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THE BENEFITS OF MASSAGE

Performance (athletes) Dogs
Dogs have been an integral part of human culture for all of their history. As our culture has changed, the role of canines has evolved to fit our modern lifestyles. There are three basic groups of athletic dogs, recreational, competitive, and working. Recreational athletes are dogs that chase squirrels, dig holes, play race and chase with their friends, swim, play ball and Frisbee, and/or hike with their owners. Competitive athletes participate in events such as conformation, obedience, tracking, agilit, lure coursing, and fly ball. Working dogs are involved in service work with people who have disabilities or medical conditions, do search and rescue, police work, and farm work such as herding. It is important for these active dogs to be kept well conditioned and fit. They are more prone to repetitive stress conditions and injuries. Proper massage can aid in muscular recovery after an active day, reduce fatigue and stress, and increase muscle tone. Massage can be used before sporting events or exercise to warm muscles and prevent injuries. It is also an important component in treatment of injuries.

Increased Muscle Tone
In the wild, dogs are constantly on the move, running, jumping, stretching and as a result are usually maintain good muscle tone. In our domesticated situations, they are usually confined to an indoor situation and develop many of the problems that we do from being sedentary. Inactive dogs are prone to premature aging, stress and anxiety, weight gain, poor muscle tone, and serious medical conditions. Regular massage can decrease the effects of an inactive lifestyle by loosing tight, constricted muscles and increasing range of motion in joints.

Provide Comfort to Muscles Injuries
There are times you’ll be called in on an existing case under veterinarian supervision or as part of the rehabilitation process following an orthopedic type problem or actual muscle injury. After the appropriate time for healing, you find massage, stretching, and the proper exercise can help the process along by encouraging the scar tissue to lie down in better pattern. Reducing any amount of scar tissue as it adheres to healthy tissue can help restore the muscle to better returning function.

Evaluation and Assessment Benefits
When we work with a dog on a regular, systematic basis with massage, we become familiar with all aspects of their bodies. Sometimes owners are not aware of changes that occurred in their dogs until they are very serious. Swellings, lumps, masses can be found and diagnosed early. Problems such as hip, shoulder, or knee dysfunctions can be recognized in their early stages and properly treated with veterinary care and rehabilitation. The development of sensitive touch can allow the dog to “tell” you when something isn’t right.

Increase the Range of Motion
A dog that moves better is more efficient in his stride. There is less wear and tear on the joints, ligaments and tendons equating to a longer performance life.

Socialization
Socialization is one of the most important aspects of raising a dog. It teaches them to feel comfortable with people, other animals, in new and different situations. It lays the foundation which allow them learn new behaviors, be calm and relaxed, and to interact with their environment. Massage can be a important component in a young dog’s socialization training and can serve as a therapeutic tool for dogs who have been abused or didn’t receive proper socialization.

Adjunct to Other Treatments
Massage can be used in conjunction with other therapies in a rehab situation. It can used to enhance post-operative recovery, as a catalyst from sickness, as an adjunct in cases of shock and severe debility. It is also effective in the reduction of anxiety – whether from storms, trips to the vets and groomers or to a boarding facility. It can be used with pets that are grieving from the loss of another animal companion or owner.

Assess the Physical Condition
It’s easy to feel tight muscles on a dog especially when it’s unilateral. Subtle changes in texture, temperature and tension can be detected with the hands.
Often subclinical issues are hard to recognize, but earlier detection can mean permanent damage is lessened.

Communication
Massage is a very effective tool for communicating with dog. Because they communicate on a non-verbal way, massage is a very effective way to deepen the bond between humans and dogs.

Seniors
As dogs age, they are more prone to muscle soreness and joint problems. Regular massage increases flexibility, range of motion, and warms and soothes achy muscles. Massage also gives older dogs more quality time and tenderness.

Massage is used along with conventional and complementary health care as well as proper training techniques enabling the horse to perform at an optimum level. By itself, it does not attempt to cure anything.

DOG LINKS

Biomechanics and Functional Anatomy
http://www.dogvetnet.com

North American Veterinary Conference
http://www.tnavc.org/mynavc/OtherCEOpportunities/tabid/53/Default.aspx

DVM Newsmagazine
http://www.dvmnewsmagazine.com/dvm/article/articleList.jsp?categoryId=173

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

1. Is there an order in which I have to take these courses?
No. Unless a course has a prerequisite, you do not have to follow a specific order. For instance, let’s say you wanted to sign up for the CN3080: Caniken Anatomy in Clay class. Although the CN3080 is a requirement of our Canine Body Worker Level II certification, that does not mean you have to be a certified. The prerequisite for the CN3080 is that you understand veterinary vocabulary and terminology. If you have taken one of our foundation massage classes, you have plenty of knowledge and will be comfortable with the material. You may have this knowledge from other work and life experience. If you do want to take this course (or any course with the same prerequisite) and it is the first of its kind for you, we strongly suggest that you register well in advance. Upon registration with your request, we will send you the same study guide we send out for the foundation massage and progressive anatomy workshop.

2. What exactly are the certification levels?
Click here to find the information about the certifications available at
http://www.caninology.com/info/certification.asp

3. Why does Caninology not offer distance learning?
There are several answers to this one question, so if I may I will split these up for best clarification.

It is not that Caninology does not offer selected distance learning applications towards courses, it would be more correct to say Caninology does not offer a certification through distance learning.

First of all, distance learning is considered studying from your own home or environment. This can take various forms. Some distance learning is accomplished through one application or a combination of study guides, workbooks and videos. Others involve on-line education which can be similar to videos, or in real time through virtual classroom tuition directly with the instructor.

