Posture Prepping for Smal Animals
For all dogs, daily life can create micro traumas and injuries as they run around on slippery floors, sliding and banging into walls and furniture, or even running around and tackling each other. When Dr. Pat first introduced her Posture Prep for dogs at the 2012 National Dog show in Oaks, Pennsylvania, owners and dog handlers had a new way to offer relief to their pets by giving them a muscle massage that also allows for myofascial release.
Knowing the advantages that exist by having dogs in our lives, Dr. Pat continues to expand her Posture Prepping system to support agility, performance, working (rescue and service), and companion dogs. Performance dogs in agility and flyball are often compulsive, burning off too much energy before they compete in events. Posture Prepping before their event will help to focus them and “warm up” their muscles and body. For all working and competing dogs, owners and handlers often don’t realize how much these hard-working dogs can benefit from a massage and the myofascial release. It is one way to keep these dogs comfortable and active.
Other small companion animals, such as cats, welcome the tool as part of a daily grooming routine and will make sure their humans know how much they look forward to their Posture Prep session. Daily life activities can create compromised posture in any pet and a Posture Prep session can provide relief and relaxation for your loved companion.
But it’s not only dogs that enjoy and benefit from the Cross Fiber Grooming technique. Studies show that humans also benefit from this type of bonding interaction with their pets. Maybe you’ve heard of the oxytocin system and how it helps create strong human-to-human bonds. A study in Frontiers in Psychology discusses why some scientists believe the same system operates to create strong human-animal bonds leading to benefits such as a lowered heart rate and blood pressure, reduced aggression, and enhanced empathy. Another article in Psychology Today reports that these effects work faster than many drugs taken to reduce stress. This can explain why we see more animals used in therapy and education. How can you not smile when hugging a dog or a cat?
Is My Dog Fat? Why “Lumps and Bumps” may not be fat
One of Dr. Pat’s “pet peeves” is when people refer to dogs as “fat” without a good understanding of what defines extra weight on a dog. Dogs may have a thick waist line due to the thickening of lumbar muscles and tight (hypertonic) muscles causing stress, misalignment, dysfunction, and pain. When the lumbar spine is misaligned, it causes compression on the spinal joints and irritation to the soft tissue and nerves. The result? A dog’s posture and movement is altered, adding stress and strain to the hips, hind limbs, shoulders, and neck. Because these dogs are uncomfortable, they become less active and may gain excess weight. This only adds to the stress and wear on their body and overall health and the creation of a body type with “Lumps and Bumps”. And this type of thick waist can’t be reversed with a restricted diet.
Trained professionals and other health practitioners can miss the myofascial thickening and lumbar strain. It is Dr. Pat’s mission to educate dog owners and professionals so they understand and address this prevalent problem in dogs young and old, large and small. Acupuncture, chiropractic, and other body work can help but ovne of the simplest and easiest ways for an owner or professional to help these “fat” dogs is through cross fiber massage with the Posture Prep Cross Fiber groomer. This helps to break up the adhesions and scar tissue and restore normal muscle health and symmetry, minimizing the “Lumps and Bumps”. Dogs love the attention and relief they get while bonding with their human companions.
Dogs and cats come to us when they want attention or a reward and leave when they please us. Most dogs enjoy the relieving touch of the Posture Prep tool especially when you apply the cross fiber massage. Some dogs may need gentle, consistent reassurance and desensitization to the tool until they can understand how you are trying to help them. Applying the Posture Prep with patience and a healing and loving intent is the key to your success. Even the most antsy dog will understand what their human is doing for them as the Posture Prep helps to relax and release the stress on their muscles and joints.
Dr. Pat is available for lectures, clinics, or demos at local or regional associations, fundraisers, and other events. Please be sure to check the calendar for upcoming and past events.