Canine Myotherapy

Dog Massage is also known as Canine Myotherapy!

Many dog owners go to great lengths to ensure their dog is happy and well looked after – or do they?

Buying dog food that is eaten with such readiness as a good vacuum cleaner sucking up dirt is not an indicator that the food is of the best nutritional value. In many cases this type of food is enriched with the maximum legal limit of additives such as salt, this is enjoyed by the dog and thus gives the owner the ‘satisfaction’ that they are providing the dog with something it enjoys.

Taking a dog to the grooming parlour is all very well, again dog owners think that since they enjoy a session at the hairdressers that their dog should too. There is no thought given to the damage this can cause to the coat by over shampooing.  Some dog owners even have their dogs hair dyed and their claws painted – really?

Dog breeds such as Whippets or Mexican hairless may appreciate a doggy coat in inclement weather but some owners go to the extremes of dressing their dogs in outfits, there are now many ‘doggy’ couture fashion outlets. However, many of these outfits have the potential to cause unseen physical discomfort or even psychological damage to the animals who are forced to wear them.

All these unnatural and unnecessary fads come at a financial expense, which is no more; I feel, than owners being scammed. They have no other benefit than to please the owner.

Dog owners go out of their way to pamper their dogs in bizarre ways with no proven benefits. But the proof is out there, that there are many positive health benefits to extoll the virtues of dog massage.

Dog massage is a therapy which encourages natural healing, a way to pamper your dog with so many benefits and no ill effects. It has beneficial effects on the whole body and its’ complex systems. Why should it be then that dog owners may see regular massage sessions as overindulgence?

Most dogs have some form of mental and physical exertion within their everyday lives, such as those left at home whilst an owner works. These dogs are often under exercised, or simply taken in a car and then ‘let loose’ to gallop about without any warm up exercise, boredom can produce stress and some will suffer separation anxiety; others such as working border collies endure both mental and physical stress whilst they work hard for most of the day.

Almost every dog enjoys being stroked, so why wouldn’t they find it as relaxing as we do to have a massage to take away some of the everyday tensions of life.

Over time stress can cause long term problems. Massage is a great stress reliever and can help to prevent these negative effects of stress.

Massage, when applied correctly, has beneficial effects on the whole body. From the first touch a conversation is opened between the therapist and the dogs’ body via the central nervous system:

Massage encourages relaxation and assists more efficient functioning of the nerves and chemical changes in the body. Massage encourages normal function of tissues, organs and bodily systems.

The digestive system works with increased efficiency, nutrients are absorbed more easily, and the lymphatic system and therefore the release of toxins are improved. The stress release and relaxation that massage provides has enormous benefits which enable the entire body to work more efficiently.

Massage helps muscles function more efficiently by loosening restrictions such as those which are the result of misuse or over use of muscles. Working to enhance muscle tone leads to less stress being put onto the entire skeleton, joints will become more stable, flexibility will be enhanced and overall posture will be greatly improved.

Massage reduces the build-up of adhesions in the muscles that can result from inflammation due to injury, surgery or trauma. Adhesions can bring about severe limitation in movement by causing the muscles to tighten and/or shorten.

Muscles can be gently stretched which can be of enormous benefit for dogs recovering from injuries and can be beneficial in regard to lessening healing time. Massage sends messages via the neural pathways which stimulates the body’s natural ability to heal itself. Massage is the least invasive and most natural therapy to aid in the healing process

Canine massage works on the circulatory system, by mimicking muscle movement arterial blood flow is improved; this in turn enhances the supply of oxygen and nutrients to the muscles. Lack of function can cause toxic venous blood to collect within the body which can hinder healing, by encouraging arterial blood flow these toxins can be eliminated allowing the natural healing process to take effect.

The functionality of the hormone system can be enhanced. Endorphin release can be encouraged, endorphins act as natural pain relief, again this can provide an aid to healing and many older dogs can be relieved of their ‘stiffness’, giving them a new lease of life.

Through massage the heart can be influenced to work with more efficiency. The effects of this provide an improved delivery system for nutrients and hormones to travel to where they are needed and the elimination of waste products becomes much more effective.

Animals communicate mostly by body language; it can therefore be very hard to know if a dog is in pain, in the wild showing signs of pain or weakness can render them vulnerable. Through dog massage painful areas, lumps and bumps can be detected and medical attention can be sought. Muscle tone can be improved which encourages better posture.  Massage is the perfect tool to detect stiffness, pain, swelling, tension and could possibly help to avoid costly complications from overlooked problems.

Dog massage can aid with reducing skin adhesions which cause many mobility problems, regular massage sessions can relieve stiffness.

Dog Massage is a therapy which encourages natural healing, a way to pamper your dog with so many benefits and no ill effects.

G Hanson (Student)

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