Quantcast
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Dog Massage

T he cold fact of age -- ten years now -- has taken the spring out of our Scottish terrier Nellie's step. "She doesn't even jump up on the bed anymore," lamented Patrick, even though he's been shooing her off the quilt for years. The family vet said it was arthritis and suggested I look into canine massage. "Canine massage? Was he kidding?" asked Patrick. No, he was not. Ann Yerevanian, a licensed RN and a graduate of the Lang Institute for Canine Massage, runs Healing Hands Canine Massage (619-980-5405; www.healinghandscaninemassage.com ). "Just like people," she said, "dogs get sore, aching muscles and tightness. It can be caused by structural imbalance -- if the balance between the dog's front and back end or left and right side is off. If a dog's hind legs are too high for the front legs, you'll have much more weight shifted toward the front, and you could have neck and shoulder issues. Hip dysplasia can cause painful hips, leading to limping. Then the dog will use its good legs to compensate, and since they take more weight, they'll get sore. Then the tightness can travel along the spinal muscles, just as it does with us. If we limp or hop on one leg, first the hip will start to hurt, then the waist, and before you know it, the pain will be up in your mid-back.

"Dogs can be born with structural imbalances," continued Yerevanian, "or they may be the result of surgery. For example, after bad trauma or injury, a broken leg sometimes cannot be reset exactly the way it was originally."

Sometimes, dogs can benefit from massage after soft-tissue injuries. And sometimes, they're just getting old, debilitated, and arthritic. Yerevanian stressed that she leaves the formal diagnostic work to the vet, "but what I can do is use my hands to feel for tight muscles. I do a lot of work based on traditional Chinese veterinary medicine. I feel for deficiencies [soft indented areas] or excesses [a harder nodule that's tender to the touch] to facilitate the flow of Chi [energy]. I put the dog through passive range of motion, and I put the neck and limbs through extension and flexion and rotation to find where I meet resistance. I watch the dog walk and trot; the gait can tell me if there's a problem. And I watch them sit and see if they consistently sit to one side or the other. I also rely on owner history." Nellie's abandonment of the bed is a prime example.

She prefers owners to be present during massage sessions, but says that occasionally, that makes things trickier. "Some dogs are like children -- more manipulative when their owners are around. Sometimes, the owners don't let the dog relax -- they want to pet the dog, maybe get the dog a little bit stimulated. In that case, it's better for the owner to leave the room, so that there's calmness."

The massage room is decorated with couches and rugs and curtains, so that it looks more like a home than an office. "I like to use scented candles and play music to make it peaceful. And I do use some essential oils; I put them on the dog topically." (Frankincense is a favorite.) "I look for positive and negative responses. If the dog gets up, moves away, shows its teeth, growls, or gives me the whale-eye, I stop and try a different technique. The whale-eye is when they're looking straight ahead but move their eyes to look at you. It's usually a warning. Positives include yawning, licking the lips, soft eyes, and ears going back or falling down.

"If you have an older dog with a degenerative joint disease, I will work with the muscles in the problem area. The muscles have a great deal to do with the alignment of the bones. In an arthritic area, the muscles clamp down to support that area. My job is to find the area and work out the spasms in the muscles. After the muscle has been massaged and softened, I perform an active release -- that's opposition stretching, and it helps keep the muscle from re-spasming. The goal is to keep the dog moving normally and without pain; we want our dogs to be able to run and jump and do the things they love to do."

And the goal can be even more than that; there's a holistic element to Yerevanian's brand of therapeutic massage. "You get better oxygenation. You have release of built-up toxins, and massage can stimulate the immune system." Further, said Yerevanian, massage can get at behavioral maladies as well as physical ones. "Massage helps improve socialization skills. I work with dogs that have behavior issues due to anxieties, insecurities, and fears. I've had dogs come in that were adopted from shelters and were very shy and scared of people. Maybe they had abuse or neglect in their backgrounds. Often, the owner is the only person who can touch or handle the dog. What I do is slowly help the dogs realize that humans are good. I start out by lying on the floor next to the dog. Eventually, I scratch them under the chest and give them treats. Over time, I start to work on massaging. After six visits, one dog was running to me in the office, and now, everybody can pet her."

Massage sessions cost around $35 to $60 each, depending on session length. "I try to keep it reasonable. I want to see as many dogs benefit as possible. I work with Dr. Keith Weingardt at the Animal Healing Center in Bay Park.

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

Bounce and Twerk: common moves for Megan Thee Stallion and Danyelle “Sweet Dee” Solana

“I use Megan’s music when teaching my classes.”

