Just about every person who owns a dog or a cat in their home as a pet today will tell you that they view their pet as a valued and beloved member of the family. Our pets provide us with companionship and a sense of security. They are loyal, always happy to see us and they provide us with unconditional acceptance and love. With all that they give us is it any wonder that Americans spend over 60 billion dollars a year on their pets.
Veterinary care affords our animals just about every therapy that is available to humans and we are more and more willing to spend whatever it takes to provide what is needed to care for our beloved pets. With six dogs and countless other animals in my own home I certainly am in agreement with the current trend in pet care. To that end, I have used massage and other modalities on my own pets as an almost every day experience.
My three puppies get a little too bored if the bodywork sessions do not include a toy but they seem to get what they need and they certainly enjoy their alone time with me.
Just as with their human companions, dogs, cats and horses possess a fascial system whose functions correspond exactly with those of human beings. Blunt-force trauma, repetitive motions and abuse can have serious consequences to the shock absorbency qualities of an animals fascial system. I have worked on my oldest dog after each of her serious surgeries to mitigate the effects of scar tissue formation and to help her regain flexibility and range-of-motion. She underwent very expensive back surgery before I adopted her. The surgery failed and she was left crippled in her hind legs and she was left totally incontinent as well. While her nerve function cannot be fully restored I have used Myofascial Release to diminish the pulling of her extensive surgical scarring, restore some flexibility to her limbs and spinal column and allow her to unwind through the fascial restrictions evident in her body. She will readily fall asleep during treatment, her 11 pound body unwinding under my hands, guided by the cellular memory or tissue intelligence embedded in her fascial system.
I recently satisfied course requirements for certification in Equine Myofascial Release Therapy to enable me to treat these magnificent animals as well. Having witnessed the therapy I am anxiously awaiting my first equine client! These beautiful, massive animals respond remarkably well to this cutting-edge therapy.
Myofascial Release for pets can help restore range-of-motion, reduce pain and swelling and diminish scar tissue appearance as well as its phantom tightening influence throughout the body. I look for those hot, hard or tender places and treat the pet with gentle pressures and compassion to facilitate the animal to a more pain-free, active lifestyle. What I have found in treating pets is that they are readily receptive to the work. Like human children they do not have the belief systems and mental blockages that can impede a body's ability to heal.
Myofascial release for pets is considered a holistic, non-invasive approach to the restoration and maintenance of your pet's overall health. In releasing fascial restrictions throughout the system your pet's body can rebalance and re-align, thus reducing pain and restoring range-of-motion. Since many pets experience the trauma of emotional issues as well, Myofascial Release can assist in removing these emotion-based holding patterns that can add significantly to an animal's physical pain issues. Evidence based research has demonstrated that Animal Myofascial Release can help cats, dogs, horses, rabbits and other pets with a wide array of conditions:
- back pain/range-of-motion issues
- degenerative joint disease
My six dogs have benefited from regular massage and Myofascial Release over the years and really enjoy their special time with me, often prodding me with a paw should I stop for any reason! Why not try this cutting-edge modality for your own pets today!
For many years the thought of using essential oils with animals was a matter of great controversy. With the current use of pure, quality essential oils a whole new era has been ushered in for our pets. Aromatherapists have for years extolled the use of essential oils and have achieved many a success story. While I have practiced Aromatherapy on people for years I was late in appreciating the opportunities presented to pets and their issues.
Essential oils are the true essences extracted from plants, leaves, flowers, stems, bark or roots. The plant parts are distilled and the powerful oils extracted have demonstrated effectiveness in a variety of uses for thousands of years - physical, mental and emotional. Oils are applied neat (directly on skin) or diluted (in water or a carrier oil) for application to the skin, taken internally or diffused in water, oil or through air diffusers. Hundreds of oils are used, each having properties which can influence our pet's health and well-being. Each of the oils have undergone extensive study and with careful application are completely safe for pets. Essential oils can be combined with techniques such as acupuncture, acupressure, massage, chiropractic, homeopathy, Reiki, Flower Essences, reflexology and other clinical procedures. I have used essential oils on my dogs for several years now. All of my dogs are rescues, each with their own history. I have witnessed powerful health benefits and physical responses as well as behavioral and emotional benefits. Abused pets and those with fear/phobia issues, anxiety disorders, pain and allergy issues are just a few of the documented success stories using essential oils.
Typically, I will take as detailed a history as is available for the pet to start the process of treatment. I will then research essential oils and/or aromatherapy protocols which best match the conditions we wish to treat. I then set up an interview with the pet to determine how best to integrate the essential oils/protocol with that pet's personality. Techniques such as petting, room diffusion or raindrop technique are used to treat the pet in the safety and security of its home environment.
One of the most fascinating applications of this therapy is the potential to treat your pet for emotional issues, abandonment, abuse, post-surgical fears and emotionally-based behavioral issues! I have seen these same issues in human clients improve/resolve with essential oil use so it is not difficult to imagine that other creatures with trauma issues could be helped as well. Truly we have rediscovered a wholly natural path to pursue in pet health care.
Feel free to call and discuss your pet's issues and see if Aromatherapy and the innate power of essential oils could be of benefit to your furry family members.