Licensed Massage Therapist & Certified Equine Sport Massage Therapist

by ~ Tonya Wilson Scolari, LMT, CESMT

The Role of Massage

Massage has been used for therapeutic purposes, on both humans and animals, since the dawn of time. Its beneficial use has been documented in our earliest cultures from the Egyptians, to the Phoenicians, to the Greeks, to the Romans and on to the present time. It is noteworthy, that in the very first books on human and veterinary medicine, entire chapters would be devoted to the use, benefits, and implementation of massage therapy.

Later on, as so-called miracle drugs were developed, the medical establishment in concert with the fledgling pharmaceutical industry decided that "old fashioned" therapies and treatments - like massage - were no longer needed, nor did they have any meaningful place in a health regimen. It was only when prescription drugs (some with side effects worse than the condition's symptoms) became too prolific and too expensive did people begin to reconsider some of those therapies discarded in the past. Slowly but surely, in the last quarter of the 20th Century these modalities along with some "newer" eastern began to compete in a very real way for the acceptance and dollars of an increasingly discerning society. That is, society began to realize that they were often getting as much relief and treatment from alternative therapies as from pharmaceuticals and surgery.

At the same time, people were beginning to understand that if these alternative therapies could help them, they would probably work as well on their pets and the other animals in their care. Thus, in the late 1980's there began to be a significant move toward the use of these alternative therapies on both companion animals and horses involved in racing and show events.

Chief among these therapies in actual therapeutic value and cost effectiveness has been massage.

Massage Therapy FAQ:

Q: What is Massage Therapy?

A: Massage Therapy is the manipulation of the soft tissues of the body including muscles, connective tissue, tendons, ligaments and joints. Massage therapy helps alleviate the soft tissue discomfort associated with everyday and occupational stresses, muscular over-use and many chronic pain conditions. If employed early enough after accidents involving trauma and injury, massage therapy can greatly reduce the development of painful muscular patterning.

Q: Is it painful to get a massage?

A: As with many treatments affecting the soft tissue, there are times when massage therapy can cause some light discomfort but it is not harmful. Discomfort usually diminishes and no technique of this nature is used without the therapist first discussing it with the client and obtaining your permission. A comfort scale will be established and the therapist will work to the client's comfort level. The client can stop or change the treatment at any time and Massage therapists will modify their techniques to meet their client's needs.

Q: Do I have to remove all of my clothing? Will I be exposed?

A: No. Your comfort as a client is of the utmost importance, whether that is in the context of the clothing you wear or the treatment you receive. We can provide effective treatment whether you elect to remove any, some, or all of your clothing. We use proper draping procedures using sheets to cover area not currently being worked and ensure that your privacy is completely respected at all times during treatment. Your comfort and ability to relax is paramount to effective treatment.

Q: How often should I receive a massage?

A: After your first massage, we can assist you in finding a treatment schedule that will be best for your body and your life. Here are some general guidelines that apply to Most people:

Once a month: A basic rhythm of self nurturing. This is good for overall stress reduction. You deserve it!

Every two weeks: Keeps the stress of daily life from getting ahead of you -- helps maintain optimal health. Great for those training their body with regular exercise. Massage work while training will release muscle fatigue and soreness and will accelerate your recovery time. The best part is how good it feels!

Once a week: Weekly massage provides excellent support for periods of unusual stress such as illness, divorce or breakup, unusual job stress, grief, or other changes; in these circumstances, 'massage as needed' can make the difference between merely surviving and coping positively with change.

Q: How can Massage Therapy benefit me?

A: Massage therapy can be beneficial to people of all ages and conditions and is widely used to help obtain relief from many specific problems, including:

  • Inflammatory conditions such as arthritis and tendinitis
  • Stress relief and associated conditions
  • Headaches and migraines
  • Muscle and related conditions such as spasms, strains and sprains
  • Back pain
  • Repetitive strain injury
  • Circulatory and Respiratory problems
  • Pregnancy and labour discomfort
  • Post-injury and post surgical rehabilitation

At Scolari's Equissage & Bodywork, we are focused on providing massage therapy services with the highest levels of customer and horse satisfaction & we will do everything we can to meet your expectations. With a flexible schedule, we're sure you'll be happy working with us. Look around our website and if you have any comments or questions, please feel free to contact us. We hope to see you again! Check back later for new updates to our website. 

Why do horses need Massage?

*Improves circulation and as a result, promotes more rapid healing of injuries.

*Enhances muscle tone and increases range of motion.

*Eases muscle spasms.

*Reduces inflammation and swelling in the joints so that pain is relieved.

*Relieves tension.

*Stimulates circulation in the lymphatic system and hastens the elimination of waste products and other toxins.

*Lengthens connective tissue and so breaks down/prevents the formation of adhesions and reduces the danger of fibrosis.

*Generally improves the disposition of the animal.

*Increases the production of synovial fluid in the joints.