Benefits of Working with your local Canine Massage & Conditioning Therapist

What is Clinical Canine Massage?

Canine Massage addresses the dog’s gross anatomy, to bring about physiological change within the body. The aim is to reduce sympathetic activity within the body by addressing sensory neurons embedded in the muscle, fascia & skin, leading to resolved or reduced pain and restoring normal muscle function and mobility.

Detection of an injury is performed through a thorough knowledge of the Musculoskeletal System, Advanced Palpation Skills (assessing muscles from origin and insertion to fibre direction) and Body-mapping (understanding common areas of muscular injury, myofascial pain and active trigger points) allows for identification of muscular issues/injuries that may be hidden by the body. I recognise I have the luxury of spending an hour with the dog and its’ amazing how the body can change and reveal concerns that may have been hidden or protected over the course of a session or sessions.

Clinical canine massage supports and assists the muscular system, designed to help resolve common muscular issues such as myofascial pain, and trigger points, and rehabilitate and recondition soft tissue injuries. Supporting orthopaedic conditions and pre and post-operative care assists mobility, movement, and pain management, which can have a detrimental effect on behaviour and quality of life. It is commonly used amongst sporting, working and performance competitors too.

Specialising in the use of Myofascial Release, Remedial Sports Massage, Deep Tissue Massage and Swedish Massage as well as the Lenton Method: a set of direct Myofascial release protocols explicitly designed to suit the dog’s anatomy, LED Light Therapy; pulsating red and infra-red LED phototherapy, complementing canine massage to enhance and maximize the positive effects.

Canine Conditioning exercises are suitable for any dog if they are not in pain or where their pain is being managed under the supervision of a veterinarian. Conditioning exercises will be given to clients for issues identified such as generalized hindlimb weakness, Exercises are carried out at a slow pace and only on stable surfaces. Where an issue is identified which requires specialised investigations, I will refer the dog back to the veterinarian. I run regular Canine Core Conditioning classes which train a dog’s core musculature, which in turn improves posture, gait, flexibility and strength.

Please note, I do not manipulate joints or the skeleton as part of my work and concentrate purely on the application of safe, structured massage techniques and if anything untoward is found the client will be referred back to you.

Trained with the Canine Massage Therapy Centre on the Clinical Canine Massage Practitioner Program and with the Canine Conditioning Academy on the CCA Instructor course – both externally accredited by LANTRA.

What Are the Benefits for the Dogs?

  • Muscles, tendons & ligaments are manipulated to create space within the body.
  • Massage improves circulation and reduces ischemia by  releasing trigger points and relieving areas of congested muscle that have formed due to habitual patterns of tension.
  • Improve muscular and somatosensory function by addressing superficial and deep fascia to inhibit nociceptive pain activity.
  • Restores normal muscular tone and inhibit hypertonic muscle.
  • Provide pain management for orthopaedic conditions.
  • Reduces anxiety by decreasing sympathetic levels & inducing a parasympathetic response.
  • Improved proprioception through Myofascial release work and targeted sports massage.
  • Improved movement, gait & posture.
  • Resolves or reduces stiffness.
  • Rehabilitates muscle strain.
  • A more youthful & active dog

Which Clients Will Benefit?

  • Older dogs
  • Dogs that are slowing down/getting old before their time
  • Working and sport dogs
  • Dogs diagnosed with orthopaedic conditions
  • Amputees
  • Dogs who have suffered trauma or soft tissue injury
  • Dogs presenting with intermittent lameness & mobility issues
  • Dogs who cannot tolerate NSAIDS
  • Dogs with confirmation, gait and postural irregularities
  • Dogs suffering from neurological issues
  • Dogs developing muscle atrophy and weakness in limbs
  • Dogs with significant Myofascial pain/exaggerated Panniculus response
  • Dogs who have showed unremarkable or inconclusive X-Rays
  • Dogs suffering with anxiety and nervousness
  • Dogs post-surgery (as appropriate) and/or in rehabilitation
  • Dogs struggling with sporting performance issues
  • Dogs with unexplained behaviour changes
  • Rescued/rehomed/retired dogs

What is Involved?

A vital part of the treatment happens before touching the dog, reading a dog’s body language and responding appropriately is an essential component to develop a better understanding of how to approach & work with the dog.

  • Each massage is individual to the dog’s needs
  • Full consultation
  • Gait analysis
  • Static postural analysis
  • Assessment via palpation
  • Fully body massage, approx 45-50 minutes
  • Full owner feedback
  • Recommendations on activities of daily living & external living environment (that may be exacerbating the condition)
  • Assessment of human client for “owner compliance” at each session

Published Research

Through 2018-2019 Sparsholt and Winchester Universities are carrying out clinical trials on clinical canine massage therapy, with particular focus on the Lenton Method®.

This method incorporates a systematic and scientific method of advanced palpation skills to isolate the muscles and fascia for assessment. It also incorporates a unique set of direct myofascial release techniques that rehabilitate musculoskeletal injuries and provide chronic pain management for orthopaedic conditions such as arthritis and hip dysplasia.

Research results, papers and conferences will be published on the Canine Massage Guild site at a later date.

What Are My Credentials?

As a practising professional therapist:

  • Trained with the Canine Massage Therapy Centre on the Clinical Canine Massage Practitioner Program
  • Trained with the Canine Conditioning Academy on the CCA Instructor course
  • I am Pet First Aid trained
  • I am trained in the theory, research evidence and practical application of Photo-therapy and thermography for the Animal Practitioner
  • I am trained in Facilitated Stretching
  • I have been trained to carry out Specialised Manual Lymphatic Drainage
  • I attend a minimum of 25 hours a year of continuing professional development (CPD)
  • I respect the Veterinary Surgeons Act 1966 and Exemption Order 2015 by never working on an animal without gaining prior veterinary approval
  • I am fully insured.
  • I am a member of the International Association of Animal Therapists (IAAT) and the Canine Conditioning Academy.
  • I am a member of the IRVAP.