small dog on massage table

Dogs benefit from massage and acupressure the same way you do. It’s not just about having a relaxation session with candles and soft music, but rather the great many health benefits that stem from there. Regular therapeutic bodywork for dogs increases blood, chi, lymph flow and circulation throughout the body. This movement is truly the key to good health.

The organs cannot function properly without good arterial circulation and movement of lymphatic fluid. If there is a blockage of flow, the organs can become compromised. It doesn’t happen overnight, but rather over time as blockages stay blocked and blood and lymph become stagnant, disease can occur.

There are several things that could impede the flow of lymphatic fluid, such as muscle tension, improper spinal alignment, disease, illness or simply inactivity. If lymph is stagnant it affects every organ in the body.

Massage and acupressure stimulate blood, chi and lymph movement. Lymph is the vehicle through which the immune system functions. It connects everything. It doesn’t have a pump like blood does with the heart, it relies on activity to function properly. Chi is energy or spirit. It’s the essence of any living being.

There are lymph nodes are located throughout your dog’s body and they eliminate pathogens. When they get congested and are not flowing properly, your dog might have arthritis, itchy skin, eye discharge, asthma, leaky gut, lymphomas and various auto-immune diseases. A key role of the lymph system is to remove waste at the cellular level by breaking down the toxins into metabolic waste and eliminating them. When toxins build up, disease often follows. Massage and acupressure help the lymph nodes drain, allowing free flowing movement of lymphatic fluid.

Physical activity and movement are essential for the lymph system to function properly. The more your dog exercises, the better it is for his lymph flow. For dogs who are inactive, either because of a physical disability or lifestyle, it’s important to stimulate the lymph system with massage and acupressure. Herbs such as cleavers and calendula can also help with lymph flow. The stimulation of lymph that occurs during massage will increases your dog’s ability to fight off infection and disease. 

Massage and acupressure have lot of other great benefits too! 

  • Release of muscle tension
  • Maintaining muscle tone, range of motion and flexibility 
  • Joint flexibility
  • Decrease atrophy of muscle tissue
  • Endorphin and cortisone release, both which play a key role in relieving pain and inflammation. 
  • Enhance respiratory function
  • Stress reduction
  • Decrease of heart and respiratory rate
  • Immune system stimulation
  • Energy balance
  • Mental focus and concentration
  • Emotional adjustment from fear, separation anxiety, trauma, grief or aggression

Most dogs naturally love to be touched. Gentle human touch is very healing and can bring connectedness that can lead a dog out of a downward spiral and into feeling the possibility of good health and a pain free life. If a dog is constantly in pain, it’s hard for them mentally to see beyond that discomfort. Such a dog can become very grouchy and begin to dislike touch. It’s important to go slow and follow and take heed to the signs the dog is giving. 

Massage is the focused and intentional touch that manipulates both skin and muscle, to help the dog in healing. Each stroke is specific in pressure, direction and intention. The power of touch is both spiritual and physical. Massage is an energetic connectedness between the dog and practitioner where the body responds to the intention of the therapist. 

Massage and acupressure are great for all breeds and ages of dogs. Growing large breed puppies, dogs prone to respiratory problems, those with long backs, athletic dogs, arthritic dogs and seniors, all benefit greatly from regular massage and acupressure sessions.