Enhance the Pet Spa Experience with Massage
As with human massage, canine massage promotes relaxation, stimulates circulation, helps relieve pain and improves joint flexibility.
In addition it allows you to feel for any physical abnormalities, and the bonding experience improves emotional well-being for both you and your pet.
The most common form of canine massage used is based on Swedish massage which uses the following techniques.
Effleurage – This technique uses a succession of sweeping strokes with the palms of your hands and is used to begin and end a massage session. It warms the tissues, relaxing the dog, and increasing blood flow and oxygen to the areas being massaged.
Petrissage - This technique uses the the thumbs and the knuckles of the fingers to 'knead' the tissue in a slow and rhythmic motion. It stimulates the removal of toxins, separates muscle fibres and increases circulation.
Tapotement - This technique is done with cupped hands in a rhythmic tapping motion. It helps loosen muscles, clears congestion in respiratory system, and and has an energizing effect. Tapotement should NOT to be used over the kidneys, head or directly on the spine.
Friction - Performed by vigorously rubbing the palms of the hands over the dog's body, this technique is used to create heat in the deeper tissues. It relieves contracted muscles, stimulates the skin, creates movement around tissue and joints and broadens and separates muscle fiber.
Please note that massage is a therapeutic aid, not a substitute for veterinarian care. It should always be done very gently and may not be suitable if your dog has an injury or severe arthritis. If in doubt check with your vet.