IS MASSAGE THERAPY RECOGNIZED AS BENEFICIAL TO AN ANIMAL'S WELL BEING?
Yes, increasingly so. Just as the popularity of less invasive approaches to health care in humans has gained in recent years, so too have these procedures and methods gained acceptance in the care and treatment of animals. And just as we have witnessed the recent advent of professionals like equine chiropractors, equine physical therapists and equine nutritionists in the horse world, we are beginning to see these same professions develop in the dog "community."
WHAT TYPES OF CONDITIONS MIGHT BE ALLEVIATED BY CANINE MASSAGE THERAPY?
Pat Humphrey, DVM, Memorial Beach Veterinary Hospital in Healdsburg, CA, explains, "Canine Massage is helpful as an adjunct treatment, especially in older, degenerative arthritic animals that may have already been taking prescription anti-inflammatory medication and are still not comfortable or fully able to get around without pain. Some of these animals have old injuries that may or may not have been surgically treated in the past, and because some injuries are not 100% repairable, as they age, arthritis results. We usually advise glucosamine/chondroitin supplements, which help a bit. Omega 3 oils at high dosages can help a bit more. There is a maximum safe daily dose of anti-inflammatory pain medications which are definitely very helpful for these pets, but sometimes more help is needed. Massage can be very helpful added to these patients' pain management regimen."
WHO/WHAT IS EQUISSAGE©?
Equissage© is the leading trainer of equine sports massage therapists in the world. Since the inauguration of its original certificate program in 1991, Equissage© has trained more than 10,000 professional therapists. These graduates work for the top owners and trainers in the horse world, and some have been selected as official massage therapists for national equestrian teams around the world. Mary Schreiber, the founder of Equissage©, is acknowledged to be one of the true pioneers of horse and other animal massage in the country. Her best-selling videos on horse and dog massage have had worldwide distribution, with translations into a number of foreign languages. Her book, "The (How To) Manual Of Sports Massage For the Equine Athlete," is recognized as the "Bible" of equine massage instruction, and her work has been featured on ABC Television's Health Show, Sports Illustrated magazine, NBC TV and in leading equestrian journals around the world. The Certification Program in Canine Massage Therapy (CMT) takes the same procedures and techniques developed for equine massage and applies them to the dog - based on the recognition that "a muscle is a muscle regardless of how it's packaged."