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Emma Tanaka has been part of the Hanne Grice Dog Training & Behaviour team for over two years. A firm favourite with clients, Emma instructs at our Puppy & Dog School and assists with our behavioural work. Now, Emma has added a ‘new string’ to her bow of many talents – Galen massage.
For the past 18 months, Emma has been studying for an accredited Diploma in Canine Myotherapy with The Galen Therapy Centre. Galen Canine Myotherapy is a specialised form of soft tissue manipulation which reduces chronic pain, lameness and stiffness in dogs. These symptoms are often related to repetitive strain issues, sometimes caused by the dog’s environment or by exercise and sporting activities. They can also be the result of an old injury, an underlying condition such as hip dysplasia or a degenerative disease such as osteoarthritis.
Myotherapy has in part derived from massage, as has physiotherapy. The difference being that physiotherapy is a specialist treatment for acute post-operative conditions, whereas Myotherapy treats chronic cases. The prefix ‘myo’, means ‘relating to muscles’, and the therapy is designed to target injured or inflamed muscles which are causing pain and restricted movement. When a muscle is damaged, it will physically shorten in length and changes to the dogs’ posture will occur as it adapts to the muscular imbalance. If left untreated, the affected muscles will eventually become overworked and compensatory issues will develop. Overtime, this can be detrimental to the dog’s health both physically and psychologically. Myotherapy can ease the pain and discomfort by treating the injured muscle and allied soft tissues. It also releases endorphins (nature’s natural pain-relieving hormones) which promote a feeling of well-being and relaxation.
Myotherapy can be used to treat dogs from the age of nine months and upwards. It can be used on elderly and arthritic dogs and those who require palliative care, to enhance their quality of life. It is also suitable for show dogs, gun dogs and those that compete in agility and other sports, to help them maintain a high level of performance.
The therapy is also effective for treating the following conditions and situations:
- Repetitive strain injuries
- Ongoing lameness that’s typically difficult to pin-point and accurately diagnose
- Osteoarthritis – especially in dogs that are intolerant to anti-inflammatory drugs
- Sub-luxating patellas
- Behavioural issues
- Compensatory issues
- Whiplash caused from impact at speed
- Enhancing the health and performance of sporting dogs
A Galen Myotherapist must adhere to the Veterinary Act and may only treat a dog that has a signed consent form from their vet. Dogs are handled with sympathy and respect and are treated at floor level without the use of muzzles or restraints, therefore allowing them choice at all times.
Emma is currently in the final stage of her assessment and looking for case study dogs. This involves the dog having three to four FREE treatment sessions, enabling Emma to write-up about the treatment given to each specific case. If you think your dog would benefit from Galen therapy and you’re happy for your dog to be a case study, then please do get in touch.