Simple Vibration-Based Pet Massage Video for Rehabilitation
Simply Put –
This technique uses one particular type of inexpensive, hand-held massage unit technically sold for people but great for use in pet massage. This unit produces a low-to-moderate level of vibration and is usually pretty quiet.
The technique very practically covers main areas for relaxation, improving circulation, and encouraging healing. This massage technique conquers many areas in the amount of time required for benefit and therefore is a lot of benefit for time expense.
I have developed my methods over the years to try to give the best bang for the buck, time-wise. It’s disappointing to me finding out people have wasted resources doing sub-standard work. I know it’s frustrating for them and for the pet, plus the pet usually is not recovering well in those situations. Plus, money swirling down the drain on occasion…
My methods aren’t perfect, but I am a hard-wired problem-solver, and I have the knowledge and experience to support that. I am confident that this method will be a great use of your time and money and that your pet will benefit.
This is the only rehabilitation some of my clients are able to do themselves on their pets. That is usually the case when the client is not very mobile and cannot do walks or drills I prescribe. I have been surprised at the great positive feedback I have received in those situations; most often they find their pet is getting up and moving more after several sessions of this massage.
Please watch and listen to the massage video to see how to use this massager unit AND so you will hopefully have success introducing the massager. This video is not going to win awards, but the instruction is solid, and you will have the info you need if you do what it says.
Most people tell me they notice immediate benefits. Please do this massage daily for the first month after injury or surgery, using the full technique during that time.
Since it vibrates, you definitely don’t want to scare your pet before you get to show them how wonderful this massage is. Watch the video and listen to my words so that you introduce it without drama. Please don’t start by turning on the massager and shaking it at your pet. I have seen funny people do this. Not always funny to the pet, and you also might lose a useful tool!
In my experience, less than 1% of pets will act like they are not into the massager; the remaining pets either love it immediately or grow to appreciate it if you follow the plan. When they feel the benefits, lots of pets get used to the massage time and come “ask” for it. My Grace Dane used to love her massage, and when I turned on the massager, her cat, Calvin, would come running to get his, too! Yes, that’s them in my banner pic.
Please do not let your pet just get up and walk away during the massage –
Sometimes your pet may seem to get bored or, if it’s a dog, they may test the Alpha status by getting up and wandering off. This does not mean they do not like the massage.
When I am in-person to show the massage method to people, I have 100% success, but I’m also not the “pet parent”, and I’m not worried about whether I’m doing it right or if the pet likes it.
Keep the faith and use the technique ideas I give to you in the vid. Start with the massager turned off. Even if that is the only way you can ever use it, your pet will gain benefits. This unit with four feet on it keeps the body contact more even and balanced. If you use the system I recommend, massaging body parts in a certain order and for a certain time, you don’t have to worry about whether you are “doing enough” of the right thing.
We all (probably) know that we need touch and that touch is healing. Touch releases endorphins. Oxytocin is a good thing. Touching a little or a lot with emphasis will encourage circulation.
You want to relax your pet, reverse muscle tension, and increase circulation to the injured area. You don’t want to bruise your pet, injure a healing area, or waste time. When you use your hands, you will not gain the depth of circulation improvement that the consistent, low-level vibration gains.
The benefits far outweigh any other type of massage you could do, in my experience. That is because with this low-to-moderate level of vibration, using the tool I recommend and not a dozen others on the market, you will loosen up tight tissue and easily encourage circulation in a non-aggressive way. That is also because most people are not trained in massage and/or do not have hundreds of cases-worth of experience with a variety of injuries.
Using the unit with four feet on it keeps the contact more even and balanced. If you use the system I recommend, massaging body parts in a certain order and for a certain time, you don’t have to worry about whether you are “doing enough” of the right thing.
This massage method is a very beneficial help to encourage circulation, relaxation, nerve conduction, cell stimulation, and other healing, so be encouraged to carry out the work. They usually learn to relax and enjoy the massage time, especially if you do it as I have outlined. Most will like it immediately.
