Massage therapy has shown great benefits in the field of human health, and now we’re discovering the same is true for animals. One local massage therapist in Colchester, Connecticut recently traded in his career as an electrical engineer to better the lives of the canines in his community.
Animal massage is the deliberate and focused touching that provides specific pressure, intention, and direction to the muscles of the body. The manipulation of the skin and muscles promotes many positive neurological, physiological, and psychological effects in the animal’s body and supports both their physical and emotional wellness.
David Shoup, owner and massage therapist at Tucker’s Touch, gained his certification through a grueling 200-hour program. He now operates his canine massage therapy business out of his home. He named his business after his late Golden Retriever who experienced muscle pain and soreness after long hikes.
Shoup’s technique is based on the Swedish massage method and has been adjustable to suit the anatomy of a dog. The benefits of his massage therapy include reducing muscle soreness, promoting relaxation, improving the dog’s range of motion, and it can even good for their skin and coat.
Canine massage therapy can be especially beneficial to dogs that are recovering from an injury or suffer from muscle and soft tissue imbalance. Pain from muscle stiffness and arthritis can also be reduced through massage.
Similarly, massage can help dogs who suffer from severe anxiety. The relaxation that is provided as well as the emphasis on the bond with humans can help dogs overcome some of their anxiety issues. Also, just like top human athletes, massage can help dogs that compete and perform for a living to maintain their high performance level.
Shoup says that his business pampers dogs with a purpose. It’s not just splurging on a treatment for your dog that they don’t really need. Massage therapy has so many excellent benefits and is also relaxing and rejuvenating for the dog at the same time.
Right now Shoup says that many pet owners don’t know much about the benefits of massage therapy for dogs, but he believes that all the positive effects will begin to get more attention and the acceptance of the therapy will grow as people begin to understand what it is all about.
He promotes his business through demonstrations at local pet stores where he educates pet owners on the benefits of pet massage and also offers free 15-minute massages to owners who bring their dogs with them. He also teaches classes for owners who are interested in massaging their own dogs.