The Canine Touch was developed by Dr Ivana Ruddock, and applies techniques similar to those of the Equine Touch, which involved humans and horses. The Canine Touch, however, uses principles and procedures that have been developed to take into account the bio-mechanical differences between the species. It is a hand-on technique, designed to optimise the function of soft tissue, balance the nervous system and positively affect the body’s energy to facilitate both good emotional health and good physical health.
The Equine Touch treatment was developed in 1997 by Jock Ruddock, who was the pioneer of the Vibromuscular Harmonisation Technique (VHT) and a trained practitioner of Bowen Therapy. This therapy was originally based on the human physique and was then transposed onto horses, but later Ruddock studied equines as an individual species and catered specifically to its unique mechanics. Equine Care is non-diagnostic and non-invasive. It addresses soft tissue, fascia and muscle on a holistic level through a series of choreographed vibrational movement. This is designed to allow a horse to gain ideal homoeostasis at all levels.
Dr. Ivana Ruddock is a qualified veterinary surgeon who married Jock Ruddock, the developer of the Equine Touch therapy, after attending foundational studies in the course. After learning the Equine Touch, Ivana went on to learn the human VHT, and also to join her husband in teaching his treatment throughout the world. Since 2000, Ruddock has taken a personal interest in setting up a system like that of her husband’s for canines. The research she undertook culminated in her founding the Canine Touch therapy, which looks at the canine muscular system as distinct from other quadrupeds. It takes into consideration the anatomy, genetic behaviour and soft tissue peculiarities that are unique to the dog.
Canine Touch is aimed at encouraging the relaxation of the dog, which is believed to decrease stress. By lessening the canine’s stress levels, many hormones that are important to healing are triggered to be released into the nervous system. The treatment itself is holistic, and addresses the dog as a system rather than focusing on any particular problem areas. It also takes into consideration the emotional well-being of the canine as an individual, as this is believed to alter from breed to breed. It uses body balancing procedures to encourage an general canine wellness.
Canine Touch is intended to assist a dog on both a cellular and over-arching level. The techniques promote homoeostasis in the canine, which in turn allows its innate healing ability to function at peak levels. The treatment is believed to release tight muscles and reduce pain. It is also credited with improving blood and lymphatic circulation, which are important for the maintenance of the immune system and encourage system detoxification.
The Canine Touch is designed to treat a number of symptoms that dogs display to show discomfort. This can include: signs of aggression, signs of fear, uneven strides or trouble walking, unresponsiveness to commands, signs of stiffness after activity, more movement in one side of the body than the other, trouble sitting squarely on the ground.
Practitioners believe any one of these signs, or a combination of them all, can be eased by the Canine Touch massage treatment. They are believed to be particularly beneficial after an injury, or if the dog has had digestive problems.
The treatment is credited with reducing muscle tension, relaxing muscular spasms, improving energy levels in the canine, increasing the dog’s range of motion, making the coat more vibrant, removing toxins, and improving circulation. Good blood circulation promotes excellent over-all health, as it increases the immune system. This treatment is particularly recommended for show dogs as either a warm up or a cool down after competitions.
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