Archive for the ‘Blog’ Category

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Come develop your hands-on skill!
Join one of our clinics.

I offer both my equine and canine massage clinics here in Florida, at the Lady Jean Ranch, in Jupiter.

At this point, all clinics are $200 per person, payable in advance.

To register for any of the above clinics, please use the Register Button.

I try to keep groups small as to keep the quality of education.

Private Tutoring!!
For best quality of education, I offer a Private Tutoring Option, so the student really interested in taking their skills to their highest development have a chance to participate to a “one on one” session with me. This will maximize their aptitudes in the shortest time.

Bring it on and I will make you as good as I am if you can keep up! Haha! Do not get scarred or intimidated by that prospect! After evaluating your performance, I will be able to attune to your specific needs and assist you in improving on your own following points:
• Positioning and overall posture to save your energy and deliver a more efficient performance.
• Pressure, Contact, Rhythm… sharpen your “hands-on” tactile capabilities.
• Massage moves, making sure you understand all subtleties that each variation offers.
• Massage techniques so you can accurately and efficiently deliver the goods.
• Massage routines, so you can deliver specific results in a short time frame.
• Stretching skills to maintain the flexibility of your animal at its best.
• Hydroherapy modalities to best serve your aims and accentuate your work benefits.
• Advanced approaches to benefit the difficult animals.
• Marketing and networking for an amazing future
For those of you who are serious with their intentions, private tutoring is the best way to reach your full potential fast!

To register for private tutoring, please use the Register Button.

See you soon!

Professional Continual Education Credits (CEUs)

Are you interested in sharpening your massage skills?

Get CEU’s while doing it?

Join me for one of my class, or book yourself some private tutoring time, to get the most out of your skills. For the past 27 years, I have researched and applied new massage techniques to improve our ability to care for our animal friends. My many books and publications are a testimonial to that. Most of these materials have now become common practice in the field of animal massage.

With my company Massage Awareness, I offer you a very unique continual education program, some found nowhere else! These continual education courses are the result of many years of consistent study combined with the feedback of many top professionals in their fields.

Join me to educate yourself with the most advanced & comprehensive Animal Massage Continual Education curriculum available today and found nowhere else!

With these new and more specialized massage techniques you will be able to succeed in keeping up with the continual growing demand of this rapidly expanding field. Continuing Education courses are one way to keep your knowledge base current so you can make a difference in your practice and elevate your status among the professionals in your field.

To find out more about CEU courses, click here

Looking for a Christmas Gift that will help your animal(s)? Or your friend’s animal(s)? If yes, take advantage of this unique opportunity!

For the pet parent interested in actively participating to their animal’s health and fitness, my company Animal Awareness offers you the best animal holistic education to help you customize the daily care of your animal friend according to its breed, age, needs, and fitness level.

Go to and take advantage of our 20% Christmas discount on everything in the store*!

Check your email for the code to use for your 20% off or if you haven’t signed up yet. remember to do so and also receive an extra FREE video download of your choice!

You can also benefit from this Holidayspromotion with our E-Gift Certificate to surprise one of your loved ones! (please note to receive the 20% off your gift certificate, you must purchase the full price of the certificate and we will refund you the 20% within 48 hours)

Act now and learn many simple hands-on massage techniques, stretching exercises and hydrotherapy modalities so you can partake, in a natural way, in the fitness and wellness of your horse.

Your animal(s) will love you for it!

Kind regards,

*20% off excludes Myogesic products and the Equisport Massager

Is Your Animal “Off”?

Do you suspect some degenerative problem due to aging

Stop Guessing… Start Knowing by using Infrared Imaging for Injury Identification

Try the newest in technology and see how you can help your horse better by knowing your horse better.

I am excited to offer Infra Red Thermal Imaging for injury identification in horses, dogs and people. My practice is the only certified Thermal Imaging Center in South Florida.

