Jean-Pierre Hourdebaigt (LMT) says there are 4 T’s we need to be aware of when we massage: Temperature, Texture, Tenderness and Tension and these we need to do all by feeling with our hands/fingers.
Changes in the temperature of the dog’s skin suggests that certain problems exist in that area. For example, an area that is abnormally cool to touch compared to the rest of the body, due to lack of blood circulation in that area, may indicate problems such as muscle contraction etc
Texture of the tissues refers to the density and elasticity of the skin and muscle fibres. With practice you will develop a sense of touch for what feels normal and or too soft or puffy.
Tenderness of the structures such as muscles, tendons, ligaments, joints, will relate to the sensitivity response of the animal to your touch.
Tension refers to the tonicity of the muscle fibres. Muscle tension can be a result of too much exercise or overuse of certain muscles due to pain like arthritis in other areas of the body.
Therefore please remember that when you start to massage that you use your fingers as sensors to get feedback through the 4 T’s on the condition of your animal.
Common Stress areas in dogs are:
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