Massage Therapy FAQ's

How will I know when my dog or horse needs a massage?

The best function of massage is as a preventative.  A regular massage can find issues before they become major problems.  Signs of problems, though, could include, stepping short, vague backend lameness, refusal of jumps or problems going up stairs, and also lethargy is a possibility.

Massage is also beneficial for horses that are prone to “tying up”.  Horses with back trouble and those that are “cinchy” could need work.  The relaxation benefits can also be helpful for horses that tend to colic.  Massage throughout pregnancy is most beneficial.

How soon will it be before I see results?

Immediately.  A noticeable improvement should be seen and felt after the first massage.  With each massage, a deeper pressure can be used as the horse or dog gets use to the therapy.

If you are massaging because of a specific issue, and you do not see improvement after 3 massages, you are probably dealing with something that is not a soft tissue problem.

What will massage do for my dog or horse?

Even if your dog or horse is fine, massage can maximize they muscles.

If my dog or horse has a problem in, say, the shoulder, why do a full body massage?

Muscle problems are cumulative.  If you have an issue on his right front, he may be shifting more weight to his left front to compensate.  Then, even when the issue in the right front is resolved, he may still be sore elsewhere.  Massage will help.  By caring for the whole body, these secondary problems can be averted.

My horse is navicular. Can Massage help?

Not with the navicular disease itself, unfortunately.  However, with the secondary issues that may occur with navicular disease, yes, massage can help.  Shoulder tension tends to be a recurring problem.  Regular massage will help.

What does massage do for race horses?

A race horse is one of the ultimate candidates for massage.  Each stride counts, and that stride may be worth thousands of dollars.  They are asked for maximum exertion in the minimal amount of time.  Massage is an essential element in the most successful training programs.  A pre-event massage will help the muscle system to be in prime performance shape.

What does massage do for arthritis and hip dysplasia?

Since massage is applied to soft tissue, it doesn’t work directly work on the joints.  However, the increase in circulation that comes with massage has a positive effect in the joints.  There is growing evidence that massage helps with the production of synovial fluid, a valuable element in both joints and muscle.

Is massage the same as trigger point therapy or T-Touch?

No.  The type of massage that I do is deep tissue sports massage.  I actually palpate the muscles to find areas where muscle fibers have begun to adhere, and separate those fibers wit massage strokes.  Each animal is different, so therefore, each massage is slightly different.

There are so many 'new' therapies. Why is massage so good?

Massage is not new.  It pre-dates many modern medical procedures.  There are actually statues of buddha receiving a massage.  Prior to the advent of “wonder” drugs in the 20th century, Veterinary manuals encouraged the use of massage.  It is once again among a growing number of alternative therapies that are being “re-discovered”.

Regular massage can aid in the prevention of issues.  Once a problem exists, massage helps to break up the tight knots of adhering muscle fibers which restrict full muscle extension.  Massage will find any damaged or potentially compromised area and restore it to improved function.