Four Legged Family Massage Services LLC

 Common Questions on Canine and Equine Massage Therapy:

Ms. Echo Flynn Love after massage

Common Questions and Answers on Massage Therapy and Four Legged Family Massage Services:

          What qualifications and what is the educational background of a canine massage therapist needed to practice on canine companions?

 To  practice massage therapy, canine and equine  massage therapists must be certified to do so.  Along with bachelors in animal science I am also certified and insured as a canine and equine  massage therapist. I have over 20 years in caring for both large and small animals, and was very fortunate to learn on animals with chronic conditions.  I have been certified for seven  years as a CMT and four months as an ESMT but spent countless hours over the course of a year learning on different types of horses.  . I have worked on animals, with conditions such as stroke, cancers, spondolosis, arthritis, allergies and skin conditions, as well as G.I sensitivities and anxiety. I also have a strong science back ground with recent courses being in: Medical Physiology, Genetics, Microbiology, Nutrition, Animal behavior, as well as Physics.  I am also very interested in science and find the physiology part of healing to be both fascinating and rewarding.


            How would I know if massage therapy is the appropriate therapy for my pet, and what type of canine  and equine companions would visit a canine massage therapist?

While massage therapy is never a replacement for veterinary care, canine  and equine companions who suffer from arthritis, joint mobility issues, and problems and aliments associated with anxiety and stress response may choose to visit with a canine and equine massage therapist. Always check with your veterinarian to make sure that massage therapy is the appropriate form of therapy for your pet.


                How does stress affect the immune system, and how does massage work to reduce the stress response?

While stress is a normal physiological response brought on by both chemical and physiological reactions within the body, excess stress or chronic stress, may manifest into chronic conditions.

 The reason being is that the hormonal system within the central nervous system otherwise called the stress circuit, sends signals to the brain that release hormones in response to stress. Hormones are like a set of instructions sent to the brain and the result is the effects on many important systems throughout the body. While your veterinarian will be able to best determine source of illness, stress response, can range, from behavioral problems, to allergy, G.I. upset as well as muscle and back pain and other problems associated with chronic stress.  When the body becomes stressed histamines which are responsible for allergenic responses rise, causing itchiness and allergy like symptoms. The G.I. tract is affected because when histamines rise, so do acidic levels which can cause acid reflux, and other symptoms associated with upset stomach.  Muscle aches and body pain are due to tension within the body.

    Massage works to reduce stress response within a given individual. It works to reduce stress hormones which govern many of our physiological responses and increase the amount of endorphins. Endorphins are among the brain chemicals known as neurotransmitters that send electrical signals to the nervous system. What happens when endorphins are released is that they work with opiate receptors which work to reduce the perception of pain and increase mood and body balance.  Essentially, when the body relaxes, symptoms related to stress are relaxed and the body starts to heal.


             How does massage therapy help with arthritis, and age related problems associated with mobility?

This is probably the most common reason a canine or equine  companion would choose to visit with a canine a equine  massage therapist. As well as joint issues, associated with geriatrics,  the main problem associated with muscle pain is the decreased amount of oxygen that is able to reach the nerves associated with the health of body movement, mood, and organs. Decrease in mobility, or symptoms of pain can be a concern for many underlying problems. However decreased in oxygen takes place when body tension takes place. This issue affects motor, sensory, and autonomic nerves which can affect our mobility general health, and emotional health. Decreased amounts of oxygen cause, muscle tingling, severe body pain, pinched nerves, anxiety, and issues for internal organs. The reason being is that when lactic acid levels rise due to increase muscle contraction or pain, the hydrogen ion associated with the lactic acid levels rise, causing many unpleasant symptoms. Massage therapy works to improve circulatory and lymphatic health, which enables the oxygen levels to reach the nerves associated with our overall health.


             How long will it take before I see results in my canine or equine companion?

Depending on the condition of your pet, while some canine and equine  companions start to feel better right away, it may take several sessions before you visually start to see improvements. Canine companions who suffer from anxiety and aggression will most likely take longer to heal from their chronic conditions.  Increased appetite, less seclusion, and playful like behaviors are all signs that your pet is feeling better. In horses we hope to see better mobility, and freedom of movement.


            How much is a session?

           Canine Massage : $60 for once a month in areas of Boring,Eagle Creek, Fairview, Gresham, Happy Valley, S.E. Portland Troutdale, will travel to other areas for additional charge.

       Weekly Massages: areas $65 Travel charges of $10 may apply to certain areas.

        Senior Citizens for dogs :10 and over and people over 65 get a senior rate of $50 a session. Travel charge of $10 may apply to certain areas.

       Equine Massage: $90 for once a month  full body massage,  travel charge of $10 to $30 dollars for areas outside of  Oregon City.

       Weekly  Full Body Massages: $70 Neck Leg and Back Massages $60



      Senior Citizens rates  for horses over 17 and people over 65: $60 for full body massage and $ 50 for neck back and leg massage. Senior rates are fixed.