This summer I completed my certification from the Infraspection Institute, the requisite training course for the EquineIR, a specialized Infra Red Veterinary Training Procedure.

Equipped with the FLIR T300, one of the most powerful infrared cameras in the industry, I offer this non invasive state of the art technology at your location year round in Wellington, Florida and from May to October in the Northeastern United State. Alternate travel arrangements are available upon request.

Early identification of inflammation can be the best way to ascertain potential weaknesses and vulnerabilities. Thermal Imaging is the most economical and safest procedure to aid in the assessment of soundness before pathological changes occur.

To learn more about Thermal Imaging Technology visit

Article in Today’s Equestrian on Equine IR

Today’s Equestrian – November/December 2011

Equine IR – Put it to the test!

EquineIR recently visited the stables of Ashley Holzer, 3-time Canadian Olympic dressage rider, to put Equine Thermal Imaging to the test.

Equine Thermal Imaging utilizes a specialized camera that detects infrared waves and converts
them into an image that is visible to the human eye. Heat emitted from the surface of the patient is directly correlated with circulation, which in turn, depicts areas of inflammation or increased blood flow. While thermography is generally considered to detect hot spots, some of the more significant lesions may be cool areas, where nerves and blood vessels have been damaged.

Click Here to read the full article (PDF)

Essential Oils for Animals – Interview with Nan Martin

Nan & Lexie





October 2011

Essential oils are a great and inexpensive way to assist your animals, and yourself, to deal with various life conditions. Today I present to you an exclusive interview with Nan Martin, a great animal lover and equestrian, who now spends her life promoting the use of therapeutic grade essential oils for the benefit of everyone involved!

What are Essential Oils?

Essential oils are one of nature’s best kept secrets. Essential oils are the volatile liquids of the plant. They are obtained from properly distilling any part of the part including the seeds, roots, bark, stems, leaves, fruit, flowers or branches! I have personally used over three hundred single oils and blends for almost everything under the sun. And every new oil or blend of oils comes with a different experience, a testimonial or sometimes even a miracle!

What Oil Grade do you Recommend?

I always recommend “therapeutic grade essential oils” as they are far superior quality than what is labeled pure grade, aromatherapy or even certified organic essential oils. They are not adulterated or changed by the distillation process.  Many companies dilute the oils or use solvents to extract them. This changes the chemistry of the oil and it can be harmful, especially with animals since they are more sensitive than humans to synthetics.

So, it is in your best interest to use therapeutic grade essential oil if you are using them for any kind of healing work whether it is emotional or physical!

Nan & Roxie

There is always an emotional component to any life or health situation, especially if you or your pet is carrying fear, anxiety or anger. My favorite analogy to explain the emotional component principal is the “smell of home baked cookies”. When you come in a kitchen where there is the smell of freshly baked cookies, it will often trigger a childhood memory. This happens because of the memories stored in the limbic part of the nervous system (triggered by the aroma of cookies). So, depending on what was happening when you smelled the cookies, your response may be positive or negative!

A certain level of anxiety or fear is usually associated with the emotional component of unpleasant memories. And essential oils can really help release the root emotion of the anxiety or fear. On my site you will find a good description of that phenomenon and what essential oils are recommended for various emotions

What are Essential Oil Blends?

Blends are a mix of several specific oils put together for their synergistic effect to release the best results to a specific condition. A blend of essential oils usually benefits a condition more efficiently than just one essential oil. There is an art to blending oils and even the order of the mixing the oils can change the desired result; so that is why I advocate professionally made blends especially for those who are new at using the oils or for emotional release work. They do the work for you!

How much Essential Oil do I Use?

This will vary with the purpose of your application.  But generally, several drops in your palms, bottom of your feet or on location will be sufficient. But for severe injury or illness you will want to use more. Oils can be diluted up to 30% with a pure vegetable oil for a massage; and more for children and certain pets. For instance, one drop per tablespoon or more of pure vegetable oil is recommended for very small pets or infants.

