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  • Do you come to me or do I go to you?
    I come to you because I have found that dogs are more comfortable in their own home. They are most likely to exhibit their natural behaviors in their own environment as opposed to a strange one. This is important because their movement gives me an idea of where the dysfunction is located in their body. I like to work in whatever room the dog is most comfortable in. With large dogs I sit on the floor and with smaller dogs I work on a grooming table if they are comfortable with that.
  • What are the top reasons my dog needs CranioSacral Therapy?
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  • How do I know if my dog needs bodywork?
    All bodies function best when they are regularly maintained. The canine body is no exception. Reasons for using massage and Bodywork include but are not limited to: Fascial (connective tissue that exists directly under the skin and encompasses all internal structures from head to toe) dysfunction. An example of this occurs when a repetitive injury (such as chasing a ball) or trauma inhibits the body’s ability to glide and slide as it needs to. Musculoskeletal (muscles, bones, joints, ligaments and tendons) issues. One example are trigger points. They are muscle fibers that have constricted into a taut band within the muscle. As the muscle and fascia tighten, nerves passing through them will be squeezed more and more. This results in pain and in time, muscle wasting. Mobility problems can occur as a result of arthritis. Massage and Bodywork encourage circulation, bringing oxygen and nourishment to the tissues. Scars become problematic because the body sends cells to a site that needs to be healed and the cells congregate in lumpy clusters. It requires a type of Bodywork known as “scarwork” to get them to lay down in an organized fashion. Left to themselves they can interfere with the proper functioning of the body. Pain relief Nervous system issues can occur when the brain sends a message to the nervous system and the message goes awry. This can be seen when a dog goes to the veterinarian. Trembling, he waits in the waiting room. During the exam he is on high alert. Finally the exam is over and he and his owner return to the car. The brain sends a message to the nervous system that he can relax. Except something goes awry and his nervous system never gets the message. He stays on high alert, exhausting his muscles and dumping stress hormones into his system. And more for more information, click here to see my blog “Signs a Dog Needs Bodywork”
  • Can I be present during a session?
    By all means. I encourage all owners to be with their dog throughout a session. If it is the initial session, I will ask the owner to walk with the dog so I can evaluate the dog’s movement. In addition the dog needs to know that I am a person he or she can relax in the presence of. The owner will provide the needed reassurance. On subsequent visits, I find that if the owner is present, the dog knows what to expect and settles into the routine easily.
  • Are there any potential side effects or risks?
    Unlike substances that are ingested, bodywork has absolutely no side effects or risks. It involves the manipulation of tissue, which can only be helpful.
  • What are the social and physical benefits of therapeutic massage?
    Physical Benefits include, but not limited to: It dilates blood vessels, allowing the blood to flow more freely, which encourages the removal of waste products such as lymph and lactic acid. It is a highly effective diagnostic tool. Areas of muscle tension, swelling and growth can be easily detected. If there is an injury, massage helps lessen inflammation, swelling and pain in the joints. It stimulates the body to release endorphins—proteins that act as natural pain-killers. Regularly used, massage can aid in the prevention of trigger points (a combination of lactic acid build-up and the irritation of motor nerve endings). It improves muscle tone. It helps lessen inflammation and swelling in joints, therefore alleviating pain. Depending upon the type of massage used, it can either have a relaxing or stimulating effect. Therefore, it is effective in reducing stress and tension. Because massage increases circulation it can be used to positively affect the health of animals whose activity has been curtailed. Situations include being restricted to a stall or boarding kennel. Because it encourages blood circulation, massage increases the amount of oxygen reaching the tissues. This enhances health and results in a shorter recuperation time when there is a physical trauma. It is helpful in cooling down horses after a period of intense activity. Social Benefits include, but not limited to: In addition to the physical benefits, therapeutic massage also has social benefits. It is an integral part of a developing animal’s social order. In the wild, growing animals learn to relate to one another and their environment in a way which will serve them as they mature. Studies have shown that animals deprived of touch become social misfits, and are sometimes unable to survive. Once domestic animals mature and are adopted into separate homes, they are frequently unable to socialize with other animals, thus precluding many opportunities for mutual grooming. To supplement this, we as owners need to step in and fill the void by providing massage for our animals.
  • What are the top reasons my dog needs Myofascial Release?
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