About Animal Massage and Acupressure
In the dogs body, the bones provide the overall structure, and the muscles hold the bones in place. Muscles maintain posture, provide the overall shape of the body, define the range and type of movement available, and transport fluids and nutrients. When muscle tissue is healthy, the dogs body is symmetrical. Muscle tone symmetrical, movement is fluid and unrestricted, and the gaits are even. When the muscle tissue is injured or damaged, inflammation and pain set in. Substances such as histamines and lactic acid are released into the muscles causing abnormal contraction and tension. The tightening of muscles can cause pulling on the joints which results in a compensatory posture. As a result, the normally symmetric body is now suffering asymmetrical patterns and is off balance. Both massage and acupressure support the bodies homeostasis, the balancing of all body systems.
Because animal massage and acupressure are both gentle, non invasive therapies that can benefit a great deal of conditions, nearly any dog will benefit in some way from regular sessions. From the new puppies to help them get used to being touched all over, to the senior dog who need extra support and comfort as they navigate the changes of growing older, to the canine athletes who need support sustaining high activity and preventing injury, to the dogs who have been injured, with or without surgery, who need the extra support in healing and recovery, to the newly adopted dog who is having trouble transitioning into its new home, and just about any dog in between
About Animal Massage
Animal massage works to help relax the muscles in order to restore them to their original state and free the dogs body of compensatory patterns and pain. Massage works by increasing circulation and blood and lymph to the muscles to relax and restore healthy tone. By increasing circulation to a specific area, massage can stimulate muscles, increasing strength and restoring flexibility. Enhancing circulation allows blood and fluid to flow freely through the muscles to help alleviate pain and bring in added nutrients to support the muscles. Massage has the ability to impact all soft tissues.
Some common benefits of animal massage are
Encourages development of stronger cardiac muscles
Improves oxygen supply to the cells
Decreases blood pressure
Improves elimination of metabolic waste
Relaxes the intestinal muscles
Improves blood flow to the digestive tract
Stimulates liver and kidney function
Relaxes or stimulates muscles to relieve soreness, tension, stiffness, weakness
Mobilizes soft tissues
Improves joint flexibility
Improves elimination of metabolic waste
Stimulates motor nerves
Relieves restlessness and sleep disturbances
Drains stagnant lymph nodes
Stimulates movement of lymphatic drainage
Cleanses the body of metabolic waste
Integumentary (skin) system
Improves tone and elasticity of skin
Stimulates follicular oils and sebaceous glands
Improves quality of coat
Removes dead skin and lose hair
Improves alignment of skeletal structures without force
Maintenance massage is helpful in keeping a healthy dog at a specific level of work for as safely and for as long as possible. The goal is to decrease the muscular tension from day to day stresses and use. Typical candidates are any dogs with a regular routine or activity level including companion dogs, healthy athletic dogs, geriatric dogs, and working dogs.
Performance massage is ideal in optimizing the current performance while assisting the dog in reaching next level proficiency in movement. Performance massage helps improve work efficiency, increase proprioceptive skills, and increase flexibility. Performance massage aids in consistent, repeatable performance, improved muscle memory, greater gains in training with less interruptions, and disruption of poor postural habits. Ideal candidates include show dogs, dogs in training, young dogs beginning work, any dog in transition, and breeding dogs during pregnancy and lactation.
Rehabilitation massage works to provide comfort and aid the body in reaching a state of physical equilibrium that facilitates natural healing or compliment a treatment program initiated by the animals vet. Along with all the benefits of maintenance, rehab massage works to stimulate localized circulation, decrease localized inflammation, stimulate parasympathetic nervous system, stimulate release of natural endorphins, increase metabolism and cellular activity, and also assist in the promotion of healthy scar tissue formation from injury or surgery to encourage stability and flexibility. A rehabilitative massage candidate is any dog in a debilitated state dues to illness or injury with a veterinarian diagnosis. An overall treatment plan should be discussed between vet, guardian, massage practitioner, and any other involved parties to ensure optimal recovery.
About Animal Acupressure
Animal acupressure is a non-invasive finger tip technique, using fingertip pressure on the skins surface at certain acupoint locations. Each location is unique in affecting a symptom or condition. It is based on Traditional Chinese Medicine just like acupuncture and other forms of energetic medicine. TCM is the accumulation of thousands of years of observations using sight, smell, hearing, and touch and collecting and categorizing medical info to establish a comprehensive knowledge concerning the energetics and physiology of the body. In TCM, the body is seen as an entire entity that must be in balance energetically within itself and its environment. All functions of the body are highly interrelated. Emotions will have just as much influence on the health of the body as the functioning of the liver or heart. For the body to be in harmony all internal and external factors must be in balance. Dogs are ideal candidates for TCM because they are highly responsive to acupressure, as they are very in tune with their bodies.
By regularly balancing your dogs energetics you can prevent illness, maintain their sense of well-being, and resolve health issues that might arise from injuries or aging. Traditional Chinese Medicine and acupressure recognizes patterns of disharmony and imbalance before it becomes an actual issue affecting your dog, thus making it a great preventative therapy to help keep your dog healthy.
Current conventional and eastern medicine's scientific studies and clinical observations have proven that the benefits of animal acupressure include:
Reduces fear, anxiety, and stress
Aids in the aging process and age related conditions
Deals with issues of past injuries
Improves body flexibility and mobility
Relieves muscle spasms and stiffness
Strengthens muscles, tendons, joints, and bones
Supports and builds up the immune system to resolve or prevent illness
Relieves gastrointestinal issues
Balances energy to optimize the body's natural ability to heal
Releases natural cortisone to reduce swelling and inflammation
Releases endorphins necessary to increase energy or relieve pain
Enhancing mental clarity and calm required for focus in training and performance
Resolve injuries more readily by increasing the blood supply and removing toxins
By using specific acupoints and their energetics, acupressure can benefit nearly any condition.