OFFERING A RANGE OF EFFECTIVE THERAPIES FOR ANIMALS
Integrated Animal Therapies provides a range of effective therapies for animals which we refer to as "Integrated Healing Modalities" because your animal's unique circumstances (health, type and extent of injury, environment, etc.) often requires an equally unique combination of therapies.
Manual therapies, also known as bodywork is an umbrella term. Under this umbrella falls other therapies, such as: Therapeutic Massage, Craniosacral Therapy, Myofascial Release, Trigger Point Therapy, Bowen, Canine Touch and more.
Animals vary greatly from one to the next and no single modality works the same way each time for every animal. Differing behaviors, health issues and situations are some of the factors that contribute to the decision to use a variety of modalities.
There are many ways that massage can increase the well-being of your canine athlete or feline friend. Massaging dilates blood vessels, allowing the blood to flow more freely, which in turn encourages the removal of waste products such as lymph and lactic acid. Massage stimulates blood circulation, and can be used to positively affect the health of animals whose activity has been curtailed due to being restricted to a stall or boarding kennel.
Furthermore, since massage encourages circulation, it increases the amount of oxygen reaching the tissues. This enhances health and results in a shorter recuperation time when there is an injury.
CRANIOSACRAL THERAPY AND
Does your dog have back pain? Stiffness in the neck or jaw? Arthritis?
CranioSacral Therapy affects the layer of connective tissue under the skin, known as the fascia (pronounced “fasha”). Think of a body stocking under the skin that stretches from the head to the tail. Fascia also surrounds every muscle, bone, organ, nerve and blood vessel. It protects the entire body and moves nutrients into the cells and carries toxins away.
An injury, stress or even exercise can cause a restriction in the fascia, resulting in waves of additional dysfunction in the surrounding fascia. A therapist gently manipulates this tissue, releasing the restriction and relieving the pain or stiffness.
Myofascial Release (MFR) is often used with CranioSacral Therapy. MFR is gentle stretching of the tissue to release tension and allow better movement of the “body stocking.”
The CranioSacral system extends from the occiput (back of head/poll), down the spine to the coccyx (tailbone) and is comprised of three layers of membranes. The outermost layer is the dura mater which is a tough membrane that surrounds the brain and spinal cord. The next layer is the arachnoid mater, and the inner layer is the pia mater which adheres snugly to the inside of the spinal cord. These membranes are constantly bathed in fluid. This fluid is known as the cerebrospinal fluid. It pulsates throughout the life of the animal and influences the movement of the skull bones and the connective tissue (fascia).
Fascia is the layer of connective tissue directly under the skin. When you cut into a chicken, you encounter this stretchy, translucent layer. It is similar to a body-stocking, and like a net it is intricately interwoven. Fascia extends from the brain to the toes/hooves and everywhere in between. It contributes to the health of an animal by increasing transport between the cells, moving nutrients into the cell and toxins out.
In addition to its location just under the skin, the fascia extends 3-dimensionally throughout the body, encompassing muscles, organs, bones.
When a trauma occurs in one area of the fascia it will be felt in other parts of the body. This is because of the web-like nature of the fascial net. It is impossible to influence one area without also influencing others.
In 1920 Emmanuel Swedenborg, an Italian anatomist, discovered that skull bones are continually moving due to the rhythmic pulsations of the cerebrospinal fluid. Over the years many other researchers contributed to the development of this area.
In 1970, Dr. John Upledger, an Osteopathic physician and surgeon was assisting in a surgical procedure when he was privileged to witness the movement of one of the membranes inside the spinal cord. He used this information to develop the field of Craniosacral Therapy. An injury, the traumas of daily life, exercise and more can all result in simple restrictions of the fascia. Left untreated, these restrictions build up and result in ill-health.
PHOTONIC RED LIGHT
Light has been used in healing capacities for quite some time—records have been found of it being used in Ancient Egypt. The Photonic Light works on a cellar level and addresses a variety of issues. The light emitted from it, vibrates at the same frequency of healthy cells and encourages damaged cells, (which are vibrating at a lower frequency) to increase their vibration.
The vibration of the light also stimulates the mitochondria of the cell. This is a part of the cell that can be considered the powerhouse because it provides energy to the cell. Application of the light causes protein to be synthesized, releases endorphins and serotonin into the body. In addition, it is helpful in encouraging collagen to be produced. Collagen is vital to the healing and maintenance of healthy fascia (connective tissue).
The Photonic Light can be quite helpful in a wide range of conditions which include, but are not limited to:
Immune system issues (autoimmune, respiratory and other systemic infections)
Speeding the healing of Incisions or injuries
PRE & POST-COMPETITION MASSAGE
Why is Massage Important for Performance Dogs?
Lure coursing, agility, obedience, Frisbee, fly-ball, tracking, herding, and field trials are just some of the competitive activities that our canine athletes engage in. Yet it often doesn’t occur to us to attend to other athletic needs they may have. Human athletes interested in performing at their peak frequently have a massage prior to engaging in a competition. It has many benefits, which are also applicable to dogs.
Prior to a competition, I gave Taylor a massage (known as a pre-competition massage), which warmed up his muscles and prepared him for the work at hand. By doing this it increased his circulation which brought additional oxygen and blood to the muscles. This increases the efficiency of the muscle and helps it work in a more productive manner. The characteristically light pressure and rapid movement of this type of massage invigorates the nervous system and helps the dog to be at his peak—alert and ready to compete.
During the competition Taylor exhibited an abundance of energy and performed beautifully. Afterward, his owner brought an excited, satisfied yet very tired Taylor to me. I gave him a massage (known as post-competition massage), which enabled me to look for any injuries that might have occurred during the competition. They can then be pointed out to the handler who can take veterinary action if it is dictated. This type of massage also promotes the removal of lactic acid which results from intense activity. If lactic acid is left in the tissues—it will pool, causing an irritation of motor-nerve endings which can develop into trigger points. These can be quite painful. Additionally, post-competition massage relaxes and calms the dog after an intense activity. This will undoubtedly add to the enjoyment of the trip home!