Massage Techniques III
We place our thumb or knuckle on the muscle tissue and exert pressure, maintaining the amount of force for a short period of time. We can do this on muscle spasms or spasmodic areas, maintaining the pressure until we notice that the tissue gives way.
In horses it can be helpful to use the elbow for this technique; you will need to place yourself at a certain height in order to comfortably reach the area you are treating. In dogs using the palms of the hands or even the fingers is usually sufficient, normally we place ourselves on the floor next to the dog or, if the dog is small and relaxed, we can place it on top of a table.
• Fights spasms
• Decongesting effect
• Relaxation and sedation of the trigger points
Compression is an easy technique that is incredibly useful for dogs, it does not require excessive strength and it is well tolerated by most dogs.
This technique is done by lightly pinching the skin and pulling away, separating the dog’s skin. The main indication is for producing hyperemia (increased blood flow at the surface). This technique can be useful for specific tissues, areas near to bony protrusions where the more classic techniques such as friction are not as successful.
It is done using the thumb and middle finger, the pressure should be very light, the stretching of the skin moderate and at a very fast pace.
This technique is often used to end the massage, you lightly shake in an orderly and rhythmic fashion a part of the body thus involving the muscle part of the body segment.
It can be done on a frontal or rear distal limb or even from the dog’s neck or from the back (rump).
The most common method involves grabbing the dog’s leg beneath the carpus or tarsus and starting a rocking motion in an orderly manner with relatively small displacement, you should not try and move the dog’s leg very far but rather just a few centimeters to one side and then to the other in order to achieve a synchronized movement, a wave that is transmitted throughout the animal’s body.