What is Galen myotherapy?
Galen Myotherapy is a manual therapy that addresses the muscular and soft tissue pain which is often related to old injuries, chronic musculoskeletal diseases such as arthritis or repetitive strain issues. Appropriate, effective and targeted specialised massage techniques and exercise management are used to manage the chronic muscular pain and inflammation that arises as a result.
Chronic muscular pain can manifest in physical and behavioural changes and it can be difficult to diagnose.
More commonly used for dogs, these techniques can also be applied to cats and other species.
Saffi being a joy to work with
When do we use myotherapy?
Myotherapy can be very effective at easing pain and improving mobility.
Conditions that may benefit include:
Repetitive strain injuries
Hip and elbow dysplasia
Some behavioural issues
Post operatively (allowing 14 days post surgery/injury before myotherapy commences)
Generalised stiffness or “getting old”
Galen canine myotherapy can also be used to enhance the health and performance of working dogs and sporting dogs.
This is Ted, a rising agility superstar whose mum uses Galen myotherapy techniques that I taught her to warm him up before he competes.
Myotherapy can be used in combination with hydrotherapy, acupuncture and physiotherapy.
It is important we utilize it as part of a multimodal treatment plan working alongside your primary vet and you will be a very important part of your pets treatment plan.
How does myotherapy work?
Dogs who are experiencing lameness will be using their muscles in a way to adapt for the change in movement that has subsequently occurred. Over a period of time this can cause a change in posture, gait and movement.
Affected muscles adapt to their new physical environment and can become overworked and inflexible. This in turn can create insidious, ongoing, detrimental changes in the dog both physically and psychologically.
Myotherapy techniques involve manipulating specific areas and each technique has different aspects. Some stretch the muscle and fascial connections, others target areas of muscle inhibition or congestion which may have resulted from scar tissue or an overloaded muscle due to adaptive or compensatory change.
All of the techniques encourage blood flow and work on the myofascial connections to ease postural, behavioural and physical issues and promote general well-being.
Will it hurt?
Much like us when we go for a massage, most patients thoroughly enjoy myotherapy treatments.
The guiding principle as developed by the founder of Galen myotherapy Julia Robertson (https://www.caninetherapy.co.uk/about/meet-the-team/julia-robertson/) is that this form of therapy is choice led. This means that all treatment takes place where the patient is comfortable and can move away if they want.
I have been trained to recognise signs of discomfort and tension so that I can tailor the treatment to each individual patients needs. Some patients like firm massage techniques whilst others prefer a much softer approach, it very much depends on where they are physically and often psychologically.
How often will my pet need treatment?
In most cases it is expected that 3 or 4 treatments will result in improvements and establish how appropriate this form of treatment will be for that particular patient.
After this period a full report will be sent to your primary vet.
Depending on the condition we are addressing subsequent treatments may be beneficial, the frequency of which would be tailored to the individual.