- Relaxes tired muscles
- Aids in rehabilitation post injury and surgery
- Increases circulation and helps to move fluids into the lymphatic system
- Maintains and restores flexibility of joints and muscles
- Improves behavioural issues and socialization
- Enhances body awareness
- Provides comfort
- Strengthens immune system
- Enhances detoxification
- Maintains and improves muscle tone
- Prepares muscles for work or competition
- Improves condition of skin and coat
- Provides a means to regularly assess and evaluate the body and its physical condition
- Aids in recovery after work or competition
- Reduces stress, anxiety and discomfort
- Helps reduce pain and inflammation
- Increases blood flow
- Reduces soreness and tenderness
- Relieves spasms
- Increases muscle and connective tissue pliability
- Enhances bonding and relationships with humans
If chronic musculoskeletal problems exist, whether due to genetics, nutrition or disease, therapeutic touch can be very benefical. Massage can help with problems that develop due to poor posture and gait related to changes in soft tissues, joint and bone structure.
While recovering from surgery, massage can increase healing time and help maintain mobility, muscle tone and joint flexibility, especially for dogs that must be restricted during healing time.
When permanent low grade disease exists (e.g. osteoarthritis, chronic imbalances, such as hip dysplasia), massage increases blood flow and reduces discomfort.
When dogs are involved in performance sports (e.g. flyball, agility or lure coursing), decreased power and range of motion can occur because of an increase in scar tissue in the connective tissues from muscle strain. Massage can be used to stretch and free scar tissue, returning muscle tissue to normal function. It can also aid in recovery, promote relaxation and reduce stress during training. Further reduction in injury in dogs with repetitive stress injuries is also a positive effect of massage.
A dog can suffer from muscle soreness, when training and working hard. If not given enough time to recover between sessions, injury can occur. Massage decreases muscle tone, reducing discomfort and increasing relaxation. Therapeutic touch can also decrease recovery time.
When a dog experiences muscle soreness due to extreme exertion, adverse environmental conditions, stress or poor diet, massage will reduce discomfort. It is best for your dog to receive massage 1-3 hours after exertion.
WHEN NOT TO MASSAGE:
*** Please see your veterinarian immediately if your dog is suffering from any of the below conditions.
- Acute inflammation
- Skin problems (e.g., ringworm, rashes, hot spots)
- Heat stroke
- Broken bone or ruptured vertebral disc
- Swollen lymph glands
- Injuries (e.g., torn muscles, punctures, open wounds or surgical sites)