Friday, May 22, 2009

Book of the Month

This month I finished reading "Canine Massage: A Complete Reference Manual" by Jean-Pierre Hourdebaigt. While I haven't read any other canine massage books to compare it to, I thought it was a really great book that was very informative. The first section of the book talks about general canine annatomy. There are illustrated diagrams of the skeletal structure as well as the muscular system from different angles. I think this alone is VERY helpful!

Next the author goes into the dogs movements and how different muscles work to help create proper movement. This also helps to give you an idea of problem areas if your dog doesn't have proper movement for their breed. Before getting into the actual massage moves, there is a chapter on concepts of massage. The author uses terms likes 2 lbs. pressure for massage movements and explains what he means by this as well as other concepts that the reader will need to know for the next several chapters.
Once the foundation information is out of the way, we get down to the actual massage moves. Each move is described in detail along with pictures. After the individual moves are described, it's time to put them all together into various routines that focus on different areas of the dog to achieve different results. Some routines are aimed at just relaxing your dog, while others focus on maintaining the overall body.
When you become more aware of what is normal and what isn't for your dog, you may start to notice areas that feel differently than they should. Possible stress areas. There is a whole section, with diagrams, of stress point areas on the general canine body and how to work with them to relieve the buildup.
While this book is a little on the dry side and not necessarily one that you would dive into and expect to be on the edge of your seat, it is VERY informative and very helpful for someone who wants to do what they can for their dog at home. Especially if you have an active dog, it's something that I would recommend looking into to keep them happy and healthy into their golden years.

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