April 5, 2011

Purposeful Patting. OK Massage.

Do you have a dog that suffers from anxiety, trouble focusing or some sort chronic pain? I know when I suffer from stress or chronic pain, often massage helps me cope. It makes sense an animal would benefit from a little one on one too. Think of it as "purposeful patting".

About 2 years ago I stumbled across a woman giving a massage to a large dog at Woofstock, a huge canine/human social and shopping event in downtown Toronto (read our post here). The snoozing dog receiving a massage was oblivious to the fact 100’s of dogs and people were zooming past. I knew massage could benefit conditions like arthritis, tissue damage, and circulation. But knocking a dog out in a crowded noisy environment like this? Just mind boggling!
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I learned the technique she was using was called Tellington Touch. Fascinated by it, I did “the google” and found their website and watched a basic video that got me started. The video demonstrated one technique utilizing circular motions. For the last 8 months this is what I have practiced on Kodee.

At first she acted like I was invading her privacy – dirty looks of “hands off woman” were thrown my way. Eventually I could feel her muscles relax under my finger tips as I started to master the massage technique to her satisfaction. Massage helped end the vicious cycle of pain, tension, more pain. It helps Kodee cope much better on symptomatic days and relax more.

The trick to managing chronic pain (in humans or animals) is to offer some relief before it gets too far along. Accessing pain in a non-speaking dog, it’s a little tricky. A great resource to help me evaluate Kodee’s pain level is this pamphlet written by the American Animal Hospital Association “How To Tell If Your Dog Is In Pain” It helps me look at Kodee’s behavior more objectively so I will know when a massage will maximize the situation best to keep her symptoms at bay.

“Reconnecting With TTouch”
A 3 part series on massage techniques

Last month I had a visitor to my blog who left a comment. I was very excited to learn she had a blog on wellness and holistic health, specifically canine massage. “Your Holistic Dog”  took me from just understanding the basics of massage to a whole new level of learning!

Kathy Garland shares on her website step-by-step videos illustrating different massage techniques; If I thought Kodee enjoyed a massage before, it hardly compares to the deep sighs, relaxed muscles and content she feels at the end of a massage now.

Not that it really matters, but I am tickled to learn Kathy is a fellow Canadian from Vancouver and she also owns a ruby Cavalier. Get ready to see cute Teko in many of her videos!

Kodee has been doing really well the last few months with medication and the help of massage. She is back to having more energy, being playful and demanding full attention. In fact this weekend when I threw her and Becky both a ball, cheeky Kodee decided the game was all hers and picked up both balls. Not to worry about Becky though. She was busy in the garden eating plants... wait... BECKY!!!

Ramblings by Debbie


jen said...

That is amazing. Thank you for sharing. I have always be interested in learning more about canine massage! Glad to hear Kodee is doing better and I love the quote on the last picture:)

Remington said...

I get massages all the time. I love them. Great pics and quote!

Annette and Snoopy said...

Some great info and links here, glad it's helping Kodee out, that pic with the two balls is great! :)

Gretchen said...

I took a T-touch class last year through the local Humane Society. I definitely see that it calms Kendall when we get into a situation where she's a bit anxious. I've used it on other dogs, too, and find that it really does work. What I learned was only a small part of the whole T-touch thing. They have week-long classes where you can learn it all. I found it well worth my time to take the class.

Beyond the Dog Dish said...

Thanks Gretchen! I should mention for others, if you go to the Tellington Touch website, they have a newsletter you can sign up for. It also lists the various locations in U.S. and Canada where seminars are held.

♥I am Holly♥ said...

That is a great post! Thanks for sharing it! Lots of love, Holly and mom

Kathy @YourHolisticDog said...

Thanks so much! I am so honoured you have given Your Holistic Dog a shout-out. As an animal massage practitioner, I not only enjoy massaging dogs, I really enjoy sharing the knowledge so that guardians can provide daily healing touch to their own animals. It's great to empower people with the idea that they too can contribute to their dog's health and well-being. Cheers, Kathy

Pup Fan said...

Wow - this is some really great info! I'm glad that the massage technique has helped!

Debbie said...

You always have the best links! I've been interested in animal massage since I had Max massaged at a seminar we were at. I haven't tried the TT method though and I'm going to spend some time checking it out.

Love the pictures!

Lori @ According to Gus said...

Thanks for the great links. Gus is an anxious dog and we're always looking for ways to calm him down. I think regular massage time is something we could both look forward to.

Great photos as always. I hope Becky enjoyed her herbs. :)

Unknown said...

What an interesting post! And that video was fasincating - I'd always heard a lot about TT but never really looked into it properly. Your post has really piqued my interest now.

By the way - I must have missed something in previous posts - but I never realised that Kodee was suffering from chronic pain? Poor thing!


Soggibottom said...

Beautiful and informative. :-) Never knew that a Cavalier could open their mouth that wide. :-)
:-)xxx. Dainty lot aren't we :-)lots of luv AMES X

Kristin G. said...

We have one that's terrified of thunderstorms. Maybe this could help him. Thanks for sharing, and have a great weekend!

Karen Friesecke said...

When I used to ride horses, I went to a TTouch seminar and found it very useful. Linda & her sister focus more on horses than dogs and I learned a lot of ground exercises to help horses with their balance etc.. The horses always loved when I massaged them 'cause hey, who doesn't love a good massage?

Peter & Kirra said...

Does look a great idea, and given the Fireworks we have over here on and around November 5th each year, this may help my little Kirra.

Anonymous said...

When my fingers get back to normal I will have to look into this.. unless I just try and train my left hand to do it. I have always been interested in learning this not only for my own animals benefits but as something to offer to clients. My goats used to love their massages, but they obviously were not picky. Thanks for all the links, I shall check into it.

Sammy the Cavalier said...

Wow, that sounds really interesting. I never knew dogs could be so affected by a massage!

May I'll try it sometime!

The Daily Toki said...

Thanks for posting the links to these resources. I used to use TTouch on my horses, but haven't tried it on my dog Toki yet. I look forward to checking it out!

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Loving life with family and friends while exploring my passions; writing and photography. All with my two, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels in tow on day-trips along the Greater Toronto Area waterfront trails and local communities.

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