Therapeutic Canine Massage

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1 Meet our Certified Canine Massage Therapist, Stevi Quick After years of competitive grooming and handling several breeds in conformation, I became interested in training and competing with my dogs in the sport of agility. I started with my boxer and several years after that I attained my border collie Charm. In training Charm I learned the importance of conditioning a canine athlete. I took my knowledge of movement and structure from the conformation ring and studied anatomy and technique for massage therapy and conditioning to become a certified canine body worker. Therapeutic massage helps in the health, longevity and well being of canines in many of the same ways it is beneficial to humans. With the release of endorphins it feels good. It increases circulation, which helps muscles repair themselves from injury, and strengthen. It also stimulates the release of toxins from the body. By increasing circulation it can help dissipate the effects of anesthesia and speed the recovery from surgery. Therapeutic massage also increases flexibility and range of motion of muscles and joints, which relieves pain associated with arthritis and other joint and skeletal abnormalities. Studies also show that behaviors can be modified by the use of therapeutic massage, and stress and fear can be reduced. At the other end of the spectrum, sports massage is used to stimulate and pump up animals in performance competition. When doing bodywork, I can focus on specific areas of concern so your dog can enjoy more activities. This ultimately improves your dog s quality of life and the relationship you have with your pet, which everyone wants for their loved ones. I hope you allow me the pleasure of working with your dog and give you the happiness of seeing the improvement in the quality of your dog s life.

2 Beautiful Balance Therapeutic Canine Massage W. Indiantown Rd. Jupiter, FL 33458

3 A Beautiful Balance Therapeutic canine massage is a study of both structure and movement. It is a beautiful balance of how one affects the other. Initial session An initial session will include an evaluation of your dog s structure and how it affects your dog s movement. Structural imbalance greatly affects how your dog walks, trots and runs. Over time, certain structural abnormalities will cause the musculoskeletal system to place strains on certain muscles and tendons. These strains can cause bone deformities, and muscle and bone atrophy. Stevi Quick, our certified therapeutic canine massage therapist has been trained to evaluate this imbalance. She has extensively studied gait and structure, which allows her to begin a supplemental health care plan unique to your pet s needs. Therapeutic massage can also relieve muscle tension and help to improve damaged tissue through specific strokes and techniques. Daily pain and movement issues can be relieved, and your dog circulation and range of motion can be improved. Your pet will have an increased sense of well-being and a great quality of life. What is massage therapy? As a form of physiotherapy, massage therapy is the application of specific hand movements on a patient to improve muscle and joint function by relieving tension, spasm, or other restrictions to proper motion. It may be used for warm-up purposes, for relaxing or stimulating muscles in order to prevent injury, or for rehabilitation of a patient after an injury has occurred. Massage is also used to compensate for impaired circulation by augmenting the normal flow of blood and lymphatic fluid. What conditions are most often treated with massage therapy? Both acute and chronic musculoskeletal injuries may respond to massage therapy, especially as a complement to other forms of treatment. When used for rehabilitation, the patient s treatment must have been preceded by a veterinary exam and complete diagnosis, including assessment of any other health concerns.

4 Candidates for Canine Massage There are certain dogs that benefit the most from therapeutic canine massage. Inactive Dogs Senior Dogs Dogs Suffering from Arthritis and/or Hip Dysplasia Dogs Recovering from an Injury or Surgery Anxious Dogs in Need of Relaxation and Calming Performance/Working Dogs Competitive/Show Dogs Are there some dogs that can t benefit? Despite the many positive aspects of massage, there are some situations in which it may not be an appropriate treatment. Animals suffering from fever, shock, infection, rashes, open wounds, fractures, cancer, lumps, immune disease, and certain skin conditions typically do not benefit from massage therapy. How do I know if my dog will benefit? Call us at Harmony Animal Hospital at and Stevi will discuss your dog s general condition and your goals for therapeutic massage. She will personalize a therapeutic massage program that s right for your dog. This may be done in conjunction with your dog s veterinary care.

