From maturity to senior years – a gait analysis will show whether there are any muscle tensions which can be helped with massage making the dog feel more comfortable and movement easier.
Senior years – many senior dogs will slow down due to conditions such as arthritis. Massage can help with keeping them more mobile and can offer them relaxation. “Arthritis (osteoarthritis – OA) is the most common cause of chronic pain in dogs. It affects 4 out of 5 older dogs. It is a disabling, non-curable, and progressive disease which initially focuses on moving joints but eventually affects the whole dog” (https://caninearthritis.co.uk/what-is-arthritis)
As a qualified Merishia Canine Practitioner I am trained to apply non invasive, yet effective gentle techniques to facilitate both superficial and deep release of tension within the muscular system. Veterinary permission is legally required before a session can commence. Merishia Canine Massage Practitioners are trained to assess how a dog moves. This assessment can show if there is any tension, restrictions and discomfort in the muscles and fascia within the body. Common canine conditions associated with abnormal gait (movement) include arthritis, hip and elbow dysplasia, patella (knee) luxation (displacement) and invertebral disc disease.
An appointment will comprise of a full consultation, gait analysis of your dog (this analysis will show where your dog may have some tension in their muscles for example), massage treatment and after care advice. I work in conjunction with veterinary professionals (Veterinary Surgeons Act 1966 and Exemption Order 2015) and other professional holistic therapists offering a multimodal approach to ensure the best possible care for your dog.
Why massage for dogs?
Massage not only works the muscular system but also benefits the cardiovascular, lymphatic, nervous, skin, respiratory and digestive systems in the canine body. Dogs have 700 muscles and these muscles, joints, ligaments and bones all work together to produce movement. Dogs use their forelegs for direction and shock absorption and their hindlegs for propulsion.
Some of the benefits of massage include:
Relieving tight/overused muscles, releasing trigger and stress points. This increases flexibility and tone in the muscle and improves range of movements in the joints making life easier and more comfortable for your dog.
By completing further Continuous Professional Development courses this has allowed me to enhance the effects of my massage techniques by applying, Light therapy (Photizo Vetcare, Acupressure Therapy, Reflexology, Tellington TTouch techniques and Myofascial release.
Acupressure Acupressure is the palpation of points used by acupuncturists, but without needles. Acupressure allows the relief of muscular spasms, strengthens bones and tendons, boosts the immune system, improves the condition of the coat and aids digestion. This therapy is can be very beneficial for older dogs who are unable to undertake a full massage.
Photizo Red Light Therapyusing the Photizo Vetcare has proven to be effective in the treatment of: Musculoskeletal problems: Arthritis, neck and back pain, overuse injuries, muscle spasms, trigger points etc. Post-op: any area treated surgically, including skin grafts. Light therapy works by restoring energy in damaged cells and increasing blood flow using highly beneficial wavelengths of red and infrared light. The function of a cell will be compromised after damage caused by injury, surgery, disease or if the body is slower to heal from conditions such as diabetes.
Proven effects of red and infrared light are: Increases energy in cells (production of ATP in the mitochondria) Increases circulation Increased cell regeneration Reduces inflammation and increases lymphatic activity Increases immune system activity Cell death is reversed when applied within 4-6 hrs of injury Regulation of collagen production helping to reduce scarring Pain relief and calming by increasing endorphins and serotonin.
Reflexology Reflexology is a method of working points on the paws to help with overall well being. It is based on the premise that specific points on the paws correspond to specific areas on the body (just as in humans!).