Physiological Effects of Canine Massage Therapy
Adipose (Fat) Tissue – Massage produces heat that helps to soften fatty masses, and circulation helps the fat be absorbed and metabolism to increase in surrounding tissues to help burn the fat. Exercise and a healthy diet in combination with massage, can cause weight reduction. Massage without exercise and a healthy diet will displace the fat to other areas of the body instead.
Bones and Joints – Massage pressure stimulates blood circulation to bones and nourishes them. Regular massage can help prevent and fix mild deformities of the posture, as well as keep joints lubricated to help with their range of motion.
Lungs – To have efficient exchange of carbon dioxide and oxygen, as well as smooth mucous flow, the blood flow in and out of the lungs must be increased. Mucous flow wards off disease by keeping toxins and debris from being lodged in the cell membranes, and massage helps this process.
Muscles – Massage helps to loosen and stretch muscles, ligaments and tendons in order to prevent lesions. When the blood supply to muscles is increased through massage, it brings oxygen and nutrients with it, while absorbing wastes. Range of motion and strength will increase when soft tissue is mobilized, and strong muscles increase elasticity and flexibility.
Nerves – Massage can either soothe or stimulate nerves based on which type of massage is used. Some strokes can invigorate nerves, some can have a soothing effect and calm nerve endings, while others can even temporarily relieve pain.
Skin – Massage keeps the skin nourished and allows wastes to be removed efficiently when blood circulation is increased. Glands become stimulated as well, keeping the skin and fur soft while helping the fur shine. Sweat will increase and therefore removing excess water, salts, urea, proteins, and toxins. As skin is massaged, it becomes fresh and healthy when new cells replace the old cells. These cells shed in a process called desquamation where dead skin cells are removed so the skin can breathe easier.
Veins, Arteries, Heart – Massage can affect blood flow very easily, and in turn this helps the heart. A healthy heart encourages veins to carry away waste, and allows arteries to carry oxygen and necessary nutrients to other cells. Massage can also drain lymph fluid into nearby glands so it can be cleansed of toxins.