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AcuDog Wellness

Integrative Bodywork for You and Your Dog

"Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened."

Anatole France

What is Acudog Wellness?

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GV 20 is an acu-­point at the vertex of Layla’s head. This point calms the spirit and benefits the brain.

In the seventeenth century, Sugiyami Waichi, a blind Acupuncturist,

often considered “the father of Japanese Acupuncture,”set up schools of Massage and Acupuncture for the blind.  Various names were assigned to these Japanese massage techniques, including Shiatsu, which means finger pressure in Japanese.  In China, it is called TuiNa.  In America: Acupressure. An outgrowth of traditions developed more than 7000 years ago in China, Shiatsu is similar to Acupuncture, only in place of needles (to the relief of many needle phobics) gentle touch is used on acu-points on the skin.  In The Book of Shiatsu, the author, Saul Goodman, beautifully expresses the essence of Shiatsu:


"The art of Shiatsu, practiced to create a balance of our own energy, is an innate part of being human.  It employs the use of our hands as an extension of our heart and as an expression of our compassion. But I do know enough to remind myself that it's really not about achieving anything, other than a safe space and a sense of connection and relief for my client. Their bodies - your body - will do the rest."


Acudog Wellness focuses primarily on dogs, cats and humans; it is an integration of my 30 years of practice as an Acupuncturist, Shiatsu practitioner, Bodyworker, Massage, and Movement therapist with humans. 

There are hundreds of acu-points on the skin.  By massaging these points,

we can help reduce stress, increase blood and lymph flow, and improve flexibility.


As pack oriented animals, most dogs crave companionship and community. Our dogs depend upon us to provide them with a healthy lifestyle. The use of healing touch can do much to increase our pets’ wellness.  Please join the pack today!


"Some people talk to animals. Not many listen though. That's the problem."

A.A. Milne, Winnie The Pooh


Gina Gilbert


My real training comes from these

                sentient beings

My career as a Massage and Movement Therapist (Trager, Feldenkrais, and healing dance) began in 1980, in Pennsylvania, where I opened a private practice. In 1993, before the thousand year old tradition of Acupuncture was popular in the United States, I decided to enroll in a three year post- graduate training in Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine at Tri-State College of Acupuncture in New York. Now acupuncture is mainstream and covered by some insurance companies.


I moved West in 2017 to complete a small animal certification program at the Ojai School of Canine Massage in Ojai, California.

In California, I spent much time by the sea. This exposure to the environment and elements deepened, not only my appreciation for nature, but my understanding of the“Five Element” paradigm used in Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture. This two thousand year old system examines the relationship between nature, humans, animals, and the five elements: Fire, Earth, Metal, Water, and Wood.  Acudog Wellness goes "hand-and-paw" with the elements.

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energetic medicine



 "Healing is a matter of time, but it is

sometimes also a matter of opportunity."

Hippocrates (460 BC - 370 BC)

  • Shiatsu & Barefoot Shiatsu
  • Therapeutic Touch
  • Tuning forks 
  • Magnets

  • Stretching and Movement

Tuning fork /vibrational healing: Specially designed non-invasive body tuning forks can be applied to acupressure points on the body and face

Clients wear comfortable clothes and lie on a mat, table or massage chair

*Get Shiatsu and your dog will want it too!

Humans: See rates section for full menu

Rates for Humans:
60 minute session: $125.00
90 minute Session: $165.00

Human Massage


 "Healing is a matter of time, but it is

sometimes also a matter of opportunity."

Hippocrates (460 BC - 370 BC)

Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine are steeped in a tradition that is oftentimes foreign to the Western mind. Governed by Chi, the Chinese word for fields of electromagnetic energy, our life force flows through and around all living beings. Many tools are used to evaluate imbalances  or "Patterns of Disharmony". The four ways of observing the whole animal, along with The Five Element paradigm, give clues and information for each session. Metaphorically represented as five patterns of Energy: Fire, Earth, Metal, Water, and Wood, they provide a path for reflecting on the natural cycles represented in the great ecosystems of nature and micro-systems of the body. It is also a way of selecting acu-points for an Acudog Wellness session. Applying touch to the acu-points, with or without vibration or tuning forks, opens Meridians or Pathways in the body to help the body heal itself.

The four screening methods include:
‧ Observation
‧ Listening/smelling
‧ Questions & inquiry
‧ Physical palpation

Intake forms are provided to collect your pet's data and information.

Please note:  

Acudog Wellness sessions are designed to augment Veterinary care. Always ask your Veterinarian if Acupressure Massage is appropriate for your pet.petk your Veterinarian if Acupressure Massage is appropriate for yolways ask your Veterinarian if Acupressure Massage is appropriate for yo

case studies



Penny exhibits signs of a Wood Imbalance. She is aggressive, anxious, and reportedly in the habit of growling and biting.

After an Acudog Wellness session: Gina feels the electromagnetic energy around Penny’s body


Penny is relaxed.  Her energy has shifted.  He tongue displays a  more grounded, calm Earth energy.




Amber is a nervous frightened dog. Her eyes look fearful. She is attentive and alert, yet guarded when approached with tuning forks. 

Applying forks to support her bladder area; Amber has suffered from incontinence
and kidney issues. Fear is a signal of a Water element or
kidney/bladder energy imbalance.

 Amber's energy has shifted.  She is more trusting and relaxed




Massage is well known amongst humans for it’s health benefits including, but not limited to relaxation, stress reduction and pain relief. It is also effectively used as part of postpartum support, as it benefits hormones, reduces swelling, enhances sleep and improves lactation. Several sessions often help the mother return to her pre-pregnant self. This paper focuses on postpartum canine massage. I have practiced massage, bodywork, “Shiatsu” and acupuncture with humans for almost forty years. Training at the OSOCM along with skills I honed with humans, provides the backdrop for my sessions. Acupressure, a hands-on massage technique, is used to stimulate acu-points and move energy in the body. The end goal is to help the animal heal and rebalance itself. I call it “Acudog Wellness”: a service I provide onsite for humans and pets.

Lilo a Guardian dog, whelped nine puppies at the Wickersham Australian Labradoodle Farm in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania. Her litter of five females and four males is pictured above. On March 13, 2018, the Mama dog was five days postpartum. What follows is the story of Lilo’s session and explanation of the strategies used in administering postpartum acupressure massage. Lilo is a friendly, peppy two year old Labradoodle. She acts as though she lives in the house, but in fact, is a temporary boarder, Guardian dog and new Mama. The puppies, quarantined in the whelping nursery, are in another section of the large house. We cannot hear them, giving Lilo a one hour break from her job of suckling her young.

The last part of her massage is what makes massage, for me, a truly amazing, spiritual experience. Lilo is lying on her side, her swollen belly and

teats exposed. She allows me to touch her belly; I hold my hands gently on her swollen "Hara." 

For me, it is massage as an art form, learned from the great masters. It is the amazing non-verbal connection that can occur between two

beings, using touch. Each one of us knows that the body, mind and spirit are healing.

The Chakras
Video by Robin Gerstel (Rooney’s Mom)

Peca & Gina
Video by Yolanda Aguinaga (Peca’s Mom)