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Five Reasons Fido Needs a Massage

January 17, 2018 (20:18) by Carolyn Romano

Small animal massage is growing in popularity as a regular way to maintain and support the health of your dog, cat, or even rabbit. It consists of manipulating the soft tissues of your pet’s body to promote overall well-being, relaxation, and healing from a variety of physical and emotional conditions. Listed below are five reasons you should consider massage for your four-legged friend: 

  1. She’s recovering from surgery. If your dog just had surgery for a cruciate ligament tear, spaying, or other procedure, massage can be just what the doctor ordered – literally! A great adjunct to physical therapy, massage in these circumstances generally includes passive range of motion as well as work on any muscle groups that are compensating while the affected area heals. 
  1. He’s fresh out of the shelter. Dogs and cats rescued from animal shelters often suffer from varying degrees of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In addition to needing loads of time to decompress and adjust to a new home with you, your new pet can also benefit from regular massage. A massage for a dog with a history of trauma will often include long strokes designed to activate the vagus nerve and stimulate the relaxation response. When touch is still too overwhelming for a traumatized animal, energy medicine such as Reiki can be offered instead. 
  1. She’s in need of pain control. If your dog is in pain because of a chronic condition like hip dysplasia or biceps tendinitis, massage can help decrease pain, increase comfort, and support healthier sleep. Why? Because certain massage strokes soothe the nervous system, relax the body, and interfere with pain receptors. 
  1. He’s in training for upcoming agility trials. An invigorating sports massage can be just the thing to give your dog an edge over his competition. Lively, quick strokes pre-event increase flexibility of tight muscles, warm muscles and joints, and relax muscle tension, often resulting in enhanced athletic performance and endurance. Afterwards, a soothing massage that focuses on the areas most stressed by the activity promotes relaxation and relieves exhaustion. 
  1. She’s just plain old! Senior dogs often have conditions like arthritis or intervertebral disk disease as a result of aging. Applying gentle massage techniques and passive range of motion to a beloved, old pal can not only decrease symptoms but also improve mobility and increase comfort. Plus, it’s a great bonding experience.

Intrigued? If so, stop by your favorite Massachusetts' Especially for Pets location with your four-legged friend. Carolyn is offering mini-massages and consultations at the following dates and times: 

  • Shrewsbury: Saturday, January 27, 2018, 11am to 4pm
  • Acton: Sunday, January 28, 2018, 11am to 4pm
  • Sudbury: Sunday, February 18, 2018, 11am to 4pm
  • Wayland: Saturday, March 3, 2018, 11am to 4pm
  • Westborough: Sunday, March 4, 2018, 11am to 4pm

Carolyn A. Romano, J.D. has over 150 hours of small animal massage training from the renowned Bancroft School of Massage Therapy. These skills are added to Carolyn’s over 25 years of experience using integrative and alternative modalities like Reiki, hypnosis, and shamanic healing practices with individuals and groups. Now, she has expanded her practice to include integrative therapies—like massage— to support the rehabilitation of dogs with physical issues or trauma histories. Carolyn offers an apprenticeship program for women leaders seeking to discover and use their personal medicine in a more powerful way. For more information, email carolyn@blisshealingarts.com, call 508-481-2547, or visit www.blisshealingarts.com.