Many of the study guides and workbooks entail learning on paper only but no actual practical application. Others ask you to try the application on the animal but how do you know if you are doing this correctly without supervision?

At Caninology, when a student enrolls in the foundation massage course (or any other course with a prerequisite of veterinary terminology and vocabulary), we send you a pre-course study guide with your registration. Participants are expected to spend at least 45 hours working through this guide before the class begins. Many other programs base their learning outcomes from this type of study alone. This is only a preparation for the Caninology classes and is not a replacement for on site participation. We recommend on line tutorial as another great preparation for a course but again, not a replacement.

Even though students will have gone through the material before the class, we always revise the work at the actual course, mostly because learning this hugely important material on paper only offers a two-dimensional aspect. The practical hands-on application at the course solidifies the material. Years of running the courses has proven this time and time again.

As for using a video medium, where this can be useful to show moves and positions it is not a replacement for classroom tuition. There are several videos available that demonstrate massage and stretching techniques, and although they assist learning, the practitioner is often not aware of what he or she is doing until someone is there in real time to correct a position, body mechanics and actual use of techniques. We usually find it more challenging to undo poorly learned techniques than to instruct first-time learners.

The virtual classroom is an interesting concept whereby the student is in front of the computer monitor at the same time as the instructor. This medium allows for real-time interaction and discussion during lecture portions. Our equine company, Equinology, does plan to use a virtual classroom for several courses, if these meet with certain criteria. A practical portion of the course will take place after the required number of lectures have been attended and homework has been assessed. We know we will never replace any massage or foundation courses with the virtual classroom.

If you have ever taken one of the foundation courses with Caninology, you will know that we usually present a lecture on a particular portion of the course, this lasts around 1- 2 hours and we then follow up the theory with a practical session to instill the lecture outline or continue with earlier-learned techniques.

4. I started with another program. How do I become certified by Caninology?
There are several answers to this one question, so if I may I will split these up for best clarification.
It is not that Equinology does not offer selected distance learning applications towards courses, it would be more correct to say Equinology does not offer a certification through distance learning. First of all, distance learning is considered studying from your own home or environment. This can take various forms. Some distance learning is accomplished through one application or a combination of study guides, workbooks and videos. Others involve on-line education which can be similar to videos, or in real time through virtual classroom tuition directly with the instructor. Many of the study guides and workbooks entail learning on paper only but no actual practical application. Others ask you to try the application on the animal but how do you know if you are doing this correctly without supervision?

At Equinology, when a student enrols in the foundation massage course (or any other course with a prerequisite of veterinary terminology and vocabulary), we send you a pre-course study guide with your registration. Participants are expected to spend at least 40 hours working through this guide before the class begins.

Even though students will have gone through the material before the class, we always revise the work at the actual course, mostly because learning this hugely important material on paper only offers a two-dimensional aspect. The practical hands-on application at the course solidifies the material. Eleven years of running the courses has proven this time and time again. As for using a video medium, where this can be useful to show moves and positions it is not a replacement for classroom tuition. There are several videos available that demonstrate massage and stretching techniques, and although they assist learning, the practitioner is often not aware of what he or she is doing until someone is there in real time to correct a position, body mechanics and actual use of techniques. We usually find it more challenging to undo poorly learned techniques than to instruct first-time learners.

The virtual classroom is an interesting concept whereby the student is in front of the computer monitor at the same time as the instructor. This medium allows for real-time interaction and discussion during lecture portions. Equinology does plan to use a virtual classroom for several courses, if these meet with certain criteria. A practical portion of the course will take place after the required number of lectures have been attended and homework has been assessed. We know we will never replace any massage foundation courses with the virtual classroom. If you have ever taken one of the foundation courses with Equinology, you will know that we usually present a lecture on a particular portion of the course, this lasts around 1- 2 hours and we then follow up the theory with a practical session to instil the lecture outline or continue with earlier-learned techniques.

We plan to use the virtual classroom for the EQ800 (Progressive Acupressure Series) with Dr. Kerry Ridgway. This course is open to those who have completed our EQ803 (Foundation Acupressure) course which is an eight-day intensive on-site course. For the progressive series, we are breaking up Dr. Ridgway’s lectures into 10 –15 progressive portions. He will be at a studio close to his home and these lectures will be transmitted to those who have signed up for the class. Hopefully we will be able to find a studio or equipment where we can have an actual horse for demonstration. We will endeavour to present the lectures at the best possible time so students in a variety of countries with different time zones can participate. This project is still in the formatting process, but we aim to spread the lectures out to about one a month so the participant has time to implement the course material. Q and A as well as homework discussion will start each lecture before new material is introduced. At the end of the lecture series we plan to present an on-site course for the practical portion – this will be anywhere between 5 and 8 days in length. For this portion the student will have to travel to the course location to complete the series. Again, because this is not a foundation course in a particular modality or technique, we feel that we will not compromise the educational standard of the course as the student will already have a good sense and feel for the techniques with reference to application, body mechanics, safety and common sense – thus making distance learning viable for Equinology and our students alike.

5. Where can I find a list of all the courses?
You can find the course list below by clicking on to the URL
http://www.caninology.com/info/courses.asp

6. Is canine massage allowed in every state?
While over half of the states have no problem with massage administered by the lay person, there are several states that restrict any type of animal massage to veterinarians only or under the direct supervision of a veterinarian.

Please call us so we can review your state requirement.