I am a qualified Canine Massage Therapist. As part of my training in Merishia Massage, I have learnt movement assessment, soft and deep tissue massage, as well as specific techniques to effectively release muscular tension and gentle mobilisations to improve flexibility and performance. I observe and adapt my techniques in response to your dog’s body-language.
I have also recently completed additional training in Myofascial Release Techniques (indirect), a very gentle, but effective approach to releasing the tension that builds in this tissue. This, in combination with massage may aid tension release in underlying muscles and improve movement and general flexibility. See the Fascia section below for more information.
Recently I have taken additional training in Tellington T-touch, and Acupoint therapy (acupuncture without the needles!). I incorporate both interventions into my massage and reiki as required. See the Acupoint section below for more information.
Massage can benefit for your dog in the following ways:
- For dogs involved in working/agility activities, massage can aid
post-competition recovery, generally improve performance and help prevent injury.
- For nervous/rescue dogs who may be touch-sensitive, it can help de-sensitise, build trust and decrease stress levels.
- It can assist in recovery as part of post-injury/surgery rehabilitation.
- In older dogs , or any dog suffering stiffness and joint issues, compensations and tension, it can release tension and aid relaxation.
- It stimulates circulation, aids flexibility and encourages better range of movement.
- Generally enhances and maintains well-being.
The fascia is a membrane found throughout the body. It is largely water-based, but also includes collagen and elastin. In the bodies of healthy animals and humans, it has great flexibility and stretches as part of its capacity to both protect body parts and aid transference of fluids and nerve conduction. However, when injury or stress occurs, the water is pushed from the fascia, changing its composition, resulting in collagen fibre ‘cross-linking’.
Indirect Myofascial release techniques act directly to encourage release of this cross-linking, restore flexibility and stretching ability to this tissue which of course can improve joint mobility, muscle tension and general movement and well-being. When certain levels of relaxation are achieved, you can also encourage realignment of the spine and pelvis. Dural (fascia) release techniques to the fascia surrounding the cranial plates, encourages restoration of symmetry to these bones and the release of tension throughout the whole body, further improving joint mobility, muscle tension, general movement and well-being.
Based on theories stemming from Chinese Traditional Medecine (CTM): Chi, Meridians, Five Elements, Yin and Yang, and the relationships between these and the main organs of the body, this approach aims to re-balance the body and the emotions. CTM believes that there is a link between emotions and the manifestation of a physical condition. Working specific points on the body’s meridians can ‘tonify’ or disperse the chi (energy) within the meridian and bring the whole system into balance, and promote well-being. This approach, which uses a light touch, can first and foremost Do No Harm. Using Acupoint therapy involves making a detailed assessment: animal history, physical examination, listening, smelling and observing movement to determine the key areas on which to focus, then choosing the most relevant points to address the imbalance. I use points along the Bladder meridian and the ‘Ting’ points (end points to all meridians) to address the issues identified.
I can incorporate this into canine massage and reiki sessions with all animals to enhance the session. I – and guardians, are very impressed with the results, which include increased focus and greatly reduced fear/aggressive responses, when in the company of other dogs, both out walking and when attending obedience classes. Other feedback I have received (and observed) has been increased general calmness and improved mobility in older dogs. I have used this with horses to address musculoskeletal issues, as well as issues with the skin/allergic reactions. I have also incorporated this into the voluntary healing I offer to cats in a local Cats Protection agency which I visit, where I have noticed a great improvement in general well-being, and addressing some specific behavioural/emotional issues . If you would like to know more about how this therapy could help your dogs, cats or horses, please get in touch!
I offer a mobile service to Surrey, Hampshire and West Sussex. Other areas by arrangement.