Isn't this the same as petting my dog?
Petting your dog is a great way to connect and bond with your dog. However massage works on deeper layers of the body to have a significant benefit to the dog. This is why we study canine anatomy and physiology to know how to have a positive impact, without causing further issues. Petting typically only impacts the exterior skin, and does not impact the muscles.
Why not massage?
Recent trauma or surgery, spinal issues, cancer, and fever can all be areas of concern. Many of these conditions may only be locally contraindicated with clearance from your veterinarian.
What is a typical session like?
If it is the first visit you will need to fill out a brief medical history and liability waiver. After an initial exam and gait analysis I'll begin working on your dog, more generally at first, and then targeting problem areas. The techniques used are the same Swedish massage techniques used in human massage. They are just modified to work with the differences in the animal's anatomy. The work is also modified on what the dog allows. I will give you a summary of any issues found and some recommendations to help after the session.
Do you use a massage table?
Typically no. I find it's easier to work on a padded bed on the floor. If it's a home visit we can use the dog's own bed for familiarity.
Is the owner present during the session?
Although you do not need to be, it can be helpful for the dog to feel comfortable. It also allows me to show you any issues I find and demonstrate techniques you could do to help after the session.
Do you really expect my dog to sit still for an hour?
A key feature in small animal massage is being flexible. Unlike humans, dogs don't always calmly lay in one spot while you work on them. Often that means adapting to what they will allow and building trust, which eventually lets you perform deeper work. It may take a couple of sessions for the dog to fully relax and be comfortable. More often though the initial confusion clears up when they realize how good it feels.
What is Reiki?
Reiki is a subtle and effective form of energy healing which brings about healing on physical, mental, emotional and spiritual levels. Reiki is believed to have originated in Tibet thousands of years ago, and current Reiki practice can be traced to the spiritual teachings of Mikao Usui in Japan during the early 20th century. Animals are highly sensitive to the energies of their surroundings and intuitively understand Reiki as a healing energy. Reiki helps animals in many ways including
Aiding in pain management for animals who are ill or injured.
Increasing the bond between human and animal - a great way to ease an animal’s transition to a new home environment or to enhance training your pet.
What forms of payment do you accept?
Although appreciated it is not required.