While Erika was at Flipside I watched her dog Maggie and decided to shoot a short video on how to massage your dog. Years ago when I finished massage school I was taken with anatomy and could visually see the muscles involved in cooking a chicken or massaging a friends pet while at a party. This curiosity has served me well as a bodyworker. My sense of anatomy and functional capacity is higher for exploring outside of the standard academic confines.
Mammal anatomy is relatively similar and dogs of Maggies size are a perfect place to explore. Remember not to stress your hands and use your fingers, palms, heel of the hand and knuckles to do the work in a way that honors the joints and how they move.
The three main areas we focus on are the temporalis around the temples, the erector spinae along the spine and the shoulder in the front. Everything we press into is fleshy, push through the hair and skin to feel the muscles underneath. This is different than petting a dog topically but animals enjoy this just as much as humans do. Think doggie spa.
Dogs like Maggie hold far less postural strain than humans due to walking on all fours. Many of our issues with posture are due to standing upright. I rarely find out and out strain or excess tension in animals, they don’t hold onto things, they live in the present moment. We can learn things from them about how to live and approach life. Use massage to connect with your family pets.