Manual therapy and massage are two techniques which make use of the hands for therapeutic effect. There are however, important differences between the two techniques and how they are used to treat and rehabilitate pets. Massage manipulates skin, muscle and other soft tissues through the rhythmical application of pressure. Massage can help restore health to strained and sore muscles by improving circulation, increasing oxygen delivery, and removing waste products. Massage can also reduce tension, increase flexibility and reduce anxiety in pets.
Manual therapy involves a more goal-driven and targeted approach, to both assess, and treat motion impairments. Physical, often intricate, adjustments can be made to muscles, the tough ‘film’ of tissue coating them (known as myofascia), joints, and even to organs to realign the body and correct positional faults. Manual therapy can be used to improve joint mobility, ease pain and aid healing.