5 Therapeutic Massage Programs at Harmony Animal Hospital Geriatric Program After a full evaluation and assessment of your senior pet, we will perform a session of massage and passive stretching. An hour session will include specific strokes to increase circulation and stimulate the lymphatic system. Special attention will be paid to areas around sensitive joints. As with any exercise, conditioning, or ongoing therapies or treatments, the frequency is determined specifically by your pet, and often an increase in frequency is more beneficial. As the sessions continue you will be guided through home care stretches and exercises to help maintain your pet s comfort level in between therapeutic sessions here at Harmony Animal Hospital. Post Surgery Program Studies have shown that after certain surgeries, massage sessions not only improve the comfort level of your pet while on the mend, but also increase the speed of recovery. With the consent and under the supervision of your veterinarian, a full evaluation and assessment of your pet will be done. An hour session includes full bodywork with special attention paid to the injury repair, and also the surrounding muscle systems, which can be damaged by overuse before the repair. Appropriate strengthening exercises and stretching will be used. As the sessions continue you will be guided through appropriate home exercises and stretches to help improve your pet s healthy, comfortable recovery. Weight Loss Program Obesity in dogs is becoming increasingly common with our busy lifestyles. Obesity affects your pet s heart and blood pressure, as well as making movement painful. It creates added stress on joints and muscle fibers, and places strain and pressure on the canine spine. After an evaluation, assessment and weigh in, an hour long session will include releasing strained muscles and joints that have excessive pressure placed on them from carrying extra weight. An exercise and weight loss goal plan will be discussed and implemented. In conjunction with your pet s veterinarian, nutritional guidance will be discussed and weekly sessions will be scheduled. These sessions will include a weigh in, massage session, personalized strengthening exercises, and stretching. If

6 there is any question as to your pet s obesity being caused by a medical issue, you will be guided through having the correct medical assessments prior to the first session. Let us help you improve your pet s quality of life, activity level and longevity. Behavioral Program Some of our furry four legged friends suffer from poor social skills, nervousness or anxiety issues. The use of special light strokes along specific points down the muzzle, head and spine, will calm and comfort your pet. Because of the release of endorphins during the use of certain strokes at specific points along the body, stress and fear can be reduced. Once your pet relaxes and opens to the touch, continued touch therapy can be used to rid their body of built up tension and toxins. See a happier and calmer dog, and a perhaps even a reduction in reactive behaviors. Spa Treatments Allow your pet the treat of a mini massage and aromatherapy session with one of our spa facials and paw pad treatments. During the 20-minute session, your pet will be bathed in one of our Spa Therapy shampoos, concentrating on the muzzle, head and paws, as well as thoracic limb and pelvic limb joints. Our Spa Package is also excellent for pets with behavioral issues. This is sure to send him home wagging his tail and smelling fresh! Boarding Package What better way to help your dog relax while staying at Harmony Animal Hospital while you are away, than to treat him or her to a massage with our certified massage therapist. A massage during your dogs vacation can put your pet at ease and you will have confidence that your pet is having just as good of a time on his or her vacation as you are.

7 The benefits of massage therapy are many*. The benefits can be physical, mental, and emotional, including: An increased overall sense of wellness Prevention of injury and illness Prevention of loss of movement and atrophy in inactive muscles A speedy recovery time from injury or illness Reduction of pain Reduction of soreness or stiffness Loosening of tight and constricted muscles Improving flexibility and range of motion of the joints Restoration of proper muscle tone An increase of energy and endurance Maintaining posture and balance Improving cardiovascular health Can decrease blood pressure and improve blood circulation An increase in toxin release and removal of waste from the body Calming of the nervous system; reduction of stress and tension Reduction of anxiety and fear; increased relaxation An increase in comfort and well-being Improving trust and bonding between dog and human *Massage therapy is not a substitute for medical examination, diagnosis, or treatment from a veterinarian.

8 How can my dog benefit from massage therapy? When performed as part of a comprehensive treatment package, massage therapy may minimize injuries and enhance the patient s recovery speed. Animals with decreased mobility from chronic injuries may benefit from massage therapy with improved range of motion and/or decreased pain. Massage increases circulation and nerve stimulation both where it is applied and also internally in any reflexively associated internal organs. How successful is massage therapy? The success of massage therapy is difficult to measure or validate except when evaluated through controlled clinical trials. Such research is currently lacking in veterinary medicine. The current acceptance of massage therapy as promoting faster recovery from injuries is largely based on clinical experience. How safe is massage therapy? When performed by a trained professional, massage therapy is extremely safe. If it is done incorrectly, massage can cause intensify pain or muscle spasms, resulting in worsening of the original condition or in secondary injuries. Massage therapy must never be performed on open or infected wounds, on torn muscles, on joints affected with inflammatory arthritis, or if the patient has a fever. Can massage therapy be combined with other types of veterinary medicine? Massage therapy integrates well into a medical plan and the veterinarian and massage therapist must communicate to combine their knowledge and skill to develop an appropriate treatment plan.

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