Therapy tools are becoming more and more popular, not only for practitioners, but also for the clients to use at home. I am a true believer that frequent treatments are key to ensuring longevity of our wonderful pets as well as preventing illness and injury and improving performance. On the flip side i also understand that its not always financially viable for owners to afford monthly treatments nor realistic for some. So using equipment to bridge the gap between treatments can be really useful, but..... where do you spend your money? which tools are worth the price tag and are they effective?
We are here to shed some light on what we would recommend based on products/alternative services we have trialled.
LED light - We frequently use Photizo for ourselves, our own dogs and our clients. They retail at £299 and are absolutely worth the investment if you have a dog, horse, chicken... you name it you can use it!! Its such a simple tool, one click of a button for a pre-timed dose and pain-relief, increased blood flow and charged cells are at your fingertips. We love them so much we are hoping to become stockists soon. For more information on the intricacies of how the Photizo work check out our previous blog on light therapy.
Massage guns - These hugely vary in price online and it is difficult to really grasp which are beneficial for animals and/or human use. As a therapist, i personally don't feel these are appropriate in the hands of someone who is not trained or skilled in feeling tension levels in soft tissues or someone who has an extensive understanding of anatomy and physiology. Some of the machines are claim to be pretty powerful and when you haven't got hands directly on the soft tissues it is difficult to really gauge how much pressure is being used or how the body is responding back to you. I think these have their place in the therapy industry but for me, il pass and stick with the old fashion way!
Massage pads - These come in a few varieties, most commonly the 'glove' type pads and pads that lay over the back and secure with straps under the belly. If used frequently, they can be a great bridge between treatments and even to lengthen the time required between treatments. Whats the difference between these and the massage guns you say?! Most of the massage pads for animals are all pre-dosed and trialled on specifically on animals, where as the massage guns are made and marketed towards humans. You also don't apply and force with the massage pads as they do all the work for you, but with the guns you have to hold it against the animal with a degree of force and movement.
Magnets - Magnetic field therapy has been around for thousands of years. There are different forms of magnetic therapy; static and electro. Static Magnets are those that you place/wear on an area to promote, health, healing and pain relief. Where as Electromagnetic therapy is usually a magnetic device that has an electronic current flowing that essentially magnifies the force from the magnets to stimulate the body. The things to consider when purchasing a magnetic device or product are; where the magnets are placed on the body, how many magnets are there, what gauss they are and how long they should be left on for. Your best bang for your buck is something that can be worn long term (like a collar or pastern wrap) and have a strong enough gauss (800+gauss, Neodymium is better than ceramic) that will have lasting effects over time.
Facia/ massage tools - These are probably the easiest and cheapest tools to use and ones that i use frequently on myself and my clients. You could use anything from; spikey balls, things with nobbly bits on, tennis balls or an edge/strip. anything that will you can hold and move smoothly over muscle mass. I like these because, unlike the massage guns, you can keep your hands connected to the animal still and see and feel the tissues around where you are using the tool. I personally use them to warm muscles up before chiropractic work or for trigger point therapy. They save my wrists after a long day treating multiple animals and they're cheap as chips. If you would like to use one of these tools, please please look into where the bulky muscles are on your animal and avoid any bony areas. You can and will cause damage and or bruising if too much pressure is used. They are best used under the direction of a qualified therapist.
If you would like more information on therapies or alternatives you can do at home them please get in touch with our team.
Thank you for reading!