The Elephants Are Calling…
I recently learned that elephants communicate across very long distances using subsonic sound, it is so deep that it is outside the range of human hearing. Kind of like a very deep rumble that you can feel but not actually hear.
People often ask me how I got started in my work with animals. It was kind of like the call of the elephants… It started when I took my first CranioSacral therapy class many years ago. The instructor indicated that she had worked on her cat. I thought, well, I have cats; maybe I can work on them. I could and I did. They loved it, and would even shift their bodies to move my hands in the right place. At the time, I just accepted this for what it was and didn’t look and further. I didn’t work on other people’s animals, just mine.
One day I was outside when a mourning dove flew into the window of my house. He fell literally at my feet and although alive, he appeared to have broken his neck. I thought well, maybe I can just do direction of energy and ease his passing. I picked him up and sat in a chair and just held him. He didn’t seem alarmed, just looked at me. Without apparent conscious effort my thumb and finger circled his neck and started to slowly apply traction. After about 15 minutes, he sat up, looked around, jumped off my lap and walked away. I wondered if this was just his natural ability to recover or if I had actually done something and while this aroused my curiosity, I didn’t think about it much and went on with my gardening (rumble, rumble, rumble).
About a year ago a young neighbor came walking by while I was out gardening. She was crying and said that a friend’s cat had had kittens and she was supposed to get one, but the one she picked out wouldn’t eat. I asked some more questions, and found out that the cat owner lived nearby. I thought, well, I did learn a technique to help human babies with difficulty nursing in class. Apparently my young friend sensed that I might be able to help and she took my hand and walked me, dirty knees and all, over to the house. I explained that I was a massage therapist and knew a technique that sometimes helped human babies with a low suck reflex. I was handed the kitten, now a little limp and weak. I took a deep breath, inserted my pinkie into her mouth and mobilized the vomer. She initially struggled, but then took several deep breaths and relaxed. When it felt like things were moving, I put her down with her mother. She crawled right to a teat and started to feed strongly. The little girl was ecstatic and I walked back home to my garden (rumble, rumble, rumble).
Subsequently, I had a craniosacral client who came to her appointment very upset. She told me that they had been out of town and a friend of her daughter had been taking care of the hamster. The little girl apparently was not used to handling animals. She had picked up the hamster and when it wiggled, she had dropped it. Now the back legs weren’t working. She had the little guy in a carrier in her car and was taking it to the vet to be put to sleep after she left my office (rumble, rumble, rumble). I had a good friend who had helped a hamster in a similar situations, so I said, well, no guarantees, but why don’t you bring it up? If you’re going to put it to sleep anyway, let’s give this a try. The hamster had no control over the back half of his body and was very agitated. I picked him up and he began to really struggle, but fortunately didn’t bite. I just let my hands take control and tractioned the dural tube, did direction of energy, released the little sacrum, etc. After a few minutes he relaxed and eventually flipped over on his back and totally relaxed with a big sigh. After 10 or 15 minutes I felt I’d done all I could and I set him on my massage table. He laid there for a few minutes, apparently too relaxed to move much, and then began to crawl around and explore the table top. Although one leg still seemed to drag a little, he seemed otherwise fine. I recommended some hamster toys that encouraged climbing to strengthen the back leg and he went home with a very relieved client.
The final straw was at my massage supervision group. It was my turn to share and I said, “I keep thinking about getting involved with animals but I’m just not sure.” At that moment the facilitator’s cat came charging in and began rubbing on my legs (RUMBLE, RUMBLE, RUMBLE!). I finally got the message and I now offer craniosacral therapy and massage services to all animals (including elephants). So next time to feel that rumbling sound in your heart, pay attention, it might be the elephants calling.