What to Expect in a Session
The first session begins in the comfort of your own home or in my Massage Studio. Animals tend to be more relaxed in a familiar environment and so, when possible, scheduling the first session at your house works best. Sometimes this is not possible (do to schedule, time, or distance), so I also massage clients in my studio in Port Townsend, Washington as well.
It is helpful to schedule the first massage for an hour. This gives me time to do a complete and thorough assessment, speak with you about your animal’s overall health, and discuss why you are seeking massage/acupressure therapy. After the first session, I will discuss with you my recommendations about length and frequency of future sessions.
After the initial assessment, I spend time letting the animal get used to my touch (which often happens while we are talking!). Some animals take quickly to the work — relaxing comfortably on their beds or blankets after the first 5-10 minutes together. Other animals, cats in particular, are a bit more hesitant and can longer to adjust to the work. I don’t push or force the animal into a massage or acupressure session, rather I work on whatever they present to me until they feel more comfortable with my touch and used to the routine.
Generally, after the first 2-3 sessions, the animal knows what to expect and settles in nicely. Sessions usually run about 30-60 minutes, though I have some clients who, given their size and/or health concerns, benefit from a full hour. It all depends on the animal and again, I let them choose what needs to be worked on and for how long.
While I may have a plan or an idea of what areas I’d like to work on, I’ve found over the years that the animals know exactly what they need and that my job is to “listen” with both my eyes and my hands. In addition, I like to talk with the family about changes they’ve seen from session to session and discuss any new insights they may have.
Some family members like to watch and discuss the work during the session. While this is fine, it all depends on the animal — Can she relax? Is he more attentive to the family than the massage? Does too much distraction pull me from my focus?
Every animal is different and it’s my job to create a safe, welcoming space for your beloved companion to receive the most benefits from each session.