PictureCanine AcuTouch practitioner Barbara Ahern and a friend.

For more than two decades, Blithedale Canyon resident Barbara Ahern has been a holistic health practitioner, largely focusing on Bowen, an Australian form of natural therapy that was introduced to the U.S. in the early 1990’s. Performed over light clothing, and using only pressure from fingers and thumb across muscle fibers, Bowen works on the acupressure points (neural pathways) of the body in a gentle, safe way for people of all ages to help the body renew and repair communication with the brain.

But while Ahern continues to build on holistic practice for people, it was her time living in Carmel that propelled her to a passion project that has dominated her last decade and brought her to Mill Valley: Canine AcuTouch, which brings many of the same principles to treatment of our four-legged friends.

As Ahern explains it, her work on dogs starts with a series of gentle, Bowen Therapy-style touches in a specific sequence, while working along energy and nerve pathways to affect pain and constriction in every muscle, tendon, and ligament of the body.

“The brain is like Grand Central Station or air traffic control,” she says. “Canine AcuTouch is performing those gentle moves on the dog and then waiting two minutes for the brain to change the neurological feedback to the nervous system – sending a different signal.”

Ahern says the practice is particularly effective for neurological disorders, pinched nerves, compressed discs – “anything causing inflammation and pain,” she says, noting that it can especially effective for arthritis and stress.

Canine AcuTouch operates primarily out of AlphaDog Lodging in Tam Junction, building out the facility’s ever-expanding array of services for dogs and their owners. She credits her volunteer work for Guide Dogs for the Blind’s canine welfare department as helping her building her Canine AcuTouch practice.

“Dogs have really have gotten some good Canine AcuTouch work and, in turn, I’ve been able to help so many wonderful dogs,” Ahern says.

Ahern was born in Benicia and has lived in Sacramento, Fairfield and Suisun City over the years. She moved to the dog-friendly community of Carmel, where this therapy was born in 2013. Ahern returned to Mill Valley after many years to help a friend battling a health issue. What she found was a dog community like no other. “When I saw all the canines here, I realized this was my place – it’s so beautiful and just wonderful.”

The 411: Barbara Ahern‘s Canine AcuTouch offers Bowen Therapy-style healing for dogs. She also continues her holistic health practice for people using Bowen Work. MORE INFO.

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