Eugene Weekly : Coverstory : 8.28.08


Touchy-Feely Healing
Eugene has alternative options for pet wellness
By Courtney Jacobs

Is your pet feeling down or acting a bit abnormal? Well, taking Fluffy to the vet isn’t your only option. Your pup or kitty might just feel better after a nice massage or maybe a chat with the pet psychic. 

Dan McGuire, who has been practicing therapeutic bodywork for the past four years and is a licensed massage therapist, believes that animals can be healed of many conditions with pure intuitive skill. Sara Willow, a pet psychic, has been using her own intuition in her communications with animals for the past 18 years. She says her psychic conversations build a strong sense of trust with animals and allows them to choose the issue they want to work on to better themselves.

Dan McGuire practicing his healing

McGuire and Willow aren’t veterinarians, and their services do not replace a veterinarian’s care, but they do believe that their abilities can help all kinds of animals. 

McGuire says that some people are born with more intuition than others and that not anyone off the street can do therapeutic bodywork. In explaining his hands-on healing techniques, he describes it as tuning into a part of an animal’s body and helping that creature’s body correct itself. He has worked with creatures that range from injured llamas to limping dogs to 1400-lb. competition horses with back injuries and has restored the animals to pain-free lives.

McGuire doesn’t just massage animals; he says he can actually feel and sense restrictions in their bodies and help correct and relieve them. “You can use your hands and intuitive feel. You can listen through your hands and your mind and you can feel things that the general public couldn’t feel,” says McGuire. “It doesn’t always take a lot. You just have to tune into the body and go with the tension, not against it.” 

 McGuire, who also works as a contractor and excavator, says his healing touch work “will have me fascinated for the rest of my life.” 

Willow, on the other hand, communicates with animals by using her psychic ability based on conversations with, and questions from, their human. Other times, animals will communicate to her and bring issues to her attention that aren’t connected with their human. (Many pet psychics and other animal lovers do not refer to an animal’s human companion as her “owner.” They prefer to say “person” or “human” to reflect the human-animal relationship.)

Willow typically works with animals over the phone by communicating with their humans while using her psychic talent to “speak” with the animal. She says a session generally lasts for 50 minutes to an hour, and she charges on a large sliding scale. 

“There’s so many different ways an animal can communicate,” says Willow.

Before she communicates with an animal, she always makes sure she is in tune with herself. 

“When I ask an animal to speak to me, I first check with myself. I make sure that I’m in a very centered place,” says Willow. “You have to trust your abilities.”

Willow says that an animal can be helped physically, emotionally, mentally or spiritually by using her communication and psychic abilities. She also says she has the capacity to talk with spirits. “Whatever intentions we set for the sessions can happen, based upon willingness and beliefs,” says Willow. 

She believes that all animals can be communicated with, but that it “depends upon the animal’s willingness.” 

“It also depends on how conscious they are, how conscious their ‘person’ is, and a variety of other possible factors,” says Willow. “I make sure that the animal wants to speak with me too.”

She says that it is not she who heals, but that she is invited in as a helper and acts as a catalyst for the particular beings to heal themselves. Willow says that there is something beyond what we can see and hear and that “we have more than five senses.”

These are just a couple of the alternative pet healing methods out there. Other methods include acupuncture, holistic care, herbs and homeopathy, among others.

So if Fluffy is feeling a bit under the weather, give him a little extra TLC and try one of these alternative healing methods. He deserves it! 

If you are interested in therapeutic body work for your pet contact Dan McGuire at 510-7442. To talk to a pet psychic, contact Sara Willow at 836-2228, or go to Several local vets offer acupuncture and other alternative services. Check with your own vet for recommendations, and always see a vet first if your pet is ill or injured.


2008 Pets Issue:

Tsst! The Dog Whisperer comes to Eugene 

Ferocious Felines CatBibs stop your kitty from killing

Ask the Dogcatcher! LCAS’s Kylie B. answers all your critter questions

The Scoop on Poop To compost, flush or trash?

Touchy-Feely Healing Eugene has alternative options for pet wellness

Petty Disaster The improbable stoner flick of the year features dogs on horseback 

Pet Participation If you can’t have one, help one

EW Pet Contest Winners Cute, Ugly and Best Dressed