An Animal Massage Therapist
An animal massage therapist is a professional who helps improve the health and well-being of animals through massage therapy. Some of these professionals specialize in a particular species of animal, such as horses or dogs, while others will work with any animal. If you want to become an animal massage therapist, it is important that you enjoy working with animals.
- Similar to human massage therapy, the purpose of the animal massage therapy practice is to relieve stress, identify areas of muscular soreness, alleviate joint and muscle pain, and increase flexibility. An animal massage therapist must know the intended result of a therapy session in order to be effective.
- Although you are working with different musculoskeletal systems, the movements and pressure variations are astonishingly similar. You don't need to take a full course in human massage therapy, but it is a good idea to familiarize yourself with how it works, and to practice on willing participants.
- Strengthen the muscles in your hands, wrists and forearms. An animal massage therapist must be very strong to provide massages for several animals each day, and stronger individuals will have better results. It isn't necessarily that you need to provide a significant amount of pressure; rather, muscle stamina is the key.
- Initiate an internship with an animal massage therapist. Although there are plenty of classes, courses and seminars that you can take, it is always best to receive hands-on, personalized training with someone who is an expert in his field. An internship will allow you to gain experience working in the field while observing real-life situations that you will have to eventually handle on your own.
- Become certified in animal massage therapy. This isn't required by law, but you will be able to build your business faster if you have certification. Once you learn the basics of massage therapy during your internship, gaining certification will allow you to demonstrate what you've learned and will identify points of weakness that you need to improve.