Do you use the same quantity of Essential Oils for Animals than Humans?

Not really, the quantity will be determined by the condition of your animal’s health; and the size and weight of the weight of the animal. You definitely want to use a small quantity to start with or a higher dilution for small animals as with infants. But for horses or myself, I rarely dilute any of the oils! For more information on quantities and dilutions, visit Nan’s site.

Can we use the same Essential Oils for Humans and Animals?

Yes, 95% of the time we can use the same oils but there are exceptions. Remember, the biggest factor is again the quality of the essential oil. Therapeutic grade oils are extremely safe and effective when used properly; however the lower grade essential oils are cut with solvents to save money and therefore, there is a much higher risk of skin irritation and other negative reactions. Also, keep in mind that cats metabolize things differently than humans and other animals, so you have to be cautious when working with oils for them. For more info, check Nan’s site.

Are there any Essential Oils you should not use for Animals?

Not really, but personally I wouldn’t use anything but therapeutic grade oils because animals are much more sensitive to synthetic chemicals and products than we are. And cats are always the exception because they may not be able to tolerate certain oils. Oils that contain citrus, pine or phenols generally should be avoided for cats; however, the oil quality is the determinant! I have used Young Living Therapeutic Oils on cats containing all of these constituents with no issues. But, generally, for animals I will always choose the gentlest oil when there is an option.

Do they work as well on Animals as in Humans?

Absolutely! Due to the physiological similarities animals react in similar ways like humans; and probably better because they don’t have any pre-conceived ideas about the oils. However, I would like to bring a personal observation that I have made while working with horses. As you know horses are much attuned to their environment. When horses are presented with something to smell, they will usually choose one of their two nostrils to evaluate it first…not both.

So when you offer your horse an essential oil, note which nostril they use to smell the oil. The olfactory system of the horse is similar of the one in humans but as I just noted they can smell and process the oil from the physical or emotional component. So, accordingly we have:

  • The left nostril, governed by the right brain hemisphere, relates to emotional issues.
  • The right nostril, governed by the left brain hemisphere, relates to physical issues.

It is an interesting observation since it helps you evaluate the type of issues your horse is dealing with and how they commonly process information.

How do Animals Respond to the Oils?

Animals respond very well to essential oils! Remember that before domestication, in the outdoors, animals used their sense of smell to evaluate their food as well as their environment. (And they often sought out plants intuitively to heal their ailments.) This evolutionary process made them extremely sensitive and responsive to smells. And as we spoke about before aromas have a direct effect on the limbic part of their nervous system where the emotions are stored.

Are they any Contraindications to the use of Therapeutic Grade Essential Oils?

Not when used correctly. There are oils that should be used cautiously or not at all for women or animals that are pregnant, for children or animal babies, and for animals or people who have epilepsy. But with that said, you always want to follow the safety information of course. On the website at the bottom of each essential oil page there is a “Safety Portion” for each product that one should review before using a particular oil. Please go to Nan’s site to see what is right for each condition you might want to address.

Are there Allergic Reactions to Essential Oils?

No, allergic reactions are not possible from essential oil because allergies are a response to histamine, which is a protein; and pure essential oils that are steam distilled do not contain protein. However, this is not the case with adulterated and lower grade oils that contain synthetic compounds. Most allergic responses, extreme skin sensitivities or other issues are caused by people using poor quality oils or simply using them incorrectly. Skin sensitivity for instance is possible with therapeutic grade oils, but can be easily corrected by applying a pure grade vegetable oil over the essential oil to slow the body’s absorption rate of the oil. Or by diluting the oil prior to application.

One exception is oils that have been cold pressed or expressed oils such as citrus oils. Because they do not go through a steam distillation process the protein is present in small amounts.

Final note on reactions…If you have an allergy to almond, wheat germ oil or other “vegetable oil” check the ingredients on your blends or massage oils so that you don’t have an allergic reaction to the carrier oil.