T he cold fact of age -- ten years now -- has taken the spring out of our Scottish terrier Nellie's step. "She doesn't even jump up on the bed anymore," lamented Patrick, even though he's been shooing her off the quilt for years. The family vet said it was arthritis and suggested I look into canine massage. "Canine massage? Was he kidding?" asked Patrick. No, he was not. Ann Yerevanian, a licensed RN and a graduate of the Lang Institute for Canine Massage, runs Healing Hands Canine Massage (619-980-5405; www.healinghandscaninemassage.com ). "Just like people," she said, "dogs get sore, aching muscles and tightness. It can be caused by structural imbalance -- if the balance between the dog's front and back end or left and right side is off. If a dog's hind legs are too high for the front legs, you'll have much more weight shifted toward the front, and you could have neck and shoulder issues. Hip dysplasia can cause painful hips, leading to limping. Then the dog will use its good legs to compensate, and since they take more weight, they'll get sore. Then the tightness can travel along the spinal muscles, just as it does with us. If we limp or hop on one leg, first the hip will start to hurt, then the waist, and before you know it, the pain will be up in your mid-back.

"Dogs can be born with structural imbalances," continued Yerevanian, "or they may be the result of surgery. For example, after bad trauma or injury, a broken leg sometimes cannot be reset exactly the way it was originally."

Sometimes, dogs can benefit from massage after soft-tissue injuries. And sometimes, they're just getting old, debilitated, and arthritic. Yerevanian stressed that she leaves the formal diagnostic work to the vet, "but what I can do is use my hands to feel for tight muscles. I do a lot of work based on traditional Chinese veterinary medicine. I feel for deficiencies [soft indented areas] or excesses [a harder nodule that's tender to the touch] to facilitate the flow of Chi [energy]. I put the dog through passive range of motion, and I put the neck and limbs through extension and flexion and rotation to find where I meet resistance. I watch the dog walk and trot; the gait can tell me if there's a problem. And I watch them sit and see if they consistently sit to one side or the other. I also rely on owner history." Nellie's abandonment of the bed is a prime example.

She prefers owners to be present during massage sessions, but says that occasionally, that makes things trickier. "Some dogs are like children -- more manipulative when their owners are around. Sometimes, the owners don't let the dog relax -- they want to pet the dog, maybe get the dog a little bit stimulated. In that case, it's better for the owner to leave the room, so that there's calmness."

The massage room is decorated with couches and rugs and curtains, so that it looks more like a home than an office. "I like to use scented candles and play music to make it peaceful. And I do use some essential oils; I put them on the dog topically." (Frankincense is a favorite.) "I look for positive and negative responses. If the dog gets up, moves away, shows its teeth, growls, or gives me the whale-eye, I stop and try a different technique. The whale-eye is when they're looking straight ahead but move their eyes to look at you. It's usually a warning. Positives include yawning, licking the lips, soft eyes, and ears going back or falling down.

"If you have an older dog with a degenerative joint disease, I will work with the muscles in the problem area. The muscles have a great deal to do with the alignment of the bones. In an arthritic area, the muscles clamp down to support that area. My job is to find the area and work out the spasms in the muscles. After the muscle has been massaged and softened, I perform an active release -- that's opposition stretching, and it helps keep the muscle from re-spasming. The goal is to keep the dog moving normally and without pain; we want our dogs to be able to run and jump and do the things they love to do."

And the goal can be even more than that; there's a holistic element to Yerevanian's brand of therapeutic massage. "You get better oxygenation. You have release of built-up toxins, and massage can stimulate the immune system." Further, said Yerevanian, massage can get at behavioral maladies as well as physical ones. "Massage helps improve socialization skills. I work with dogs that have behavior issues due to anxieties, insecurities, and fears. I've had dogs come in that were adopted from shelters and were very shy and scared of people. Maybe they had abuse or neglect in their backgrounds. Often, the owner is the only person who can touch or handle the dog. What I do is slowly help the dogs realize that humans are good. I start out by lying on the floor next to the dog. Eventually, I scratch them under the chest and give them treats. Over time, I start to work on massaging. After six visits, one dog was running to me in the office, and now, everybody can pet her."

Massage sessions cost around $35 to $60 each, depending on session length. "I try to keep it reasonable. I want to see as many dogs benefit as possible. I work with Dr. Keith Weingardt at the Animal Healing Center in Bay Park.

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Pandemic dating smalltalk

Stop talking about current events to the extent they concern public health in any way shape or form whatsoever
Next Article

Song Without a Name: gone baby gone

Melina León finds horror in an environment usually associated with safety and nurturing.
Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer News — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Set 'em Up Joe — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close