Bodywork for Pets Roanoke VA
New location, 13 years experience, NDGAA certified Master groomer Also offering basic obedience training by Ntl. Certified trainer, vet references available. Special appointments available for the ill or elderly animal.
Grooms most/all breeds of dogs, Special Care Appointments , Cat Grooming Services, Offers Large Dog (70+ Pounds) Grooming Services, Vet Referred
Creature Comforts—Bodywork for Pets
Animals respond remarkably well to techniques developed for their caregivers.
Once upon a time the word bodywork referred only to something that happened inside an auto repair shop. But as interest in alternative therapies grew, health-minded people everywhere came to realize their bodies could use an occasional tune-up, too. These days, just about everyone has reaped the benefits of a massage therapist’s skillful touch, a chiropractor’s precise adjustments, or an acupuncturist’s qi-freeing needles. But humans and Volkswagens aren’t the only ones to experience the healing potential of bodywork—pets are getting in on the game, too.
Whether it’s massage, acupuncture, chiropractic, or craniosacral, bodywork helps pets heal—with impressive results. Read on to learn about some of the more tried-and-true modalities, as well as a few new ones on the horizon.
Chiropractors realign musculoskeletal problems that can cause joint and nerve dysfunction. They examine the body—from toe to jaw—looking for inflammation, spasm, muscle loss, or neurological problems that result from a skewed musculoskeletal system. Sometimes the signs don’t appear to relate directly to structure. For example, rough coats and hair loss may signal compressed nerves. When chiropractors find abnormalities, they use low-force adjustments like stretching, gentle pulling, and guiding limbs to restore normal range of motion.
The therapist should tread gently with pets because of their delicate disk material, says certified animal chiropractor Julie Kaufman, DC, owner of The Animal Holistic Care Specialists in Marshall, Wisconsin, and author of Joint Yoga for Animals (Xenophon, 2006).
Patricia McConnell, PhD, author of For the Love of Dogs (Ballantine, 2006), has taken all five of her dogs to Kaufman, from 4-month-old Will to 15-year-old Pip. Will favored his right shoulder, leaning over to one side—sometimes called a lazy sit—and McConnell wanted to address any problem before it became chronic. After minor adjustments to his neck, right shoulder, and hip, Will was sitting straight, says McConnell. And although she has seen results firsthand, McConnell admits that the movements are so gentle she sometimes wonders if anything is happening.
Some pets look startled after adjustment, yawn (which can indicate they’re feeling stressed), and stretch. “Pathology of disease is due to conflict within the nervous system,” explains Betsy King, DVM, CVA, of Mesa, Arizona. “Realignments reset the nervous system, thereby enhancing the flow of qi.”
Craniosacral therapy (CST) aims to bring balance to the membranes and fluid around the brain and spinal cord, collectively called the craniosacral region. A subtle rhythm or pulse moves through those fluids and tissues, and a disruption—or strain—in this rhythm produces a ripple effect throughout the body. This can cause balance problems and neurological disorders, says Narda Robinson, DO, DVM, who teaches compl...
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