What would you Recommend as an Anti-inflammatory?

Inflammation of muscles, tendons, ligaments and joints are best addressed by using essential oil blends such as “PanAway” blend and “Ortho-Ease” or “Ortho Sport” massage oils. They both address the physical and emotional component of the inflammation and together you can’t beat them! PanAway contains wintergreen, helichrysum and clove – all excellent natural anti-inflammatory oils. Check out the sections for pain, muscles and inflammation on the website. Essential Oils are perfect for this application.

Over the years, I have used many essential oils for sore muscles and joints for me and the horses. But one of the easiest and best homemade horse liniment recipes is: Take a half a cap of the Ortho Ease massage oil blend and add to a half a cup of Epsom salts. Then place in a bucket of water and sponge away! It works wonders, smells great and you can use it for yourself too!

What would you Recommend for Loss of Appetite?

To assist an animal who has lost its appetite, I recommend lemon, ginger or spearmint essential oils. These three essential oils also work to increase appetite of healthy animals during training to help them put on weight.

What would you Recommend to prevent Dehydration?

“Citrus Fresh” is an amazing blend for dehydration as well as anxiety and concentration.  It helps balance the electrolytes in the body and helps purify the water. Citrus Fresh essential oil also increases the absorption of Vitamin C so I love to place a drop or two in my own water too!

What would you Recommend for Anxiety?

There are several essential oils you can use for anxiety: lavender, geranium, jasmine and orange are some of the most common ones. However, there are many fantastic blends of essential oils that are very powerful to minimize anxiety such as Peace and Calming. On my site you will find a whole list of the blends and their specifics so definitely check it out.

What would you Recommend for Hair Loss?

Animal hair loss can be triggered by several factors. In dogs, what we call “hot spots” can be soothed easily with essential oils such as lavender, tea tree or clove and a few others. In horses, most hair loss is related to fungal infection. Tea tree or Melaleuca alternifolia essential oil works great for that as well. There is a blend called Melrose that contains Tea Tree plus another gentler melaleuca species, Melaleuca quinquenervia, plus rosemary and clove and it is excellent for most horse and dog skin conditions including skin fungus, hot spots, insect bites and cuts and wounds!

What would you Recommend for Colic?

Without hesitation I recommend the blend of essential oils called “Di-Gize”. It works great for this condition or any intestinal related problem. ‘Di-Gize” contains 8 different essential oils including peppermint which addresses the emotional upset associated with this state. It also works well for dogs suffering from food poisoning or motion sickness.

What would you Recommend for “Fleas”?

Essential oils are great for homemade flea treatment. There is a great blend of essential oils called “Purification” that contains citronella, tea tree and lemongrass that is extremely useful in deterring fleas and flies around the barn. Make a spritzer from it and use it on your dogs and horses! Palo Santo, Cedarwood and Lavender are good oils as well!

I personally thank Nan for sharing her great knowledge of essential oils with us.  I often recommend her to my clients to help them design the best essential oil program for their animal.

To find out more about Nan Martin, LSH/CRP, her intuitive consulting and essential oils; and to sign up for her free E-Zine visit:

This interview was conducted by Jean-Pierre Hourdebaight of Animal Awareness. Visit Animal Awareness at for more information.

Equine Muscular Compensation, A Study

Is your horse tracking evenly?

Are his limbs stretching equally?

Is his sustaining his gates uniformly?

Learn to evaluate any muscular compensation patterns in your horse!

This book describes in great details the phenomenon of myofascial compensation seen in the horse. When the horse feels discomfort or pain, automatically he develops myofascial compensation in order to avoid that problem and to maintain optimal performance. This book teaches you to recognize the various signs of myofascial compensation. It is a great self-educating book that will assist you in maintaining your horse fitness level at its best.

