Massage is a wonderful way to develop a strong bond between animal and human, achieve relaxation and improved performance, and reduce the risk of injury. From quiet hacking pony to top level competition horse, from family pet to high level competition dog, every animal can suffer stress and discomfort. In many cases, simple massage techniques can release the tension and help those animals regain their former health and performance at whatever level that may be. Massage is a simple and effective therapy which anyone can learn.
The McTimoney technique aims to rebalance the animal’s skeletal frame, focussing on the spine and pelvis as the key areas which affect performance. Treatment involves the use of quick light adjustments to areas of imbalance within the skeletal frame, to stimulate the body to achieve symmetry, comfort and return to normal flexibility. Many cases which have shown little or no improvement with conventional physiotherapy, have made considerable progress when treated using the McTimoney technique. The McTimoney technique is taught by the McTimoney College, in Abingdon, and requires practitioners to study to MSc level in order to qualify. This is a specialised treatment modality and should only be provided by a qualified and insured practitioner.
How do you know your animal needs a treatment?
Common symptoms or discomfort in horses are stiffness on one rein, bucking, napping, rearing, dislike of saddling up (biting or similar), refusal to jump, jumping to one side or “getting in deep”, difficulty cantering on one rein or disunited canter and so the list goes on. In some cases, these are purely behavioural issues but in most cases there is a physical cause. Where a veterinary examination has ruled out injury or disease, muscular tension is a common cause.
Common symptoms of muscular discomfort in dogs are moving with the tail and hindend to one side, resistance during training ie refusal to sit/down or breaking stays, sitting with the handlers out to one side, stiffness when getting up or after exercise, difficulty jumping or in the weaves or any other change in normal behaviour. Dogs are highly intelligent and some behavioural issues are training-related but many more are related to discomfort in the body and must be dealt with.
There are also all those animals with pathological conditions such as arthritic conditions, joint disease and neurological illnesses. Treatment cannot reverse the underlying problems, but does help these animals to compensate and cope with their issues for the duration of their lives.
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