs, nervousness, pregnancy, hypersensitivity, timidity, poor balance, arthritis, gait problems and in helping redirect negative behavior. While I could use my hands in a pinch, it works best to use a towel for most companion animals like dogs and cats. I am particularly interested to see how Blue responds!