This “Equine Myofascial Compensation Study Manual” is the most complete book on the subject and contains information you cannot find anywhere else! You will learn about:

  • The basics of the equine myofascial system.
  • The basics of equine kinesiology, the study of movement.
  • The basic gaits of the horse.
  • The external lines of compensation with the diagonal, transverse and sidelines of compensation.
  • The internal line of compensation and their influence on the horse’s center of gravity.
  • Detailed information on each individual muscles and its role when in compensatory mode.
  • Precious information on common problems and their compensation pattern.

Whether amateur or professional, this book will develop your skills and confidence in evaluating the equine myofascial compensation phenomenon. It will contribute to your overall horsemanship expertise. The knowledge gained from this manual will improve your understanding of the horse overall balance at any gait. This in turn will definitely improve the quality of your training as well as your massage application and its lasting benefits.

Early detection of myofascial compensation in your horse helps you get the most of your animal’s well being, as well as saving on recovery time, not to mention money. I know this book will serve you well.

To see more information on the book, click here for “Equine Muscular Compensation, A Study”.

Canine Massage, A Complete Reference Manual, Second Edition

Does your dog need to relax?

Does he show muscle tension and soreness?

Do you want to massage him and improve his flexibility?

Learn from and expert and his long-awaited update of the classic canine massage reference!

Fully revised and updated, this second edition has over 100 illustrations and 100+ photographs that will guide you every step of the way to help dog owners master canine massage techniques.

Learn to use massage to help your dog relax, to condition the canine athlete, to assist in recovery from injuries or to ease chronic pain. Learn the techniques of a recognized expert in the field so that you can bring the well-known benefits of massage to your dog or become a canine massage professional.

It is the most complete book on the subject. New in this edition – detailed examinations of muscular stress poi8nts, diagnoses and treatments. Information you can’t find anywhere else!

This authoritative guide provides detailed information about massage movements, pressures, rhythms, and sequences. It includes:

  • An introduction to canine anatomy, physiology, and kinesiology.
  • Massage movements, pressures, techniques and systems.
  • Massage routines designed to address specific health problems.
  • Practical information on stretching and hydrotherapy
  • Use of massage to relax and bond with your dog.
  • Information about areas of stress specific to each breed/discipline
  • Tips on how to run a canine massage business.

Canine massage enhances the performance and quality of life of dogs by increasing flexibility, reducing stiffness, improving attitude, and shortening recovery time from injury. In addition to its many health benefits, canine massage strengthens the bond between the dog and his owner. Using these techniques, you’ll learn to “see” with your hands and sense areas that need special attention. Canine Massage, Second Edition is truly a hands-on guide to proven massage techniques that improve a dog’s well-being. I know this book will serve you well!

To see more information on the book, click here for “Canine Massage, A Complete Reference Manuel, Second Edition”.

Equine Muscular Anatomy and Kinesiology

Would you like to know how your horse moves?

Would you like to know every muscle in your horse?

Learn from an expert!

Equine massage therapy requires a solid knowledge of the equine musculature. The objective of this book is to provide you an extensive overview of over 115 important muscles and corresponding fasciae involved on the equine muscular system.

For each muscle you will be given the following information:

  • Location
  • Point of Origin tendon
  • Point of Insertion tendon
  • Blood supply
  • Nerve supply
  • Action

This in-depth knowledge will help you when:

  • Conducting an initial muscular evaluation of an athletic horse to establish a massage program to maintain and improve his performance.
  • Evaluating the horse’s muscular system to pinpoint the muscular groups involved in lameness. The more complicated the problem, the more valuable this knowledge of equine muscular anatomy is!
  • Applying the Origin-Insertion sport massage technique to maintain the fitness of an athletic horse, for optimal performance.
  • Taking notes and corresponding with other professionals.

This knowledge of the equine musculature, coupled with your massage skills, will directly affect the quality of your performance, leading to better results in your hands-on massage work and definitely in the well being of your equine friend.

To see more information on the book, click here for “Equine Muscular Anatomy and Kinesiology”.