Archive for July, 2011

4 simple palpation skills that will serve you for a lifetime

Is your animal sore? Is he uncomfortable?

What is the best way to know how your animal is doing?

Learn 4 simple palpation skills that will serve you for a lifetime!

Developing some simple palpation skills will help you feel for any abnormal changes on your animal body. The palms of your hands and your fingertips will give you accurate feedback on the physiological state of the various parts you are working on. You must concentrate so as to detect subtle changes in the body on which you are working. The quality of your feedback depends strongly on the sensitivity of your hands.

A good way to develop your perceptions is to work with your eyes closed. This will help you focus on your fingertips, developing your tactility and enhancing your touch.

On a daily basis, use a light touch to go quickly over your animal entire body and look for the following:

First: Any variations in temperature, especially the increase in heat that is associated with an inflammatory process in the soft tissue such as muscle strain or ligament sprain, even possible joint arthritis.

Second: Any modification in the texture of the coat such as puffiness due to swelling is another sure sign of inflammation. The swelling is cause by the extra lymphatic fluid involved in the natural healing process.

Third: Any reaction of your animal to your light touch is another other give away sign. If he/she reacts with a stressful look or move away during your palpation that is also a sign of soreness.

Fourth: Any changes in muscle tone, meaning the elasticity of the muscle fibers. As you become acquainted to touching your animal muscle groups, develop a sense for his/hers muscle tone. Any abnormal hardening of the muscle fibers is revealing of muscular compensation and possibly the presence of trigger points or even stress points.

Be careful when dealing with what appears to be an abnormal situation. When in doubt, contact your veterinarian.

If you are interest in developing your palpation skills, click here read the article on Canine Massage Simplified, or here for Equine Massage Simplified located on the Animal Awareness site.

For visual guidance on developing your palpation skills, click here for dogs or here for horses.

This video include a demonstration of the laying of hands approach. Use it as it will often help to sooth a sore area. Hydrotherapy, the application of heat or cold modalities (dog or horse) also will relieve the inflammation and pain considerably, assisting recovery and definitively comforting your animal.

I hope you enjoyed this article and found the information useful.  My goal is help you provide quality home care for the benefit of your animal.

Please visit the FREE library of articles (dog articles / horse articles) that address important aspects of how you can actively contribute to your animal’s wellness and fitness.

Is your dog aging well?

Is your dog aging well? Is he uncomfortable?

Learn how to recognize 5 main early aging signs!

Get involved in caring for your dog with a home care health program!

“When time flies, this is a sure sign of aging” my father use to say! Today, I recognize those wise words as so true, unfortunately! But you are never too busy for the one you love.

Most dogs stay very young at heart, always ready to go for a walk, or to play or to “sniff out any good smelling stuff”. However, with his/her age progress, you can play an important role in keeping your dog healthy longer. Here are 5 important signs that occur in your animal you need to know about so you can take early action to remedy each one.

  1. Decreased activity. As your dog age, his metabolic rate slows resulting in less activity. Furthermore, the ware-and-tear of the musculoskeletal system leads to various grade of inflammation in the muscles, tendons, ligaments and joints causing body aches and possibly arthritis. Action: Regular light massage rubs will maintain good blood flow to the various body parts and will assist the dog’s natural healing faculties. Also, proper gentle stretching will maintain optimal flexibility in his joints.
  2. Weight gain. Another side effect of the slowing metabolic rate is weight gain. Your elderly dog requires 30 to 40 percent fewer calories. So if you simply keep him eating a normal maintenance diet, often it results in obesity. Action: Regular exercises, as much as he can do, will help burn some of those calories. Consult your veterinarian for advice on your dog’s diet.
  3. Loss of hearing. Very much like humans, the specialized tissues and nerve cells that compose the hearing apparatus of the dog degenerate with aging, resulting in a slow loss of hearing. Action: Regular massage and stretching of your dog hears can stimulate those nerve cells and somewhat slow down the degenerative process and maintain his hearing.
  4. Loss of vision. Often in elderly dog, the lens of the eye becomes cloudy, a condition known as “Lenticular Sclerosis”. However, this natural change does not cause significant vision loss. Possible cataracts may develop, which do interfere with vision! Action: Have your veterinarian check your dog eyes as soon as you notice the cloudiness. Early detection can delay this natural degenerative process.
  5. Infections. With age, the dog’s natural immune system weakens, rendering him/her more prone to infection. Action: With any infection, consult your veterinarian immediately for proper diagnosis and advice on the proper course of action.

A home care health program, with regular application of light massage, gentle stretching and some hydrotherapy modalities when applicable, can make a huge difference in the quality of life of your aging animal. It will seriously increase your dog’s chance of living better and longer.

Get involved and participate directly to your animal wellbeing! Your daily application of massage, stretching and hydrotherapy will greatly contribute to your dog health and well being, and optimize his chance for a longer and fuller life.

Furthermore, your palpation skills will allow you to detect any abnormalities and symptoms of inflammation much earlier than by sight, allowing you to take immediate action. Also, this daily home care will strengthen your relationship with your dog and he will love you for it.

Visit my Animal Awareness site where you will find a free library of articles regarding relevant condition that all animals face.  My goal is help you provide quality home care for the benefit of your animal.  You can also apply for a private consultation with me to develop the best home care for your animal.


The Rider’s Fitness Guide To A Better Seat

Are you fit? Is your back sore?

Are you using your body smartly?

Learn how you can develop strong core muscles and ease backache!

To all active persons, maintaining good core muscle fitness is crucial so they do not over strain their back muscles, resulting in chronic back soreness. If the core muscles are weak your body develops compensation, causing deep muscular tension to form along the spine, hips and shoulder, resulting in limited range of motions for the entire body.

Learning of the core muscles will allow you to develop your awareness of them. In turn this will help you increase their fitness as well as their flexibility. This will result not only in an overall better posture, but also in better stamina and sense of balance.

It is your responsibility to develop your core muscles. In my book “The Rider’s Fitness Guide to a Better Seat” I provide several exercises programs that will help you increase your control of your core muscles. To maximize your performance and to minimize the risk of injury many athletes, regardless of your sport, I use a “Cross-Training’ approach. It allows you to better work from your core muscles, resulting in improved balance, strength and endurance.

This book contains information useful to all person, beginners and professionals alike. It provides general anatomical knowledge of all the core muscles and a comprehensive listing of many strengthening and stretching exercises to put the reader in tune with his body. Any of these exercises can easily be performed anywhere as you do not require any equipment, just this book. Even if you are on the road a lot, nothing stop you to easily maintain you fitness.

To imply these simple programs three days a week will greatly increase your strength, stamina and improve your coordination within thirty days resulting in an overall better fitness. After only ten days you will notice a difference and by the end of the month you will feel you have a new body awareness

To horse riders a good seat is vital for good riding performance. A good seat allows for a better communication of your aids which leads to a more harmonious and effortless contact with your horse, allowing him to work at his best. To ride harmoniously your center of gravity has to move in sink with the horse’s center of gravity. When this happens, the ride flows very smoothly. Otherwise, in order to keep up with your horse performance, you spend a lot of energy constantly adjusting your balance and fighting gravity, a very tiring experience.

The exercise programs presented in this book will transform the way your body feels and perform. They will help you develop body awareness, strength of movement and good posture and an easy, graceful seat.

To see more information on the book, click here for “The Rider’s Fitness Guide to a Better Seat”.