Among the many documented BENEFITS of Equine Sports Massage are:
Improves circulation and as a result, promotes more rapid healing of injuries.
Enhances muscle tone and increases range of motion.
Eases muscle spasms.
Reduces inflammation and swelling in the joints so that pain is relieved.
Stimulates circulation in the lymphatic system and hastens the elimination of waste products and other toxins.
Lengthens connective tissue and so breaks down/prevents the formation of adhesions and reduces the danger of fibrosis.
Generally improves the disposition of the animal.
Increases the production of synovial fluid in the joints.
Here are a few of the COMMON CONDITIONS that can greatly be improved by Equissage Therapy:
Loss of performance ability
“Off” for no apparent reason
Shoulder or hip lameness
Stiffness and resistance
Short, choppy strides
Why Equissage Therapy WORKS!
Sometimes tight spots develop that cause discomfort and hinder a horse’s performance. Muscle tightening does not remain in an isolated area or state. Since Tendons are only about 10% elastic, thus, 90% of elasticity comes from the associated muscles. If one group tightens, the next group of muscles compensate for the lack of elasticity. The tension can travel from one area to another compounding the problem. For instance, tightening in the shoulders can travel to the forearm, down to the tendons of the lower leg.
Through massage, tension and adhesions are broken up by using a series of different strokes. By increased circulation and oxygen to the area, the body naturally removes the toxins and tension from the affected areas leaving the horse feeling more relaxed, in less pain, and able to perform better than before.
The Role of Massage
Massage has been used for therapeutic purposes, on both humans and animals, since the dawn of time. Its beneficial use has been documented in our earliest cultures from the Egyptians, to the Phoenicians, to the Greeks, to the Romans and on to the present time. It is noteworthy, that in the very first books on human and veterinary medicine, entire chapters would be devoted to the use, benefits, and implementation of massage therapy.
Later on, as so-called miracle drugs were developed, the medical establishment in concert with the fledgling pharmaceutical industry decided that "old fashioned" therapies and treatments - like massage - were no longer needed, nor did they have any meaningful place in a health regimen. It was only when prescription drugs (some with side effects worse than the condition's symptoms) became too prolific and too expensive did people begin to reconsider some of those therapies discarded in the past. Slowly but surely, in the last quarter of the 20th Century these modalities along with some "newer" eastern began to compete in a very real way for the acceptance and dollars of an increasingly discerning society. That is, society began to realize that they were often getting as much relief and treatment from alternative therapies as from pharmaceuticals and surgery.
At the same time, people were beginning to understand that if these alternative therapies could help them, they would probably work as well on their pets and the other animals in their care. Thus, in the late 1980's there began to be a significant move toward the use of these alternative therapies on both companion animals and horses involved in racing and show events.
Chief among these therapies in actual therapeutic value and cost effectiveness has been massage.