It is not just humans that need a massage, as our furry friends are also in need of a rehabilitation therapy to ease pain.
Being fascinated by animals from a young age, it was no surprise Michelle Corrigan chose to study zoology at Liverpool John Moore’s University.
After graduating with a BSc (hons), she qualified as a biology teacher, spending the next 10 years teaching A-level biology at Runshaw College.
During this time, however, her dog Bella, a cavachon, had become reluctant to run and twitched her back when she was stroked her but vets ruled out various orthopaedic conditions.
Then a chance meeting at a dog seminar with a canine massage therapist educated her to the benefits of massage.
After more studying, she launched Clinical Canine Massage Lancashire in December, under the Canine Massage Guild.
Michelle, 35, who runs the business from her home in Coppull, with home visits available, recalls: “After three massage sessions, Bella went from couch potato to running about on walks.
“I was so impressed I needed to know more, I quickly realised that massage was a powerful science based complementary therapy, that rehabilitates muscular injuries, provides pain management for orthopaedic conditions, and maximises athletic performance.
“The thought of improving dogs’ well-being through drug-free treatment had me convinced – I wanted to be a clinical canine massage therapist.”
Canine massage is a non-invasive therapy used to rehabilitate soft tissue injury and support orthopaedic issues like arthritis.
It is used for a massive range of dogs including senior or ageing dogs, agility or sporting dogs and also young and active dogs.
It works by releasing tight, sore muscles, removing debilitating knots or trigger points that cause pain and helps rehabilitate injuries by breaking down restrictive scar tissue caused by daily activities that may be responsible for your dog’s discomfort.
Michelle, who also has a border collie called Indie, adds: “Canine massage can help to resolve many day to day mobility issues whether they have suddenly come on or have been there for while.
“Getting your dog therapeutically treated by a member of the Canine Massage Guild, such as myself, is a must for any dog owner concerned with their dogs mobility and health.
It can help give you answers for what you are seeing with your dog and importantly then do something about it with an hour of hands on therapy.
“It’s also natural form of pain relief that can help to resolve soft tissue or muscular problems and helps support orthopaedic issues like arthritis and hip dysplasia.
“Dogs are really good at hiding their pain so instead we look for subtle or subclinical signs of pain that may not be so obvious.
“We call these the five pillars and these are thing that the owners at home can look out for right now.
“These include gait, lameness, stiffness, throwing the leg out, twitching when touched, struggling to get up and down the stairs or on and off the sofa, slowing down on walks and are more anxious.
“Clinical canine massage is becoming increasingly popular due to the remarkable results achieved in just three sessions.
“Dogs that were stiff or slow on walks are now able to go on longer walks without stiffness and return to activities of daily living just as playing again.
“The dogs have a zest for life again and are more sociable, happier, and more tolerant of being petted.
“More people are seeking out clinical canine massage as way of resolving soft tissue injury and support orthopaedic condition such as hip dysplasia.
“New clients are being referred every week as more professionals, be it vets or other complementary therapist, recognise the effectiveness of massage.”