Canine Massage

canine massageMari Vogel is a Certified Canine Massage Therapist, Reiki Master and owner of Caring 4 Canines located in Durham, North Carolina.  She provides dog massage with the added of influence of Reiki.

Mari received a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Montana in Zoology and Microbiology and a Master of Science in Infectious Diseases from the University of London.  She has over 20 years of experience as a scientist in the US and Europe in the fields of human and animal health.  Her research experience includes work on zoonotic diseases, Rabies, parvovirus, bovine spongiform encephalitis and Babesia.

Originally from the Midwest, Mari lived in Europe for 17 years.  She moved to North Carolina in 2005 and transitioned to a career pursuing her love of animals and passion to giving them optimal health.  Mari received her Canine Massage Therapy Certification from Abundant Life Massage and Education in Sarasota, Florida and her Reiki Mastership with Spirited Solutions Chapel Hill North Carolina.

dog massage after surgeryHer Canine massage practice focuses on seniors/special needs, performance dogs, injury and surgical recovery, and trauma/emotional support for rescue dogs.  Mari combines her love of dogs with her extensive knowledge of anatomy and physiology to facilitate healing and well-being.

The Healing touch of Massage is the oldest form of healing known to man and has been a part of the medical practices for centuries.  There is mention of massage in the early writings of the Greeks, Romans, Egyptians, Turks, and Persians and the first known documentation of massage was in 2700 BC by the Chinese.  In the 1970s, Jack Meagher was a physical therapist and massage therapist. He popularized sport massage and is well known for his work with the 1976 Olympic Team and players in the National Football League. He was the pioneer of Equine athletes so he is credited with formally bringing massage to animals in the US.  There is no known record of who brought massage to dogs.  But, it’s assumed that since most people who have horses, also have at least one dog. So it would be natural that when the benefits of massage were recognized for their horses that some would also want this care for their dogs.

Massage can be diagnostic.  We can detect problems with our dog.  When we regularly massage our dogs, we can find any swellings, muscle knots, an embedded tick, or pain; you know your dog better than anyone.  You can learn to spot problems earlier and get your dog vet attention.  Your dog could be easier treated and this could potentially save your dog’s life. We have all heard how some conditions and diseases are treated more easily if they are detected earlier.

shy dogsCanine massage will get them used to being handled.  Touch shy animals are difficult to be treated at the vets or by a groomer.  Massage can help reduce the stress of going to the vet, groomer or even for yourself with cutting nails or giving a bath for example.

Dogs love to be touched and respond to it.  Physical contact is really rewarding for your dog.  Not all dogs like to be touched or are used to being touched, whether from improper handling or not being around people very much.  Learning positive touch can be hugely valuable.

Canine Massage Can be Beneficial to Dogs at all Stages of Their Lives and Activity Levels

puppies playingPuppies benefit from massage as it gets them used to positive human touch and   being handled.  Bones grow at the ends, near the joints and those can get achy, so they benefit from massage around the joints as well as on their limbs.  Puppies run and play hard, think puppy zoomies.  Massage can help prevent strains and sprains by lengthening and toning muscles, tendons and ligaments.

Active, sport dogs doing agility, fly ball, herding and hiking, can all benefit from massage. Warm up massage helps warm up the muscles by enhancing blood flow and reduces tension in the muscles and gets the whole system revved up.

Massage after an activity or event loosens muscles and joints and calms the whole system down. It helps prevent stiffness and sore muscles.  It flushes out toxins that may get trapped in the muscles or tissues during vigorous exercise.  All this helps prevent injuries.

dog sportsWorking dogs such as therapy dogs or search and rescue dogs are under a lot of stress and pressure in their daily lives.  Canine massage can help relieve tired muscles and the stress after a long day on the job.

Dogs recovering from an injury or surgery greatly benefit from massage.  Massage can speed up the healing process by stimulating the body and enhancing the repair process.  If a dog is immobile, the muscles get sore and achy.  Massage can help keep muscles toned. If a limb or area that affects mobility is sore, the dog is more than likely compensating by putting more weight on another leg or more in the front than the back legs.  So those muscles are getting used more than usual and massage can help relieve some of the pressure and keep them more in balance.  There are many, many bones, ligaments and tendons in the paws.  Each step a dog takes impacts all of those.  A problem in the paw will affect that limb and shoulder or hip and the entire posture of the dog.  Massage can relieve tension and stiffness. 

Massage helps with anesthesia recovery.  The lungs, liver and kidney serve to remove these drugs from the body.  Gentle massage stimulates circulation, to speed up the transfer of the drugs to these removal sites and supports the function of the organs.

Dogs with chronic illnesses like arthritis, joint disease, and hip dysplasia benefit from massage around these areas of disease by increasing the circulation in the area causing warming and bringing nutrients and oxygen to the compromised joint.  It also supports the surrounding muscles.

There are many reasons a dog has anxiety:  thunder, riding in the car, boarding facility, strange people.  Slow gentle massage helps with confidence and is calming.   Massage can also help with motion sickness.

Older dogs often suffer from problems like arthritis, stiffness and other joint problems.  Canine massage is a gentle and effective way to ease muscle tension and reduce stiffness.  It will help to increase muscle tone, circulation and flexibility in less active dogs.

Massage is also a gentle way to help dogs that are nearing the end of their life.  It can help them be more comfortable and at peace.

active dogsReiki is a Japanese term meaning universal life energy.  This is the energy that lives in all creation that is inherent to all living beings and that nourishes them and keeps them alive.  Reiki is a method of natural, holistic healing that can be used alone or in combination with other systems.

Animals are naturally very receptive to Reiki.  Reiki helps in stress reduction, aids relaxation, and promotes healing.  Reiki can bring the body into harmony while balancing energy, so the body is being treated as a whole spiritually, emotionally and physically.  Reiki can also bring peace to a dying pet.

Mari lives in Durham, North Carolina with her Australian Shepherd, Sadie, Shetland Sheepdog, Sydney and seven chickens.  She spends her free time with her dogs going for lots of hikes, and training in sheep and poultry herding and carting.

Mari combines the advantages of both canine massage and Reiki to give your pet the highest quality of care.  If you would like to give your friend a dog massage to increase quality of life, please give Mari a call at 919-452-3467.