Introduction into McTimoney manipulation for animals
In the 1950s John McTimoney started a whole body technique that treats with speed and precision rather than force. Originally used only in humans, the techniques have been adapted for the use on animals. This non-invasive holistic approach stimulates the muscles around joints. This allows spasms in these muscles to relax so that the bones can re-align themselves into their natural position to restore health, soundness and performance. McTimoney treatment allows the nervous system to work more efficiently and establish a balance between the nervous and musculoskeletal system. This is relatively gentle and uses the body’s innate intelligence to heal itself. Because of its gentle nature most pets readily accept this form of treatment and it does not involve any drugs. I have trained at the McTimoney College to treat animals using these techniques.
Only my hands are used throughout the treatment which starts by palpation of the bones and joints after a full history has been taken and the gait has been analysed. This outlines the skeletal anatomy and how these areas interrelate. When bones do not lie in the ideal natural position in joints, the joint is classed as misaligned. Misalignments, which might be caused by trauma or long term limping, are picked up at the initial palpation. These misalignments in the vertebral column may cause pressure on nerves resulting in nerve impairments, which can cause discomfort. The McTimoney stimuli are very precise and rapid and allow the vertebrae to re-align themselves, which gives the nerves a chance to heal from possible impingements and therefore resolve ‘disease’.
Each animal has an individual healing period; therefore each animal will need a different amount of sessions. On average three to four treatments every two weeks are needed. Once the problem has resolved, maintenance treatments every three to six months will help to keep the symptoms at bay. It usually takes around three days for the body to settle post treatment. As the bones are not forced into position, it takes time for the treatment to take effect. It is important to rest the animal for a few days after the treatment session to allow the body to heal itself and the bones to settle in their new position. Again, the duration of rest varies from animal to animal. The animal can show a variety of reactions to treatment. Some can feel a bit tired, sore and stiff the day after a treatment, others just improve immediately once treated. Always allow unlimited access to drinking water as this helps flush out any toxins that might be released post treatment.
Veterinary consent is needed to treat any animal to ensure its welfare. The veterinary act of 1966 states that it is illegal for anyone to treat an animal without veterinary approval, therefore owners must consult their veterinary surgeon before seeking McTimoney treatment.
All animals can benefit from McTimoney manipulation as it helps to achieve and maintain optimum health and performance.