Home care, between massage therapy appointments...
First and foremost, it is absolutely essential that you receive consent from your veterinarian, or direct instructions from your Canine/Feline Massage Therapist before proceeding with massage therapy on your own pet.
It is best to receive specific instructions tailored to your pets specific needs from your Canine/Feline Massage Therapist.
Your vet will also be aware of possible contraindications to massage therapy and can provide guidance.
Once you have the official go ahead from your vet (and/or Canine/Feline Massage Therapist), you can give these strokes a try:
EFFLEURAGE: Effleurage is a soothing stroke. Use your palm while keeping your fingers together and slightly raised, and move down along the lay of the fur and in the direction of the heart, using a gentle pressure and slow speed. Effleurage helps to increase circulation, which will help deliver nutrients more efficiently to ligaments, tendons, bones, and all the joints, therefore keeping the joints well lubricated.
RAKING: Raking is similar to effleurage except that the fingers are splayed and the pressure is in the fingertips. Since raking is a stronger stroke, you’ll be able to get deeper into the muscle tissue to help ease tired muscles. This technique is good for muscles that are compensating for weakness elsewhere in the body! You can also use this stroke through the chest/pectoral muscles.
You'll move from area to area, beginning in the neck, then the shoulders and upper arms, followed by the barrel (effleurage along either side of the spine, at least an inch down from the spine, then raking between the ribs), followed by the hip and upper hind leg area. In each region, start with effleurage (light-medium), followed by raking (medium - “high medium”), followed by 3 or so final strokes of effleurage (medium-light) before moving on to the next area.
always leave at least 24 hours between massages
never put any pressure directly on any of his/her joints or spine
make sure she/he hasn’t eaten for at least 90 minutes before massage. It is also best if they do not eat for another 90 minutes after.
no more than 3 minutes per entire limb (20 minutes max overall)
be sure you are not wearing any jewellery on your hands/wrists
Below, you will see my home care instruction sheet. When you book with me, you will receive one of these, with specific instructions marked "x" in order to better focus on your pet's needs.
IF THERE IS ANYTHING YOU DO NOT FEEL COMFORTABLE DOING - WHETHER IT'S A PARTICULAR STROKE OR WORKING ON A SPECIFIC AREA OF YOUR PET'S BODY, DON'T DO IT. JUST LEAVE IT OUT AND LET A PROFESSIONAL CANINE/FELINE MASSAGE THERAPIST HANDLE IT.