Day 1 – Galen In India 2017
The start of our India Adventure begins….
After travelling for over 16 hours through the night we finally arrived at our end destination in Bangalore, India at the beautiful Courtyard House which was to be the base for our week of Consultations, Diploma training, Workshops and also our home for the next week.
Jet lagged but excited we marvelled at our spectacular, spacious and peaceful accommodation. We connected with our Indian host, friend and canine behaviourist Sindhoor Pangal Bangalore Hundeskole and Nirja Raju, Writer and Marketing Consultant The Stylish Dish for a Team Meeting and strategy planning. We had our first taste of some wonderful vegetarian Indian curry while enjoying our new company and warm climate.
Up with the sunrise for the first of our Galen in India Street Dog Study. We set off in two groups with the volunteers who feed the groups of dogs in Bangalore. These are incredible human beings; Bismi Anil and Antorleena Bhaumik. They spend up to 4 hours each and every day feeding up to 120 dogs each morning and evening. Crucially they do all this without any funding or outside financial assistance. They also take dogs needing medical attention to the clinics and return them back to their patch. The volunteers give without expecting anything in return.
All these dogs have an incredible road sense and self preservation. They are well adjusted and friendly and sociable and to watch the way they work together as a pack keeping to their own individual areas.
Through Julia Robertson‘s 15 years of experience she feels there is a ration between the circumference of the neck and circumference of the thigh in relation to muscle dysfunction. Therefore Street Dogs who have not lived within our domestic house environment and exercise regime are as close to a base point as we can reasonable achieve and being here in India was the perfect opportunity for this. We were able to gather data of neck and thigh measurements, documenting each dog with a description, approx age and any other noticeable features.
Julia Robertson talks to Ankur Bhatnagar about his tireless work with the street dogs of Bangalore….
The day continues with private 1-2-1 consultations for the dogs and their owners coming along to see us from both Bangalore itself and the surrounding areas and further afield too. The Galen Therapists Julia, Hannah and Cushla worked their magic and talked through many different concerns the owners had including hip dysplasia, lameness, arthritis and giving them advice, continuing ways to help their dog going forward as well as identifying muscle tightness and stiffness,gait analysis and any imbalances in the body. They performed a Myotherapy treatment for the dogs.
Hannah with Nzuri
Hannah with Neo
Meanwhile……on the other side of the Courtyard……
Sindhoor was undergoing the first day of the Practical aspect of the Galen Myotherapy Diploma. This involved using the most appropriate massage table for the human massage and techniques aspect of the course…… and what else better than a giant swing suspended from a bedroom ceiling right?!
What better way to start the day that a spot of yoga in India…… Sunrise, the sounds of the birds and the most amazing yoga teacher.
……..Everyone should start the day upside down!
This was a really special day for Sindhoor Pangal…. She had her first treatment today with the lovely Phoebe. Phoebe is a distemper survivor and came along for Sindhoor to work on as part of her Diploma Practical training. As a result, Phoebe has bad hind legs, bad spine and glutes. She lives in continuous pain so she doesn’t like anyone touching her. It was amazing to see how she allowed both Sindhoor and Cushla to work on her.
We had a very special little boy come along today for a treatment with Julia Robertson. His name is Alexander. He is a Laboratory test release Beagle. Alexander’s owner rescued him when the test lab here in Bangalore, India released a batch of 64 Beagles from their faciltiies. Alexander had been kept in a small cage for the first 7 years of his life. Unable to stand or turn around he remained stooped and hence he has weakness in his hindquarters. He was devoid of any human interaction apart from to medical and test on him. This is Alexander’s story, like so many others, told by his owner Devisri Sarkar.
Here is the actual article from 2016 when this particular batch of Beagles were released. You can spot Alexander sitting to the left of the photo:
It was truly emotional to watch Alexander come to Julia Robertson and allow her to treat him for his compensatory issues. He opened himself up to her, after all he has been subjected to at the hands of humans, he placed his trust in her. Alexander, you are a true inspiration…
Watch the video clips of some of his treatment session below:
Please visit Facebook to contact his owner Devisiri Sarkar who is passionate about the release and rescue of these dogs and also runs The Urban Dawg and The Beagle Brigade which is a page about the release and adoption of these Beagles.
Today we were up at sunrise again to conduct another Street Dog Study out on the streets of Bangalore. We split into two groups again and met up with more volunteers. The Street Dogs here are commonly referred to as ‘Streeties’. Both groups had a wonderful experience going to various locations with their allocated street dog worker and getting many more neck and thigh measurements for our ongoing study into Chronic Pain.
These individuals work alone, funded from their own pockets. They feed everyday and even administer injections, medicate and take dogs for sterilisation and any other more serious treatment. They also help with rehoming, They are very in tune with these dogs and it was interesting to hear how these dogs do not cause problems but on the contrary they protect buildings and areas and we can work together with them for the better….. there is a movement to rename them ‘Community Dogs’
The evening saw Galen Therapy Centre Team present to a group of vets from Bangalore, India on the benefits of Myotherapy. An interesting and successful group discussion on how, if we can work together collaboratively in identifying the root causes of chronic pain and managing conditions like arthritis and compensatory issues then so many dogs could benefit.
Day 5 and 6
The next two days we held our Introduction to Canine Massage Workshop taught by Julia Robertson and the Galen Team which was attended by a wide range of people including dog owners, dog shelter workers, groomers, behaviourists, doggy day care workers. It was heart warming and so inspiring to see so many people so interested in the benefits of the therapy and how it can help them and their dogs and what it means and how it works. The students were very interactive and inquisitive which made for a really productive couple of days. For the students to practice a couple of the basic techniques on including Effluerage and Skin Rolling, two different Shelter’s brought along some suitable dogs for us. They were all totally gorgeous and we thank both Charlie’s Animal Rescue Centre and Precious Paws Foundation. Both of them do an absolutely fantastic job for these dogs.
Galen in India Seminar 2017
Julia Robertson presented at an exclusive venue in central Bangalore, the Indiranagar Club. Her presentation entitled ‘A Dog is as Strong as their Weakest Part’ was a resounding success with a audience of over 150 coming from far and wide including vets and behaviourists as well as dog owners and vet students and dog rescuers and street dog feeders. Giving people a background on all aspects of Galen Myotherapy, how it started, how it works and the benefits it can produce. There was an overwhelming response from everyone with a good Q & A session to culminate the seminar. We also offered up a selection of books written by Julia Robertson ‘Physical Therapy and Massage for the Dog‘ and ‘The Complete Dog Massage Manual’ for sale and it was decided that any proceeds should go to the Street Dog Volunteers. We sold out immediately and the volunteers we met were incredibly grateful.
Julia does a spot of autograph signing….
Our last Working Day before we headed back to the UK…..
Julia Robertson finished up her Galen Myotherapy Diploma training with Sindhoor Pangal working on Tiggy and Nishi and putting her learning of functional anatomy and palpation into practice. Both are equally important. The detailed and high level anatomy learned is converted into a learning that then incorporates skilled palpation to facilitate appropriate technique and treatment with a functional application.
Here they are in action….
India, you have been wonderful. We have met so many inspirational people and dogs who have taught us so much…..growth and development is a continuous journey and it’s one hell of a ride. We have laughed and laughed until our belly’s hurt and we have cried many tears….
Team Galen would like to thank all those who helped to make our stay so memorable in so many ways in such a beautiful country.