Canine Aquatic Massage.
Massaging dogs in a heated swimming pool is an under-utilized therapy that is endorsed by many veterinary and animal rehabilitation resources. The trainers and handlers of sport dogs already know about it. They are seeking ways to access this therapy for their dogs. Let me introduce you to Canine Aquatic Massage, and give you a feel of what it’s like to experience working with dogs in water.
I call Canine Aquatic Massage: “PetMassage WaterWork.” That’s because the action of the water does most of the work. It’s just like “bodywork,” in which the body is manipulated in such a way that its own natural abilities are engaged to do the “work” of healing.
Since ancient times, “taking the waters” has been a consistently effective therapy for many physical and emotional issues. It is still very evident in human sports medicine and rehabilitation therapy. Think of the warm baths recommended for relieving tension, anxiety, and sore muscles.
Some of the benefits of working in water are that you can more easily visualize how the environment is moving and how it’s impacting body movement. The water bounces off, streams away, and flows back. It’s remarkable. It’s mesmerizing. Intoxicating. Water elicits joy!
Do this experiment. Fill a large bowl with room temperature water. Raise your hand in front of you and snap your fingers. Then, place your hand on the surface of the water and snap your fingers again. When you snapped with your raised hand, the air patterns around your fingers were triggered; but not as much or as obviously as when you snapped and splashed the water. Do it again. It’s fun. It’s play.
Massage in heated water is a controlled session of massage, facilitated movement, and stretching. The heat enhances cardio and respiration, and softens the tissues. Buoyancy encourages muscle to actually float away from bone. For some movements the water provides resistance, and for others, it provides supporting inertia.
You can see the application of Canine Aquatic Massage for
- Injured dogs, working with owners and veterinarians.
- Canine athletes, working with trainers and owners for body toning and wellness maintenance.
- Older and hospice dogs, as a general cardio program.
- Partially paralyzed dogs, for maintaining strength, spirit, and support.
- Weight loss programs.
- Grieving and traumatized dogs, providing soothing emotional relaxing sessions.
- And, happy playful dogs, that need exercise and the strenuous play experience.
Canine Aquatic Massage takes the dogs therapeutic experience of massage to another level. It also takes the facilitating practitioner’s experience to a whole new level of appreciation, validation, and happiness. It’s not just a job. It’s a positive and healthy way of making a living! It’s fun!
Imagine yourself shoulder deep in a large heated pool, holding a dog suspended in the water in front of you. You guide the dog’s body in your arms in a set of movements across the surface. Feel the water drag at the dog’s coat and body. In your hands the dog relaxes. With each of your steps and turns, the dog’s skin, coat, and musculoskeletal structures float into, and away, from each other. Restrictions and holding patterns, soften and release.
Learn and become certified as a PetMassage Canine Aquatic Massage Practitioner. Our final Canine Aquatic Massage, PetMassage WaterWork™ Workshop for the year is in Kalamazoo Michigan, October 14-19, 2019 – https://petmassage.com/event/canine-aquatic-massage-petmassage-waterwork-programs-1-and-2-october-14-19-2019-kalamazoo-mi/
Dog swim clubs are becoming more popular. As a PetMassage Certified Canine Aquatic Massage Practitioner you can be an independent contractor, working your dream, at your local dog swim club.
Or, be the one to provide the therapy that is needed and not yet available anywhere else in your area. The opportunity is there for an independently operated indoor heated canine aquatic massage and rehabilitation pool.
Now’s the time for “taking the waters” to the dogs. It’s a win-win for everyone involved. You, your canine (and some feline) clients, their people, the rehabilitation vets, and dog swim facilities.
Please review the canine water massage descriptions on the www.PetMassage.com website and WaterWork videos on our YouTube channel. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCTLn7J2DR9LIwM1WzXu5B3w
This discussion is part of a presentation that I’m preparing, and will be delivering, at the IAAMB/ACWT – NBCAAM Conference the last weekend of September in Seattle. In the presentation, I’ll be sharing my experiences, describing the processes and benefits of canine aquatic massage. I’ve been teaching canine aquatic massage workshops for 20 years. I know first-hand how valuable it is and am looking forward to sharing my expertise with you.
The conference by the way, is less than a month away, and you can still register and attend it. Here’s the link: https://www.nbcaam.org/conference