The results are finally in! Three years ago, I and other members of the Canine Massage Guild and our clients took part in a huge study to see if we could show scientifically that our therapy really works.
The catchy title of the research is - "Effect of massage therapy on pain and quality of life in dogs: A cross sectional study". Importantly it was peer reviewed and published in the Royal Veterinary Associations' own journal - Vet Record. So all registered vets in the UK will have had access to it.
A key finding of the study, as written in typical "science speak":
"...canine massage therapy may effectively reduce myofascial and musculoskeletal pain severity reported by owners and practitioners..."*
The study is the first in the world and involved:
527 dogs and owners
67 Canine Massage Guild practitioners
2 Research Doctor's at Winchester University
It doesn't tell me anything I haven't already known anecdotally from years. But it feels great to be able to say that there is data to support my own knowledge.
So, to save you reading the full research paper I can summarise it as:
95% of the dogs in the study responded to clinical canine massage therapy
A significant decrease in pain severity was seen following canine massage therapy;
As seen in improvements to gait, posture, daily activities, behaviour and performance (for those sporting and working dogs)
Improvements were noted after each treatment
Dogs of all ages, breeds, sex, neuter status and reason for referral to a therapist showed improvement
"I would like to personally thank the owners of the 21 dogs whose data I submitted into this research. Your continued support has made my job very easy over the years."
*The study looked specifically at the effectiveness of the Lenton Method as trained by the Canine Massage Therapy Centre and practised by all Canine Massage Guild therapists. The study did not look at other canine massage methodologies or training organisation protocols and so it is not possible yet to extrapolate the findings above to all canine massage therapy/therapists.
If you want to be sure your dog is being treated by therapy that works always look to engage a Canine Massage Guild Therapist like me.
You can check the Guild therapist register here
If you want to read the full research paper you can find it here