Oh, I’ve Been Doing My Own Massage –
That’s a good idea and very thoughtful on your part! Chances are that you don’t have any particular training in massage or pet massage, and you might be confused about techniques. There are a lot of videos online about doing pet massage. Many of those videos are not coming from people with decades of experience resolving extensive injuries.
Many of the online videos describe good stuff to do, though, and you probably found out you can even get a certificate in pet massage therapy. Maybe you should, if you are interested and have aptitude. For now, for healing after surgery and injury, please do the method I describe for the first month, at least.
Your pet has likely been enjoying your touch, unless you have provoked painful areas. Our own human LMT might do that to us, press the pain, but don’t do that to your pet. Don’t force range of motion, either. If you use this vibration technique, you will merge many aspects of healing. You will be “doing it correctly” and not have to worry about causing further damage or wasting time.
But I’m a Licensed Massage Therapist –
I have a lot of clients who are licensed massage therapists. Yay! And after I discuss it with them, they always understand the benefits to this vibration level and technique if they have been trained in advance massage techniques. If you are licensed, you have beneficial knowledge to apply to your home rehabilitation program.
You will also understand that while your human clients will (maybe) give verbal feedback to you about your massage technique and what they think they need or want, your pet doesn’t speak in the same verbal language. Your pet will give signs to you, too, but you might not read them correctly.
I do not recommend that LMTs use the more aggressive massage units they would use for humans on a cat or dog or other smaller pet. I had one of these, but I finally broke it recently. It’s a big black thing with heavy-duty handles and lots of rpms. You know. It might have a second use as a jackhammer.
I honor your training and ask that you alternate the technique I recommend with your own technique every other day. I have received very positive feedback from LMTs over the 10+ years that I have seen clients through this massage technique.
Pretty Sure I Know What My Pet Likes –
We don’t usually know our pets extremely well in injury status. We project our distressed emotions on our pets, who, in turn, mirror them and wonder what they can do to help us, because we are so distraught. Our being distraught is normal, and their response as companion animals is normal, mirroring our distress and trying to help.
Not knowing how to read your pet’s cues is common, even among veterinarians, and even though we all usually tend to think we “know” our pets. We do to some extent. But when our pets injure themselves, we also tend to get very emotionally involved and upset.
I have had to work with my intuitive and empathic skills along with “book” knowledge to weed through the nuances of animal reaction over the years to gain more advances in rehabilitation. This is a deeper topic for a different post, but it comes up a lot in my first appointments with people, so, just a few thoughts here. I recommend you overcome your mixed emotions, follow the above massage video, and be confident that you are providing a new level of help for your pet!
Lie Down? Sit? Stand?
Yes, they may either lie down or sit or stand…but those that stand usually end up relaxing into lying down! If they are lying on one side, do the beginning session, move to the limbs (only doing it the way I describe), and then get them to turn over. I explain this in the video (I think).
Where Do I Get This Massager –
Here is what the massager looks like, along with a link to buy it on Amazon if you choose:
Otherwise, I have used this method for pet massage since I first found the massage units in 2008 in a Target store in Austin, TX, USA. I saw the unit, had an epiphany, and started formulating the method based on knowledge and my own extensive experience. You may usually find the unit near the pharmacy department, sold for humans. It’s not in the pet department. I don’t think Target has carried the unit for many years. It used to light up, have 3 AAA batteries, and cost $4.99.
Most commonly I find the massagers in a CVS store locally. They seem to average $7.99, no longer light up, and take two AAA batteries. I recommend you change the batteries about every five hours of massage. Do that so the massage vibration remains closer to peak for this machine.
People have told me they have found the units in Walgreens, Fry’s, Wal-Mart, and Sears. Most stores call it a seasonal item, and they offer the units at Winter holiday time. One of the main reasons I decided to provide links to products I recommend was to show this massage unit.
Some units rattle, so check for that. The rattle won’t matter if your pet is mostly deaf.
(First Published Around 2011, Updated February 26, 2018)