Relaxation in Action: Neurobiology and Case Studies of Relaxation Exercises

Relaxation is an essential aspect of health and well-being, yet its underlying neurobiological mechanisms are not well understood. In this webinar, we will delve into what is known on how the brain and nervous system respond to relaxation techniques.

The webinar is recorded and suitable for pet owners, veterinary professionals, animal trainers, animal behaviorists, pet guardians, and anyone with an interest in the neuroscience of training and behavior. 
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1.5 Continuing Education Units (CEUs) Available:

In this Webinar: 

We will discuss the role of various neurotransmitters and brain regions involved in relaxation, and how we can use both activities and medication to impact these mechanisms and facilitate stress reduction. Practical tips and tricks will be given on how and when to schedule and implement relaxation exercises into the routine of a pet. 

Everyone is talking about mindfulness these days for humans. But did you know people have been recommending relaxation exercises for animals for years, too?

Come to this webinar to learn a strengths-based approach to tailored relaxation exercises, when to use them, and how they can help.
Learn the concepts by watching Certified Dog Behavior Consultant, Bobbie Bhambree, guide Dr Murphy and Dr C and their adolescent dogs on an Adventure in Relaxation. Will Zebadee get his recall back? Or will he run the wilds forever now? Will Cerberus be less suspicious of handling? Or will one of his heads spin every time he gets his skin treatments? Let’s find out together!

This webinar is for you if:
  • You’re curious about what relaxation exercises are and are not
  • You’d like to explore an “old” topic in a new way
  • You want to learn how and what relaxation exercises can do for pets (and for you!)
This webinar is not for you if:
  • You are tired of hearing about the benefits of relaxation exercises, mindfulness, and meditation
  • You want a talking head lecture where you can check out and check a CE box
  • You only want to learn about dog behavior, not humans, rats, and other species
Meet the instructor

Kathy Murphy BVetMed, DPhil, CVA, CLAS, MRCVS

Dr Kathy Murphy (BVetMed, DPhil, CVA, CLAS, MRCVS) is a veterinary surgeon and neuroscientist. She graduated from the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons UK in 1999, initially working in mixed clinical practice before studying for two post graduate clinical qualifications with the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, in Veterinary Anesthesia and Analgesia, and Laboratory Animal Science.

In 2009 she was awarded a highly prestigious Welcome Trust Research Training Fellowship to study for her PhD, in Behavioral Neuroscience, at The Queens College, University of Oxford, UK. She subsequently worked in the USA as Assistant Professor of Neuroscience and Anesthesiology at the Icahn School of Medicine NYC, where her research into the long term effects of anesthesia on learning and memory contributed to a change to the safety advice for the use of general anesthesia in children.

She moved back to the UK in 2013, to take up clinical-academic positions at the University of Oxford and subsequently Newcastle University, and concurrently completed a Residency in Veterinary Anesthesia and Analgesia with the European College of Veterinary Anesthesia and Analgesia, during which she became increasingly interested in how pain re-models the nervous system and this can manifest as behavioral problems in pets.

Alongside these positions Dr Murphy founded, and is now Director of, Barking Brains Ltd (a neuroscience outreach platform for the animal behavior and training community), which focuses on translating neuroscientific information into practical and useful information for people interested in animal behavior. In order to maximize the impact of her diverse interests and skill set, Dr Murphy teamed up with Behavior Vets in 2022 when she took up the position of Chief Scientific Officer.

She is now able to focus on her new found passion for science communication and providing evidence based, up to date, accessible, scientific information to clinicians, animal professionals and their clients, about subjects related to pain, behavior, neurobiology and the many interrelated factors.

In addition to Dr Murphy's primary career roles she was Trustee and Veterinary Advisor to the Rottweiler Welfare Association for 14 years; is co-founder of Ethics First (a collective which lobbies for ethical decision making in clinical practice); is an Oversight Committee Member for the UK Dog Behavior and Training Charter; a guest lecturer in Clinical Animal Behavior at the University of Edinburgh, UK; lectures internationally; sits on numerous National and International boards, working groups and ethical review panels; is an ad-hoc reviewer for neuroscience, veterinary medicine and anesthesia and pain journals; and continues to collaborate on research projects.

Dr Murphy lives in the UK with her husband Elliot (ret. Search and Rescue handler and now scentwork and mantrailing trainer) and their 4 dogs: Nancy a Rottweiler mix, Zebedee and Nela the German Shorthaired Pointers and Albi a Weimaraner.
Patrick Jones - Course author
Meet the instructor

Dr. E’Lise Christensen

Dr. E’Lise Christensen DVM is a board-certified veterinary behaviorist and an international lecturer and author. Dr. C received her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Iowa State University in 2002. She first became interested in veterinary behavior as a high school student when she worked at a veterinary practice and began training animals for pet therapy at a local substance abuse facility. While in veterinary school she researched separation anxiety in shelter dogs, was an assistant trainer at an animal shelter, and studied with numerous board-certified veterinary behaviorists.After veterinary school Dr. C began a rotating small animal internship at SouthPaws Veterinary Referral Center in Springfield, Virginia. While working there she continued her studies in veterinary behavior. She practiced feline-only medicine in Arlington, Virginia and general medicine in Bloomingdale, New Jersey before entering the Behavior Residency Program at Cornell University in 2004. During her residency she researched the behavior of dogs, cats, and horses and treated behavioral problems in a number of different species. Her most cited research involved evaluating the efficacy of canine temperament tests in the shelter system.
Patrick Jones - Course author