Animal Connections - Integrative Care, P.A.
What is Bodywork?

Bodywork consists of multiple forms of hands-on therapies that aim to promote wellness for your horse.

A Bodywork session may include any or all of the following techniques depending on the individual needs of your horse:

  • Massage Therapy

- Trigger Point Therapy = Trigger points are palpable, taut bands of muscle fibers found within skeletal muscle.  Trigger Point Therapy uses moderate to deep isolated pressure to these tight muscle bundles followed by a release to help alleviate the muscle tension.
- Effleurage = a soothing, stroking movement using the palm of the hand and fingertips.  This technique is often used at the beginning and end of a massage session to help warm up the muscles, and encourage venous and lymphatic flow.
- Petrissage = a deeper massage technique using compression to reach underlying muscles.  This can include kneading, skin rolling, and knuckling.  
- Tapotement = a rhythmic percussion most often performed with the edge of the hand, a cupped hand, or with the tips of the fingers.
- Cross-Fiber Friction = a deeper massage technique applied transversely across specific muscle tissue to reduce abnormal fibrous adhesions and improve tissue mobility.

- Please click link above to learn more about Myofascial Release and its benefits.

  •  Mobilizations
- Mobilizations are a manual therapy that invokes a passive movement of a skeletal joint.  There are various degrees of mobilizations depending upon the range of motion of the specific joint and the amount of pressure being applied.
- The lowest level of mobilization activates low-threshold mechanoreceptors which respond to very small increments of pressure.  This includes Oscillatory motion which is the process of swinging or moving to and fro in a steady, uninterrupted manner.  This motion activates rapidly adapting receptors including Meissner's and Pacinian corpuscles.
- Mid-level mobilizations start to activate more muscle and joint mechanoreceptors as the pressure meets anatomical resistance.  The musculo-tendinous junction and Golgi Tendon apparatus receptors are activated at this level sending information to the nervous system of joint motion.
- The highest level of mobilization occurs when a joint is positioned near its end range of motion.  This is where a cavitation of a joint may be heard or felt as the joint capsule is stretched to a point where pressure drops within the capsule and creates a bubble of gas.  This bubble of gas is then released causing a popping sound.

  • Stretching 
- Stretching helps improve flexibility, range of motion, and helps in injury prevention.  Better flexibility may improve performance as joints are able to move through their full range of motion enabling muscles to work more effectively and efficiently.

  • Relaxation Techniques
- Domestic horses living in a human world often encounter physical, mental, and/or emotional stress on a daily basis.  Stress can have a negative effect on both health and performance.  This is why relaxation is key for a happy, well-rounded equine partner.
- Allowing time and space for horses to truly relax will create significant changes in their mental attitude, willingness to work, and overall health.

If you have any questions or would like to make an appointment please contact us at
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