As we know, the tail is an extension of the spinal column and as such is part of the nervous system. Many animals, humans included, tend to accumulate tension in the shoulders and lumbar area so working with the tail can help to release this tension.

Tail circles are very simple to do. Taking the tail in one’s hands, but without grasping it, we move the tail gently in circles, first in one direction and then in the opposite direction. I usually do about 3 circles in each direction but, if I feel that there is more to be released, I may do more. The tension can be felt quite clearly in the amount of stiffness felt as the tail is moved.

Although it may seem counterintuitive, tail circles may also be done with animals with docked tails. Although only the stump remains, the memory of that tail is still present in the brain of the dog (We have all heard of phantom pain in amputees), so we can make the circles in the air just as though the tail were still present.

This is another simple but effective tool we have to help animals release physical and mental tension which, as we know, are related as every emotion and feeling is reflected somewhere in the body.