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PetMassage™ Blog

Help us gather funds to finance the only indoor, heated pool dedicated to Dog Swim and Canine Aquatic Massage in the Toledo, Northwest Ohio-Southeast Michigan region.

The 9′ x 17′ x 4′ heated indoor pool will be installed in the PetMassage School and used for dogs to swim in, exercise in, and experience massage. All dogs — even those who are not natural swimmers — benefit with exercising in therapeutic warm water.  Aquatic exercise increases dogs’ flexibility muscle tone coordination speed and…

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Happy Thanksgiving.

As we spend the weekend with friends and family, it’s easy to fall into old familiar patterns. It’s imperative that we remember that we are no longer who we were. We’ve grown. Evolved. We are older and wiser. Our relationships are different this time because everyone in them is different. I’m reminded of a poem…

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Before and After’s Buddy’s PetMassage

Rather than describe a canine massage this week, I ask that you take a minute to watch this short video. It’s this dog’s second session. The transformation from “before” to “after” is remarkable.  

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Research Is Part of PetMassage Training

As part of the PetMassage Foundation Level Program, in addition to completing the hands-on workshop, written canine massage documentations and videos, and home study courses in canine anatomy, dog handling, and marketing, students are required to complete a short research paper. The reason we have this as a requirement is that when our students complete…

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Pain Management.

As we drove past a healthcare clinic Anastasia pointed to a sign by the door and read aloud, “Pain Management.” Pain management!? What are they advertising? I would like to think that the goal would be pain elimination. Rid the patient of the degree of discomfort that it would take to get into the “pain”…

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Pinecone offers insights into canine massage.

I was taking a walk with our two dogs. When we are in the park, I’m always scanning the trail for who knows what I might trip over: branches, tree roots, slippery blobs of processed dog food. When we paused for the dogs to get their sniffs on, my attention was drawn to a grayish…

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The dog’s truth: Who he is in contrast with who he could be.

The dog’s truth: Who he is in contrast with who he could be. The only way we can sense something is if it is against a contrasting backdrop. Activity in stillness, stuckness within flow, moist against dry, hard against soft, sponginess against denseness, tangles in the smooth, threadiness in the midst of fullness. When you…

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How The Dance reverses dogs brain and physical degeneration.

How The Dance reverses dogs brain and physical degeneration. As our dogs grow older, they suffer a decline in mental and physical fitness. Since our dogs age just like we do, we can base the way we address dogs age-related declines on human studies. One new study, published in the open-access journal Frontiers in Human…

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Sit on a stool while giving a canine massage.

Sit on a stool while giving a canine massage. Using a stool will make your canine massage practice easier and more enjoyable. You’ll experience less fatigue and discomfort. You’ll add longevity to your practice. You’ll have more options for positioning your body vis-a-vis the dog on the table. Every canine massage you give will be a far more effective therapeutic treatment.…

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Canine Aquatic Massage.

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…

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Lipomas, lumps and bumps

Lipomas, lumps and bumps, from the perspective of PetMassage canine massage. This discussion is part of the preparation for the continuing ed workshop I will be facilitating, at the IAAMB/ACWT – NBCAAM Conference this September, in Seattle. In the 4-hour workshop titled, “Canine Myofascial Release: Techniques to Discover and Track Movement,” we’ll be wrist-deep in…

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Living the dream and including pets in Hospice care.

Living the dream and including pets in Hospice care. Living the dream. I recently overheard a fellow describing his job as “living the dream.” When he said it, he used air quotes.  I sensed that he felt defeated. A meaningful vocation was beyond his imagination. I too describe my life as “living the dream.” And,…

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Learn PetMassage techniques from the videos on the PetMassage Training and Research Institute YouTube channel.

  Learn PetMassage techniques from the videos on the PetMassage Training and Research Institute YouTube channel. This weekend, as you are searching for some meaningful entertainment on your mobile device, we invite you to visit our YouTube channel: PetMassage Training and Research Institute. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCTLn7J2DR9LIwM1WzXu5B3w Watch, share, laugh, learn, massage your dogs -and please subscribe. Here’s…

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Make some serious waves. Practice PetMassage.

