Massage is not always beneficial

Massage is beneficial for many animals, but it is not recommended for all animals.

Caution      Massage is very different from petting your animal friend.  It is a highly intentional way of touching, and the objective is to achieve well-being and health benefits.   Massage is beneficial for many animals, however, massage is not always the right approach for every animal.  It can be harmful to animals with certain health conditions.  Always check with your veterinarian before beginning a massage program.

Benefits      Massage can be a wonderful heath-enhancer for animals  of all ages. For the older, it is excellent for soothing achy or stiff muscles while stimulating internal body functions. It helps with ease of movement, instills a sense of peacefulness, and helps towards restful sleep. What a special way to show our seniors that we care and appreciate their many years of friendship.

And, what about the most endearing creatures on earth – the baby animal companions? Touch is an essential element in a young animal’s life, and massage on a regular basis builds a strong bond between you and your animal friend. During growth time, young animals can experience joint and muscle stress as their bones are developing, and massage helps to ease the discomfort of growing pains.

Massage is a nurturing, preventative, natural approach, which may be safely added to some animal’s care regimen.

Massage benefits

  • Reduce anxiety and build trust
  • Improve blood and lymph circulation
  • Reduce tight muscles, spasms, and improve muscle tone
  • Speed healing time
  • Improve skin and coat
  • Increase flexibility, gait and movement
  • Refresh after traveling or crating
  • Aid the respiratory function
  • Improve energy
  • Lessen discomfort hip dysplasia and arthritis

Find a massage professional or learn massage      Ask your veterinarian or check the International Association of Animal Massage and Bodywork’s (IAAMB) site iaamb.org.  If you live near New England, the Bancroft School of Massage in Worcester trains students in small animal and equine massage, and they may be able to direct you to someone in your area.

Linda is a 2004 graduate of the Bancroft School of Small Animal Massage.

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