About Galen Myotherapy

 

Myotherapy is derived from the prefix ‘myo’, meaning ‘relating to muscles’ .  Therapy, as a direct therapy for muscles, meaning hands-on and also exercise management.

Galen Myotherapy is a unique and highly specialised manual and exercise management therapy in dogs.  It uses appropriate, effective and targeted massage techniques and exercise to  manage chronic muscular pain, reduce inflammation and to maximise muscle function.  As written about in the ‘World Small Veterinary Association – Journal of Small Animal Practice. Vol 55 , June 2014.’ 

Galen Myotherapy is an authentic approach, using unique knowledge that has been developed by Galen’s founder Julia Robertson through her treatment of over 8,000 dogs since 2002.  She was one of the first, if not the first known dedicated canine practitioners of this type in the UK.

THE BEGINNINGS: The therapy was first conceived when Julia’s own Labrador puppy, Huffo, who aged 6 months, was recommended to be put to sleep because he was suffering from an inability to lift his head from the ground.  This proved to be a relatively simple muscular problem and through Julia adapting exercises she was able to improve this condition and he lived happily until he was 17 years old!  This started Julia’s ‘nightmares’ as she realised that many dogs were being put to sleep due to a painful, but manageable, muscle problem. Huffo and his neck were the foundations of Galen Myotherapy.

Julia has learned through the years of dedicated specialised experience, that trends and patterns of behaviour and physical changes occur in a dog when they are suffering with muscular pain. Based on this and her clear understanding of animals, the therapy has developed to where it is today, incorporating the unique approach to the dog and handler.

Galen Myotherapy has in part derived from massage as has physiotherapy; the difference is that physiotherapy is a specialist treatment for acute post-operative conditions whereas Galen Myotherapy is more intended for the chronic cases.

This knowledge is  now proving invaluable for Veterinary Surgeons and Para-professionals that are enrolling on the Galen Myotherapy course so that they can improve their own practice.

Galen Myotherapy is also unique in its approach to how they work with their dogs they treat.  Every Galen Myotherapist will give the dog choice, they will allow the dog to walk around during treatment and choose their treatment. The use of muzzles is extremely rare and all Galen Myotherapists work at ground level.

This unique knowledge is taught through the Galen Myotherapy Diploma.  Julia is in demand all over to world to speak and train people so they too can start to recognise dogs in chronic pain.

Galen Myotherapy and Julia Robertson have now gained allegiance of such canine luminaries as Turid Rugaas, who invites Julia to join her to train her students so that they have the added knowledge of recognising pain in dogs – but also, adopting the same approach of giving the dogs choice!

Turid Rugaas: Dogs with behaviour problems often have muscle pain, and the real problem is not discovered. Julia is a great teacher, and she will teach you how to understand muscles and build them up the right way, how to assess a dog’s muscle problems, and how to help the dog. This is a unique chance of learning about an extremely important part of the dog’s body 

Our Guiding Principles:

1. Choice-led treatment
2. Owner empowerment
3. High level of specialist knowledge and training
4. Behavioural understanding
5. The sharing of knowledge
6. Continual development

1. Choice led treatment
It’s vital for the dog being treated that they feel they have a ‘choice’ in the treatment. We
never use forced restraint, and treatment will always take place on the floor or on a low
level, which is where a dog is most comfortable. The practice of ‘choice’ is one that has now
become main-stream with many top trainers and behaviourists using the term.
2. Owner empowerment
We recognise that when you dog is struggling owners want to help, and often it is difficult to
become involved in their treatment. However, we always include the owners in their dog’s
treatment plan, imparting techniques that are safe to use, along with exercise planning and
‘environment’ management.
3. High level of specialist knowledge and training
All Galen Canine Myotherapists®*are qualified to an exceptional level, and this
anatomy and physiology learning is directed at functional application. They
understand the dog’s anatomy in terms of movement, how the dog’s body works
and how stress can be reflected through behaviour. This knowledge is then directed
into a ‘dog centric’ application of choice-led treatment.
*Only someone that has trained with Galen and is a member of C.A.A.M. can call themselves a Galen
Myotherapist.
4. Behavioural Understanding
We were the first therapy organisation to discuss the direct connection between muscle
pain and specific behaviour patterns. We guide owners and handlers in understanding how
muscle pain can be reflected in their dog’s behaviour. This information and knowledge is
also invaluable when assessing and detecting changes.
5. Sharing of knowledge
The welfare of dogs is our primary concern, and this takes priority over all other
considerations. Therefore we believe in sharing knowledge through training, workshops,
symposiums and events all over the world. We truly believe that what we do improves the
health and wellbeing of dogs, and encourage our associates to share this in the most
appropriate and far reaching ways.
6. Continual Development
Much of our course content has changed radically over the years due to new developments
in understanding the behaviour and physical changes of dogs with muscular issues. We
ensure we keep up to date with the latest evidence and findings, and modify our treatment
and teaching to incorporate this. Like any science, there are new discoveries constantly, and
it’s vital for animal welfare that we’re at the forefront of current understanding.

 

What is Canine Myotherapy?

Galen Myotherapy is a hands-on, manual therapy that uses specific and effective massage techniques.

Find out more

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