Both pets and performance animals experience soft-tissue damage in their daily lives just as humans do. Therapeutic massage provides significant relief, stimulates healing, and promotes stress reduction and relaxation.
For the weekend warrior, a massage helps both recovery time and future performance. If you’re taking your favorite four-legged friend with you on those weekend adventures, there’s a good chance they could use some bodywork as well.
How do you give an elephant a massage? No, it’s not a riddle. It’s what’s new in the zoo. When I asked that question of certified massage therapist Jill Deming, she replied matter-of-fact, “It’s very similar to massaging a horse. You use your knowledge of biomechanics so you don’t injure your body.”
Massage is being used to alleviate the physical and emotional stress of exotic animals in captivity, from elephants to dolphins and penguins.
Pets are part of the family. Raising them to be healthy and happy is not only important, it’s the responsibility pet owners accept when they bring companion animals into their homes.
To this end, holistic pet health provides a wellness plan for our companions, so owners can enjoy their company for as long as possible. Following are tips for raising your pet healthfully and naturally.
Soft sighs, satisfied snorts and even brief hints of a relaxed snore fill the small therapy room this Saturday morning. These are satisfied massage clients who know all too well the value of being touched, even if they can’t tell us so in words. They do tell us with behavior. Suki doesn’t tense up anymore when he’s massaged. Robby doesn’t bury his head in fear. And Cocoa no longer kicks and fidgets during the session.
Even though he’s received thousands of massages over the past decade, Nicholas is still a bit stiff. Albeit the horse’s body is clearly marked with locations of pressure points to help students learn equine massage, he’s the only one of 16 horses at Equissage they haven’t been able to loosen up. “We can’t get him to relax,” said owner and director Mary Schreiber. Of course, that’s probably because Nicholas is a life-size fiberglass horse used as a teaching aid.