Animal massage dates as far back as 5th century BC Greece and its beneficial uses have been documented in some of the earliest cultures. In fact, entire chapters were devoted to the use, benefits and implementation of massage therapy in some of the first books on Veterinary Medicine.
In the 1980's the use of massage therapy for animals began to rise significantly until the development of pharmaceutical drugs. But in time, as drugs had worsening side effects and became overly expensive, holistic therapies began to once again compete for acceptance.
Today holistic therapies like massage are being used more and more.
Sports massage differs from other forms of massage in that it focuses on the cause of muscle injury with the intent of not just relieving pain, but as well as preventing future injuries to those muscles. Sport massage works the whole body to treat the cause of the problem, not just the symptoms. It provides relief to fatigued muscles, tendons, ligaments and joints.
Sports massage uses a variety of different strokes including compression, which makes it distinct from other forms of massage. It also uses direct pressure (acupressure) to treat pressure points, sweating for too sore or too sensitive areas, and deswelling for swollen areas to allow fluids to drain away from the edema.
Sports massage assists in balancing the body by treating the body as a whole rather than each individual part. This helps to maintain the whole body in better physical condition.
Musculoskeletal injuries can be a major source of debilitating pain and can cause loss of athleticism. Muscle problems do not have the visible symptoms that structured deformities or illnesses do and don't show up on x-rays so they are often overlooked.
The muscle system is a predominate cause of motion problems but often isn't recognized as the entire cause. It's usually assumed muscles will eventually take care of themselves, this is the furthest thing from the truth.
There are many times after medical treatment has been applied to an injury, the animal fails to recover to full capabilities. This is because treatment stopped short with the healing of the injury and neglected the secondary effects of the injury upon motion.
It's important to properly take care of your animals’ muscles and joints to help prolong their health. Proper stretching and routine massages can be greatly beneficial and help to prevent injuries. But should an injury occur, even if surgery is needed, massage also helps reduce pain & scar tissue, spend up recovery time, and increase flexibility.
My services are not a substitute for Veterinary Care and if your animal is seriously ill or injured you should call the Vet immediately. Veterinary Care is an important part of keeping your animal healthy and you should always check with your Vet before starting your animal on a new fitness program or getting them massaged. It's important to make sure they don't have any underlying medical issues that a strenuous fitness program or massage would interfere with or cause to worsen.