I am a Massage Therapist (both human and equine). The article “ Anatomy of a Tendon Injury ” [Issue #74, August/September 2011, pp16-17] is good and informative. However, I am curious as to why Massage Therapy isn’t included in the quote, “Routine chiropractic and acupuncture reduce the likelihood of injury due to fatigue.”
Massage Therapy relaxes muscles and helps bring much-needed oxygen to the muscles to invigorate and repair even slight damage that may unknowingly already be there by working with the circulatory system. When the muscle is relaxed, tearing of the tendon is kept to a bare minimum, sometimes even prevented. This is one of the reasons Olympic Athletes, both human and equine, rely on their Massage Therapists.
In Massage School I learned that, a lot of times, surrounding tight muscles are a very big reason why the spinal vertebrae come out of alignment. My human clients are very aware of the benefits of a Massage session either before or after a Chiropractic session. Chiropractors are becoming increasingly aware of the benefits as well. When the muscles are relaxed and are worked out before the Chiropractic session, the “adjusting of the spinal vertebrae” goes a lot smoother and without as much trauma. If the client chooses to have the Massage session after the Chiropractic session, relaxing the muscles helps the adjustment to last longer because the muscles are not pulling to one side or the other.
Doesn’t it make sense that horses deserve the same?
A year ago, I purchased and brought home a broken-down horse that was in pain and really didn’t want to move much. I started a rehab schedule with it, doing short Massage Therapy and Acupressure sessions everyday. To see that horse today, one wouldn’t believe it is the same horse. Now the horse is happy, healthy, and runs like the wind.
I really would like for horse owners (and Vets) to understand the true benefits of Equine Massage Therapy rather than think it is just for luxury. And that Massage Therapy goes hand-in-hand with Chiropractic.
Thank you for listening, and have a great day.
Jackie Thurston, Equine Lover and Owner, Human and Equine Massage Therapist
P.S. The turbolator boot is a good "location" massage. I’d like to add that gently massaging the whole leg a couple of days after the swelling has gone down will greatly benefit the horse by increasing the circulation and helping to bring tissue-repairing oxygen to the damaged site. The Massage Therapist can also help work out scarring tissue, which if left, can cause more damage in the long run. Scar tissue is tissue that has repaired itself and has "adhered" itself to the surrounding good tissue. Massage Therapy can help "smooth" and "blend" the scar tissue so that "re-injury" (tearing of the tissue) is less likely.