Make some serious waves. Practice PetMassage. Imagine yourself sitting in your kayak in the center of an 82 acre pond*. It’s early in the morning. It’s quiet. The air is still. The sky is brightening. The water’s surface, smooth as glass. You turn to look around. Your boat gently rocks, bouncing gentle waves out onto…

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Addressing the effects of isolation and getting the support we need.

Addressing the effects of isolation and getting the support we need. There’s a factor that is often detrimental to our success and the longevity of our canine massage practices. Most of us are working isolated. Isolation is a bane on our culture. It’s the cause of great stress and distress. Isolation is the theme of…

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When Did You Know You Were a Healer?

When Did You Know You Were a Healer? As canine massage practitioners we cannot claim to heal. Our manipulation of dogs bodies redistributes fluid to restore balance and function. Projecting a healing intention, infuses the entire procedure with the energy of health and wellness. Canine massage creates a friendly ecosystem within dogs bodies, which activates…

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PSA, Public Service Announcement: Use PetMassage to help your dogs survive-and sleep through-Fourth of July fireworks.

PSA, Public Service Announcement: Use PetMassage to help your dogs survive-and sleep through-Fourth of July fireworks. Independence Day fireworks are highly stressful to sensitive people and sensitive dogs. Let’s focus on the victim dogs. When the bombs start bursting in air, their percussive blasts can be devastating. Dogs shake. Dogs pace. They cannot sleep. Cannot eat. Cannot play. Cowering by…

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We just got the following request for information.

We just got the following request for information. Message: Good morning! My name is —-, I am seventeen and am an upcoming junior in high school. I was wondering what you could tell me about your Canine Aquatic Massage program. Can anyone attend the workshop, and if so, do they have to have a background…

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Have you heard of the Dunning-Kruger Effect? 

Have you heard of the Dunning-Kruger Effect? Do you know what you don’t know? What if you could find out what you don’t know? We can be confident about the things we have experienced with. Things we know. And there’s always another tier of experience just over the horizon that we are not sure how to…

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Massaging dogs at the Humane Society “Bark in the Park” event.

Massaging dogs at the Humane Society “Bark in the Park” event. The above picture was pulled from this video.  https://petmassage.com/wp-content/uploads/IMG_4659.TRIM_.mov Last weekend the PetMassage School had a booth at a “Bark in the Park” summer fundraiser/ 5K race-walk for the Toledo Area Humane Society. The event was held in a grassy field adjacent to an…

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Subscribers comments

Subscribers comments Thank you subscribers for taking the time to share your thoughts on my Dog Bite blogs. Here are some of the comments we received. Marianna T. Thank you for this. Looking forward to next weeks. I find myself overly cautious/fearful at times after a very bad bite several years ago. Tamarie P. (PetMassage…

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Dog Bites, Part 2. Resolving PTSD from dog bites.

Dog Bites, Part 2. Resolving PTSD from dog bites. Dog bites happen. Car accidents happen too; and we don’t stop driving. We’ve got places to go. So, we get back in the drivers seat and move on. For people practicing canine massage, a dog bite need not end the journey – and a career you’ve trained for. Your commitment to helping…

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Thoughts on dog bites and how to recover from them. Part 1

Thoughts on dog bites and how to recover from them. Part 1 A student writes, “I’ve been doing massages at our local shelter for over a year now . . . NO bites – a few signals that guided me toward not getting a dog out of his kennel, but no major problems. “However, during…

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Canine Massage Lymphatic Drainage

Canine Massage Lymphatic Drainage Lymphatic drainage is a therapeutic massage treatment. The goal of lymphatic drainage in the massage is to increase the flow of lymph and reduce toxins in the body. The lymph system is part of the dog’s body’s immune system and helps fight infection. Lymph itself is a clear, slightly yellow fluid.…

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PetMassage and Circulation

PetMassage and Circulation PetMassage and Circulation. When we ask people to describe the benefits of canine massage, the first thing that comes to mind is that it improves dogs circulation. It sounds good; but what does this mean? What is circulating? Is circulation all that important? Can PetMassage really have an affect in the quality…

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What do Positional Releases feel like?

