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Why is animal massage important?

Massage is a noninvasive and general therapy, which can relieve pain and help in the treatment of several conditions as well as prevent their return. Any form of touch that provides comforts and promotes health and wellness can be defined as massage. Through massage the tissue can either be relaxed or stimulated to cause excitability. There are several reasons to try massage for your animal. The show of resistance or the lack of willingness to move in a particular manner could be a sign of muscular discomfort. Stiff or painful muscles can cause undesirable behavior. Through the proper use of massage techniques, muscle tenderness and spasms can be released. Noticeable changes can be made through the combination of Swedish and sports massage techniques such as cross fiber fractions and effleurage. A general body massage allows the practitioner to touch the entire body and then focus in on problem areas. During this massage, changes can be made to the muscle tissue. The primary care taker of the animal is given "homework" which is designed to help continue the benefits of the massage. A series of general massages can show lasting and positive changes. In addition to the general massage there are pre-event and post-event massages which are shorter in duration and do not make any major changes to the tissue which may cause a change in gate. These are given to warm the muscles prior to a class or race. They also reduce the warm up time. They can also relax or stimulate the animal. Post-event cools the animal down and lowers the respiration rate.

Benefits of massage

    • increases circulation
    • releases tension
    • relaxes muscles
    • increases range of motion
    • stimulates both mentally and physically
    • aids in the removal of metabolic wastes
    • provides a form of exercise
    • reduces swelling
    • Works to break down adhesions and can prevent them from forming
    • reduces arthritis pain
    • reduces pain from hip displacia as well as other joint problems
When an animal is enjoying a massage and is receiving the benefits, they will show signs of relaxation such as yawning. They will lower their heads and begin to lick and chew. Their soft eyes let both the practitioner and the owner know that they are enjoying it. Following a massage the animal should be asked to walk for a few minutes as well as drink some water. Then they should be allowed to have a rest period. Massage for your animals can not only be a great treat it can be a great asset to their performance and there health and wellness.