Equine Sports Massage Therapy


HISTORY OF EQUINE SPORTS MASSAGE THERAPY:

Sports Massage Therapy and massage were developed for support of those in sports related careers and for the well-being of people and animals. In 1975, Jack Meagher, internationally known Sports Therapist, began to investigate the application of Sports Massage Therapy to horses. In the 1980’s May Schreiber became a student of Jack Meagher’s and subsequently founded Equissage, Inc., a certification program for Equine Sports Massage Therapists.  Mary Schreiber has been featured in “Sports Illustrated,” “Equus,” and seen on ABC TV. Equissage is now the leader in Equine Sports Massage Therapy Schools and had trained over 10,000 students worldwide since the 1980’s. 

 

WHY IT WORKS:

Sixty percent of a horse’s total body weight is the muscular system, the system responsible for motion. When a horse is being used intensively, or takes injury, tight spots in muscles develop. Muscle tightening does not remain in an isolated area or state (elastic property of tendons accounts for approximately 10% and 90% is in muscles). If one group tightens, and the next group compensates for the loss of elasticity…it may pass along the tightening to the next group and so forth. For instance, tightening in the shoulders may pass to the muscles of the upper arm and eventually to the tendons of the lower leg, etc.

Through massage, tightening and adhesions in muscles are broken up by using different strokes that allow oxygen and blood flow to return in a greater capacity. Stress is relieved and the horse is able to return to more complete soundness.

Disposition can be affected also, since disobedience and resistance in a horse are often related to discomfort which is greatly relieved by massage. 

Massage therapy is not a substitute for veterinary medicine.  It is most effective when used as a preventative measure, as well as before or after competition. By breaking up the tight knots of adhering fibers which restrict full muscle extension, massage can prevent a pull or muscle tear from occurring during exercise.

Equine Sports Massage Therapy is appropriately applied pre-event, post-event, for correction of injured and damages muscles, and for unexplained lameness and behavioral problems.

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