Why would my animal need massage?
There are many reasons that an animal would benefit from massage therapy. Massage can help maintain a healthy animal as well as help animals with the following:
- anxiety and stress
- stiffness and decreased mobility
- recovering from an illness or injury
- needs support with surgical rehabilitation
What are the benefits of massage?
Benefits affect all systems of the body. Some of these include:
- improving elasticity of the skin and improved coat quality
- increases range of motion and mobility
- helps to remove metabolic waste by stimulating movement of lymphatic fluid
- aids respiration
- improves proprioception
- stimulates motor nerves
- helps relieve pain
- stimulates digestion
- aids liver and kidney function
- decreases blood pressure
- helps to reverse muscle atrophy
How is animal massage different from human massage?
Animals cannot tell you their concerns with words. They communicate in a number of ways through their body language. I am trained to evaluate their stance and recognize common stress and displacement signals. Animals give both positive and negative feedback with their behavior. This feedback enables me to adapt any session to the immediate needs of your animal.
What can I expect during my first massage session?
During the initial visit, we will thoroughly review your animal's veterinary history. I will have you walk your animal in various configuations to evaluate their movement. This is followed with an introduction to touch. As your animal relaxes and accepts this touch, I will begin the assessment portion of the massage using light touch. I will evaluate symetry, quality of coat, overall muscular health, areas of tension, atrophy, swelling, hot or cold areas, or anything unusual. This evaluation will allow me to proceed with a massage protocol utilizing various strokes and techniques to maximize the benefits of your therapy session.
What do I need to do to prepare for my first visit?
- Bring all completed forms
- Schedule sessions prior to eating or a few hours after a meal (a full stomach will not promote comfort)
- High energy or excitable animals benefit from a walk prior to massage as this helps them to relax
- Allow your animal to go to the bathroom prior to massage to ensure their comfort
- If the session is located within your home, provide a comfortable and quiet area free of distractions and other animal friends. Fresh water should also be available
How often should my animal receive massage therapy?
The frequency of massage is dependant upon the needs of each animal. If there are specific concerns such as with post surgical rehabilitation, 1-2 sessions per week may be recommended. For animals needing maintenance massage, 1-2 sessions per month may be recommended. Scheduling is customized to fit both you and your animal's needs.