What do Positional Releases feel like? During positional release, we hold the dog’s body -in a position- and observe how in the tissues under our hands release tension. We describe these releases as shifts in the fascia. The movements can be obvious, like an inflated balloon releasing air, or very subtle, like your mood change…

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The school you choose for training needs to fit your personality.

I just responded to an inquiry from a RVT about our school. You may have similar questions. If you do – even if you don’t – please read on.  She writes: Hello, I am an RVT from California currently working as an instructor at a college. I am interested in your program thinking of starting…

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Grounds for exercises in intuition.

Grounds for exercises in intuition. As I was taking my morning coffee I noticed a tiny chunk of grit on my tongue. I looked down at my cup; there on the bottom was a smattering of coffee grounds. I grind whole beans before brewing, and when I dump the grounds into the filter not all…

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Canine aquatic massage and underwater treadmills

The Benefits of Hydrotherapy was the topic this week on Dr Karen Becker’s blog on the Healthy Pets Mercola website. https://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2019/04/11/pet-hydrotherapy.aspx Karen discusses aquatic therapy from the perspective of her holistic veterinary practice. Her subtitle: Soothes Sore Joints and Muscles, a Godsend for Injured or Obese Pets. I’d like to add my perspective to her…

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What’s in Your Pet First Aid Kit?

What’s in Your Pet First Aid Kit? From the perspective of canine massage, first aid includes the gentle manipulation of the dog’s body, his environment and his activities. We use touch  healing touch and /or Reiki acupressure and meridian rebalancing leadership through body language presence breath control anxiety control positioning for comfort and controlled blood…

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Stretching at Joints

Stretching at Joints In its most basic form, stretching is a naturally instinctive activity; it is performed by humans and many other animals. Stretching often occurs instinctively after waking from sleep, after long periods of inactivity, or after exiting confined spaces. This is an appropriate activity to foster and use, since it comes from our dog’s natural instincts. Stretching…

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A Walk in the Woods is open to interpretation.

A Walk in the Woods is open to interpretation. Last weekend I attended a concert at our local university. In this essay I work through understanding how to experience a new musical form and how it relates (as everything does) to canine massage. The concerts entire program was original compositions created by faculty, grad students,…

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Fasciae Collaboration

Fascia Collaboration. Let’s learn about what it is, how to identify it, influence it to help our dogs, and share the love.  In September 2019 I will be one of the instructors at a joint conference of the IAAMB/ACWT and the NBCAAM. (It will be open to members and non-members. The link for info about…

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Past Life Skills Include Dog Massage

Practicing and Figuring It Out Some things come easily; some take practice until we get it right. I noticed a pattern in the way I mastered skills. I identified a natural talent, received some initial training, and practiced, modeling after my instructor. With perseverance, I figured out how to do what I wanted to do…

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We are our own seers.

Alyce Sorokie, the author of Gut Wisdom, Understanding and Improving Digestive Health, shared a powerful poem during a presentation I attended in Chicago. I’d like to share it with you. Chapter 1 I walk down the street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. I fall in. I am lost… I am helpless. It…

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Helpful Hints: Dog massage for rigid top lines

Helpful Hints: Dog massage for rigid top lines The tension we see and feel in dogs is always protective. They may be self-restricting their movements for several reasons. They may be experiencing a pain that is at a tolerable level but any addition to what they are doing would be too uncomfortable. So, they’d act…

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Every Moment is Life Defining.

Every Moment is Life Defining. Camille, our boxer slipped while we were walking around our neighborhood. She stepped on a patch of ice hidden under the snow. Her legs flew out from beneath her. She landed hard on her hip. Cami jumped back up, shook it off, and trotted on; but I could see she…

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Feel secure with dogs, learn Dog Handling Skills

Feel secure with dogs, learn Dog Handling Skills  In 1998, Jonathan and I adopted our first dog, Oskar. He was a 60 lb. boxer. I was clueless about caring for a dog. My entire pet experience had been with gerbils, hamsters and a cat that was mostly cared for by my daughter, Cheryl. We had…

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