Dear Dr. O,
I use an Equine Massage Therapist (EMT) for my three horses with fairly regular visits. She recommended that I have an Equine Chiropractor look at one of my horses because of some crookedness she saw in the spine and hip areas. I called an Equine Chiropractor and after making the appointment, casually asked him if I should have the horse massaged a couple of days prior to his arrival, nd he said NO, that it wouldn't be necessary. My EMT said that didn't make sense because a massage would relax the muscles and make the manipulation process that much easier for the Chiropractor. What is your opinion on this?
Answer: I am a certified animal chiropractor as well as a certified equine massage therapist. I find that if the animal has a subluxation requiring a massage to relax the area, that anything over a couple of hours is too long a lag time, as the muscles will be guarding the subluxation again. The massage needs to be done relatively at the time of the adjustment or the benefits of the massage will not be seen prior to the adjustment. For my clients that like to utilize the services of both a massage therapist and a certified chiropractor I recommend a two week interval between each therapy allowing the animal to experience a massage and an adjustment once a month.