Monday, 18 November 2019

Sharing knowledge is the best

Last week we delivered the 9th occasion of the special Relax HAOK9 Massage CPD training we designed for the professional therapists of the Healing Animal Organisation.

This time we had 15 delegates from all over the UK and Europe who attended the workshop in the Healing Barn to add manual therapy to their existing skill sets. 

Throughout the various days, we had more than a dozen dogs of different sizes, age and issues, who came along, with their vet agreement forms, to help the delegates enhance their techniques. And by the end of each day, there was a Pup Puddle on the floor – snoring smiling relaxed dogs. 

Thank you to everyone who came along to spread the benefits of canine massage therapy to many more dogs internationally.

Sunday, 10 November 2019

Always learning

We don’t like to stand still with our therapies. We belong to the International Association of Animal Therapists (IAAT) who are a body of recognised, trained, fully insured professionals who are committed to continuous professional development. It means we are able to bring new techniques and ideas into our practice. 

This year we have completed CPD in Animal Physiotherapy, Phototherapy, Thermography, Canine Positional Release & Muscle Energy Techniques and recently a two-day course on Indirect Myofascial Release with Jo Rose who offers a wide array of CPD courses for all professional animal therapists delivered by Dawn McCaig

Both the Positional Release & Muscle Energy Techniques (MET) and Indirect Myofascial Release workshops have added some useful new techniques and knowledge, especially suitable for our senior boys and girls, as they are gentle, slow and safe moves ideal for aching joints and stiff bodies. 

MET minimise chances of over-stretch, stress or inflammation by holding the joints in a direction of ease rather than strain. And, where Direct Myofascial Release work helps to make the tissue move by force, Indirect MR is more of a holding and melting, without initiating any muscle guarding. It looks like the therapist is just holding their hands still on the client but, in effect, the tissue underneath is moving quite a lot. 

So, the next time you see us working with your dog and it looks like we aren’t moving – don’t worry, we are just using our new skills to help. If you watch, you will see the tissue moving under our hands, loads of heat come off and the client relax even more

Friday, 1 November 2019

Team work

Bobi is a 2 year old Retriever cross, (although googling him he looks more like a Kuvasz – Hungarian Sheep Herding dog) who was rescued from Romania earlier this year by Blind Dogs Rescue UK. He only has some vision in one eye. 
It appears his shoulder was dislocated at some point and left unattended. Consequently, it has now fused in a dislocated position. He has early signs of arthritis in that shoulder and also in his hip joints. When he was taken to the vets down here, he was put on an anti-inflammatory and Amantadine. Hopefully he can be referred to a specialist. 

It is likely before rescue, that he had been chained as he has a dread of collars (so uses a harness). It is also unsure whether his blindness was due to a trauma or since birth. 

Added to all this, he has a lump on the bone on his right ribs where they were possibly broken and fused as a lump. Because of his dislocated shoulder, he doesn’t place much weight on his left front leg. This, in turn, throws his rear end out which is already stiffening due to his arthritis. Both back legs are creaky. 

Despite all this, he is a puppy with bouncy puppy behaviour. Our aim, for the first session, was to assess his physical issues and to find out if he is tolerant of physical therapy. He will never have been worked with in a helpful manual manner. 

Chris used Reiki first and calming signals which did the trick and very shortly he was lying in his lap. This allowed him to work on his stiff (very) back and stiff (very) neck. 

Bobi was lapping up all the attention and relief for 30 minutes but then had a bout of puppyness. It was almost as though he had gone “Oooooooooo…that feels so much better. I can be a daft boy again”. 

It took a while for him to regain his position on the floor, but he did. Bobi will be a team collaboration with the carers (for his wellbeing), vets (for medication and possible surgery), us (for manual therapy) and the behaviourists (to help him adapt to live after rescue) who will all work together as a Care Team to help him settle and realise he is now safe.