The type of massage your pet companion receives, is determined upon the health of your pet and his/her needs. In most instances, I perform a combination of the following:
Effleurage: A light, gliding motion over the skin that always maintains contact and directs the stroke towards the heart. This stroke is frequently used at the beginning and end of a massage treatment to invoke soothing and relaxing.
Friction: May be long, slow, firm stroking movements or rolling circular movement in which the hand is kept in contact with the skin and the superficial tissues are moved over the deeper underlying ones. Used in treatment of joints and around bony prominences to break down adhesions, clear out congestion and toxic waste build-up. It raises local temperature and should be followed by effleurage.
Ischemic Compression: A static compression applied to a trigger point with the therapist's thumb or fingertips.
Petrissage: Consists of circular manipulations with shorter strokes - such as kneading, squeezing, pushing or grasping the muscle tissue. This type of stroke usually entails an increase in pressure, deeper than effleurage. Petrissage is generally used in the middle of massage treatments, after effleurage has been performed and the tissues are relaxed and warm. The response to petrissage can be both soothing and stimulating.
Rocking: The massaged part is manipulated in gentle or vigorous, rhythmic movements. It ends with the body part's return to its original position. Similar to the response produced by shaking, rocking also reflexively relaxes tight muscles. Rocking is often used to treat clients with joint problems, osteoarthritis and tight muscles.
Shaking: Increases range of motion in a joint. It can be performed at the beginning, middle or end of a treatment, on tight muscles. Shaking affects the sensory nerves in the muscles and joints that reflexively relaxes the client and reduces the muscle tightness within. The action is done by grasping either the muscle belly, for direct shakings, or the limb furthest away from the body, for indirect shakings. The tissue is then moved back and forth at an even rhythm - from gentle to vigorous.
Skin Rolling: This petrissage technique lifts the skin between the thumb and fingers and is gently rolls over the area, very slowly. Skin rolling allows a release in the superficial restrictions between the skin and underlying tissue. It may be necessary to repeat rolling a few times over the same area in order to release any long term adhesions.
Tapotement: The lightest percussion-using drumming movements with fingertips .It is stimulating to the muscles and may be stimulating or calming to the nerves. Heavier tapotement techniques are used primarily for respiratory conditions to help loosen mucus.
Vibration: Very rapid back and forth shaking or trembling movements performed by the whole hand or the fingers; used on the upper back, buttocks and thighs. Has a stimulating effect upon the nervous system by acting on the nerve centers or terminal nerve branches.EARLY DETECTION ALLOWS FOR EARLY INTERVENTION: Regular massage allows for early detection of health problems. Through touch and observation, I am able feel changes that have occurred in the skin and hair, identify health problems that may be developing and notice behavioral changes that you will report back to your veterinarian.