Down, Stay, Heal!: The Benefits of Canine Massage
Feb 28, 2013 11:18PM
By Mary Jo Carabello
Humans use therapeutic massage to relax and help relieve muscular aches and pains, migraines, intestinal discomfort, fatigue and malaise. We often leave the massage table feeling rejuvenated and energized, with a sense of wellbeing that lasts for hours or days. So why should we humans have all the fun? Bodywork with other species is becoming more common as a growing number of pet guardians are turning to alternative forms of health care for their pets.
According to the International Association of Animal Massage and Bodywork (IAAMB), massage supports a dog’s ability to process nutrients. It stimulates lymphatic drainage, reducing edema and its associated pain. By increasing the circulation of lymph, blood and oxygen, as well as relaxing tight muscles and helping the dog maintain flexibility, massage enhances the dog’s quality of life.
Through massage and other forms of bodywork, dogs and humans can deepen their bond. Experts at just being, dogs make wonderful vessels for receiving the energetic offerings of massage. We communicate through our touch, the tone of our voice and our energy, or the way we exist, with our pets. With steady, gentle hands and calm assuredness, a skilled practitioner can communicate exactly what she is doing in a way that the dog understands intrinsically. Some canine massage professionals share their techniques with pet parents to help them become comfortable and knowledgeable about continuing the healing process and sharing this special bonding with their dogs at home.
Mary Jo Carabello is co-owner of Awesome Dawgs Dog Training and The Dawg Store, located at 3052 Pricetown Rd., in Temple. For more information, call 610-750-6868 or visit AwesomeDawgs.com. A list of experienced canine massage providers can be found at iaamb.org.