Heather Wallace is a Certified Equine Sports Massage Therapist (ESMT) and Canine Sports Massage Therapist (CCMT) providing acupressure, trigger point therapy, and sports massage techniques.
Sports massage provides a multitude of natural and holistic health benefits for your animal, both behavioral and physical. Sports massage uses the hands and fingers of the therapist to target tight muscles and acupressure points in your dog. We manipulate the soft tissue to loosen muscles, joints, tendons; increase blood flow and lymphatic activity; and reduce stress.
Sports massage is used in exercise warm-up; cool down; general maintenance; pre- and post- agility competition; and post-injury or rehabilitation of both working animals and pets.
In addition, acupressure and trigger point therapy are non-invasive techniques with benefits similar to acupuncture.
Massage can alleviate the behavioral, emotional, and physical symptoms of pain or distress. More, it provides positive touch and desensitization as well as early detection of physical changes.
BENEFITS OF MASSAGE
- Reduce inflammation
- Increase circulation
- Improve digestion
- Speed wound healing
- Restore mobility to injured muscle tissue
- Reduce stress and anxiety
- Early detection of skin and health problems
- Positive desensitization to touch
Your Horse May Need Massage if they show the following signs:
- Trouble bending.
- Girthy or cold-backed when saddling.
- Reluctance to move forward during exercise.
- Difficulty picking up leads.
- Increased spookiness.
- Uncharacteristic behavior: rearing, bucking, kicking, biting.
- Head tossing.
- Tendency for colic or tying up.
- Mystery lameness.
- Trouble focusing.
- Stall rest.
- Pre or post-surgery.
- Pre or post- competition.
All Sessions Include the Following:
- Variety of massage techniques tailored to your pet.
- Thermal imaging to determine baseline and a follow-up after four sessions.
- Cold laser therapy to target joints, tendons, wounds, and areas of increased tension.
- Aromatherapy blend (in session) using high-quality essential oils customized to your animal’s needs.
- Targeted therapy plan with at-home exercises.
- Passive stretching to increase flexibility and mobility.
Why work with Heather?
Heather has worked for years with a variety of breeds and disciplines, including providing trigger point therapy on a semi-feral Mongolian horse! She is incredibly sensitive to the needs of each client and their softest communication. Time after time Heather has earned the trust and bonded with even the most anxious animals, some of whom would not let others interact with them. Trust is earned and there is nothing she finds more gratifying than working in partnership with her equine clients to help them find balance naturally and live their best lives mentally, emotionally, and physically.
Heather is continually learning new and improved methods of bodywork to holistically work with your animals and her 95% returning client rate is proof that her methods are an asset to any animal! To further her education she will be a Certified Ergonomist as of March 2020 and able to provide custom saddle fit recommendations and tracings in addition to her current bodywork practice.
Animals that she works with:
- Llamas and Alpacas
- Sheep and Goats
- Dogs (see Canine Massage Therapy for details)
Please complete the New Client Form prior to your first appointment. Please make sure your horse is in the stall and relatively clean for the session. We encourage owners to be in attendance to ask questions.
Once you are an established client it is not necessary to be present for the massage unless you prefer to be present. A quiet stall or cross ties are best for treatment to aid in relaxation and healing. Please do not book your treatment during feeding times to prevent distraction.
We are happy to send you a photo and notes from the session if you are unable to attend. An assessment form will be sent by email or text after each appointment.
After your horse’s massage session your animal may need to go to the bathroom more frequently. This is normal and allows the body to continue to release toxins naturally. Please provide ample water. A short walk after our session will be beneficial to stretch their legs and allow for further tension release. Natural movement in the paddock is encouraged as is light riding, long and low to encourage stretch.
Regular massage provides the best results for your animal. We recommend a minimum of three bi-weekly sessions to begin.
Bodywork for rehabilitative cases, performance, and senior animals is recommended every 1 week. General maintenance is recommended to prevent injuries and keep the joints fluid and muscles in optimal condition. Bodywork works best when used to keep the body in balance, and prevent illness or injury. As a result regular sessions every 4 weeks are the general recommendation. However, a customized treatment plan will be created for your animal based on personality, activity level, and owner’s input.
*Disclaimer: Sports Massage and acupressure are complementary therapies that is meant to assist self- healing. These therapies are not a replacement for veterinary care. Massage professionals are not qualified to treat, diagnose, or give a prognosis of any injury or illness. Please consult your veterinarian for concerns with your animal’s health.