Massage skills

Massage is an ancient ‘art’ of healing dating back to the origins of man. We instinctively rub an injury to give relief from pain and produce warmth. Animals also instinctively massage themselves and each other when grooming and licking.

Responsible dog owners care for their dog’s fitness, health, wellbeing and peak performance. This they can do by giving good nutrition, plenty of exercise, veterinary care and most of all love and attention, which can involve massage. To treat an animal other than your own without veterinary consent is illegal. The Veterinary Surgeons act of 1966 makes it illegal for anyone other than a veterinary surgeon to treat animals or carry out the practice of veterinary medicine and surgery in very limited circumstances. However,an owner may diagnose and treat illness in his own animals and anyone may give first aid to an animal in distress. This short introduction is only the beginning of your learning. Massage can influence profound changes within the dog’s body, therefore good background knowledge of the skeletal and muscular systems are vital. You will learn many observational skills to recognise problems in your dog, so you can help alleviate them, before they become major problems.
Anyone can stroke a dog and be giving a massage, however, with knowledge, practice and experience you can learn to loosen tight muscle fibers, knots, spasms and trigger points. You will also increase the blood circulation, which will improve the intake of nutrients and oxygen and removal of toxins, thus optimising the potential of the cells and organs. The caring soothing touch will also help to relax the nervous system and assist in relieving any stress. The time spent together will also benefit your trust and connection, giving a more rewarding relationship between owner and dog.
Weeks 1 and 2
Basic Canine Anatomy and Physiology, to include:
Skeletal and Muscular structures
Recognisable external structures on a dog
Blood Circulation
Lymph Circulation
Nervous System
Massage Moves
Gait Observational skills
Stress Areas for individual dogs, breeds and activities
Practical session on each other to understand the effects and mechanics before working on dogs
Week 3
Practical session on own dogs: Observing, feeling and treating
Contraindications and precautions