Canine Myofunctional Therapy (CMT)
What is CMT or Canine Massage?
Dogs in general are natural born athletes and like most athletes they “play through the pain”. Dogs, unfortunately won’t tell you when they are sore, stiff, pulled a muscle or when something is not right. Instead they will continue on, sometimes with no indication there is a problem until it becomes serious. As humans, we know all too well then benefits of massage, so these same principles apply for dogs as well. CMT is a holistic approach using gentle massage techniques to manipulate the muscles, soft tissues, circulation and immune system to promote the body’s natural healing response.
“Your dog doesn’t have to be recovering from surgery or suffering from an injury to benefit from massage.”
Benefits of CMT
- Improves structural balance and range of motion
- Improves blood circulation for healthy muscles and bones
- Strengthens the integrity of muscles and tendons
- Can provide a quicker and more effective post-operative recovery
- Energises and exercises your dog’s mind
- Helps older dogs regain flexibility and ease of movement
- Is relaxing and helps reduce anxiety
- Can improve your dog’s vitality and overall wellbeing.
CMT can also help with…
Mobility and health of your elderly dog
As your dog approaches their twilight years their body can slow down as the muscles and joints weaken and they struggle to work at their full capacity, they can also be suffering from depression as it can be quite distressing when their body does not work like it used to. They may become afflicted with arthritis, have a greater chance of bone breakage or have to deal with muscle atrophy. As they approach the later stages of their life, suffering from problems associated with old age can fast-track the ageing process and increases the risk of falls, slips and strains. Targeting the whole body and mind, CMT techniques are a safe way to give your dog the best chance to live a comfortable and happy life.
Stress relief and reducing anxiety in your dogs
Like humans, dogs can experience intense stress and nervousness which can eventually lead to chronic anxiety. This could be due to past trauma, a shocking incident or maybe they have a generally anxious personality. This causes higher levels of the stress hormone, cortisol, to be in the bloodstream which can lead to behavioural problems such as chronic anxiety, aggression and depression. CMT massage helps to release hormones that act in opposition to the stress hormone which ultimately promotes a happier, calmer, relaxed and well-balanced dog.
Post-operative care and recovery from surgery or injury
After an operation, your dog can be in intense pain, experience swelling and inflammation and depending on the surgery they could be immobilised for days, weeks or months which can impact the physical and psychological well-being of your dog. Restricted movement can lead to a range of problems such as muscle wastage, reduced circulation and tighter muscles which can impact their range of motion (ROM). Dog massage is an important restorative technique that helps to restore your dog to optimum health. The results of massage affect the whole body, including the immune system and nervous system and as such is a powerful wholistic technique.
What a CMT session involves…
The initial session includes an in-depth verbal consultation which consists of a range of important questions such as their dog’s history, diet and medical issues past and present. The next step is a gait and soft tissue analyses which will assess how the muscles are functioning and where the abnormalities are. From there the massage begins and the most appropriate techniques are applied during the massage to improve muscle function and health. Once the massage is completed another gait assessment is done and recommendations given, where we can go over a long-term treatment plan and book your next appointment
Initial consultations can take up to 90 minutes and follow-up consultation take between 40-60 minutes. Please note that the massage session itself does not last between 60 to 90 minutes, the time includes consultation, analyses, massage and discussion.
CMT sessions occur in your home, as it is where your pet is the most comfortable, and typically last between 60 to 90 minutes. The frequency of the sessions depends entirely on each individual animal’s health status and needs. Some health issues can be resolved in four or six sessions, others may take ongoing sessions on a recurring basis.
Almost any dog can benefit from CMT, with a few exceptions relating to specific medical conditions and diseases. We always advise that you consult your vet before your dog begins massage therapy.