Relaxation massage is for the healthy horse and is designed to relax the muscles. Using various techniques the muscles are relaxed by decreasing muscle tension and soothing the nervous system. This creates better circulation of blood and oxygen which allows muscles to correct themselves. This massage also allows me to find any trigger points (specific knots that are interfering with the muscle function) and to correct them. This is used to introduce massage to the horse and to do an in-depth assessment of the animal. Many people use this type of massage as gift to their equine friend.
Sports massage consists of pre-event, post-event, and training massage. Pre-event massage is performed after warm up and on the muscles that will be used the most in the event. Only stimulating manipulations are used which excites the nervous system and increases blood flow to the desired muscles. Post-event massage is performed after the horse has returned to a normal respiratory and heart rate. It is used to help hasten the removal of metabolic wastes (lactic acid). It also increases circulation, bringing oxygen and nutrients to the tissues to maintain health. Training massage is incorporated into a horse's regular exercise program to maintain range of motion and flexibility of tendons, ligaments, muscles and joints. It also helps decrease muscle soreness that occurs with an increase in exercise levels. In general, training massage can help prevent soft tissue injuries.
Injury massage is strictly for the treatment of injury. It is used in conjunction with a veterinarian's treatment and only with the attending veterinarian's approval. The aims are to decrease inflammation and pain around the injury site. Massaging an injured horse will also help prevent potential compensatory injuries and is very good for the mind of the stall bound horse.