Adding to our Assessment Skills

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We, as Animal Bowen Therapy Practitioners use our assessment skills to see and feel for mobility issues without diagnosing. We use these skills to determine our course of action and to evaluate the noted changes throughout the weeks of ABT sessions.

The more you see, feel and observe the animal, the more effective you become!

Let’s look at the 5 key skills you are using thus far:

1. While doing your case studies you have recorded the dogs medical and life history.

2. You continuously use your visual skills to see how the dog holds itself both at rest and in motion.

3. At rest: we look for their unique natural stance, how they weight bear, the position of their limbs as they stand, sit or lay.

4. In motion: we look from the back, the front, the side, and the top. Noticing the tail and head position, hip and shoulder evenness, stiffness, energy, weight bearing, smoothness of gait and so on.

5. You use your hands to feel for: lumps and bumps, heat, inflammation, muscle tone, and bone structure.

By far, the best way to hone your assessment skills is to be obsessive at looking at dogs!

Never miss an opportunity to watch a dog in action. You don't need to be looking for fault, just LOOK, and note what the dog is presenting.

Bonus Thinking: Each and every Move in itself is an assessment!

As you lay your hands over the area of a Move, say for example Move 11 ( the neck ) you have the opportunity to feel for tension.

As I do a pre-session assessment, I often find myself placing my hands briefly over each of the WBB Moves. This gives me a good read of the dogs body and where I need to pay extra attention during the session.

Here are TWO NEW WAYS to assess a dog with your hands:

Shimmer Slide
Spine Crawl

page 21 in your Manual.


The below videos are from third parties, I feel that they add value to your assessment skills!

If you come across more of these type of videos let me know, and I'll add them here for your fellow Students to watch (thank you)

Canine Lameness - Head bobbing and weight shifting (p.24 in your Manual)

Walk, amble, pace and trot in Dog

Dog Steps - This is a long one, yet it has some very valuable information.

German Shepherd with knee injury. Watch the leg, the hip movement , the head...examine all the ways this dog is compensating for his injury!

FYI: Once the dog lays down you can stop the video as there is nothing else to watch.

I recommend that you watch this video several times and focus on all the individual parts of the body.

Elbow Dysplasia (Note the head bob. When the injured leg touches the ground the head comes up. This takes weight off the sore limb)

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