My name is Suzanne Alexander and I am delighted to be able to offer Clinical Canine Massage and Canine Conditioning for your Dog(s). I trained for 2 years at the Canine Massage Therapy Centre on the externally accredited Clinical Canine Massage Practitioner Programme. On this programme I learned Sports, Swedish and Deep Tissue Massage as well as Direct and Indirect Myofascial Release. I am trained in the Lenton Method ®, a scientific and systematic method of injury identification and Myofascial Release therapy. I am also a proud member of the Canine Massage Guild which is currently participating in the world's 1st clinical trials in Canine Massage with Winchester University and Sparsholt University Centre. I am fully insured and I work strictly in adherence with the Veterinary Surgeons Act 1966 and Exemption Order 2015.
Dogs have always been part of my life and my inspiration for completing the programme came from my own canine family! Our Siberian Huskies are regularly worked in harness both here in Scotland and, more recently, through the winter months in Swedish Lapland. This involved making a transition from training over shorter distances at faster speeds to running much greater distances at more moderate speeds. Now more than ever our dogs must be in the best possible physical condition as this type of running places far greater demands on them. Siberians love to run which is something I feel brings great responsibility. Their strong desire to work typically means that they will mask discomfort very efficiently to continue working. I wanted to put myself in the best possible position to help them.
I first travelled down to Bromsgrove to complete a one-day workshop at the Canine Massage Therapy Centre with Natalie Lenton. This confirmed to me that the Practitioner Programme was what I needed to do. Not only would it help me to help my own dogs but I would be able to help other dogs as well!! The Programme was intense with lots of practical work and ongoing assessments but firstly, and importantly, included the submission of in-depth modules on The Skeletal, Muscular, Lymphatic, Blood Vascular and Neurological Systems, Massage Theory & The Law, The Skin, Orthopaedic Conditions, Canine Kinesiology, Clinician Skills and Business Awareness. The techniques I learned, combined with my deep knowledge of functional anatomy, have allowed me to help dogs in so many ways. The transition from student to therapist involved case studies, where I worked with 10 different dogs (some of whom are now regular clients) and each received 3 sessions.
I have had great results with dogs of varying size, age and activity levels, not only physically but psychologically too. Massage really can have a profound effect in so many ways that you might not expect, indeed, as one of my clients said it can be ‘life-changing for dogs’. Examples include: improved recovery after exercise, an increased range of motion, a more fluid gait, reduced/resolved lameness, positive behavioural changes, reduced need for NSAID’s, improved coat condition and frequently ‘a new lease of life’. Whilst many of the dogs I treat have muscular injuries or issues linked to things like orthopaedic or neurological conditions, I see plenty of dogs simply for maintenance sessions 2 or 3 times a year. This is great for any dog as I can identify and resolve minor muscular issues, often before any obvious signs are visible and before they potentially progress to something more serious. Should I find anything of concern I will always refer you back to your Vet so that anything underlying can be diagnosed and addressed promptly. Indeed, this has proven to be utterly invaluable on several occasions.
As a member of the Canine Massage Guild, I am committed to completing a minimum of 25hrs CPD (Continuing Professional Development) per year. It was this requirement which led to me becoming a Canine Conditioning Academy Licensed Coach. It was, once again, my own dogs who inspired me to initially complete the foundation weekend. Whilst sled-dogs are the ultimate athlete and never cease to amaze me with their ability, it is my responsibility to ensure that my dogs are fit. But physical fitness isn’t just about training in harness, there’s so much more to it and the CCA programmes effectively address the elements which are typically lacking. Whilst the programmes are brilliant for improving both fitness and performance in sporting dogs (such as agility, flyball, sled-dog activities, gun-dogs, herding etc) they absolutely should not be overlooked by anyone who wants their dog to enjoy a healthy and active life for as long as possible. Following over 900hrs of training including theory modules, practical days and 9 case studies, I’m delighted to now be in a position to help even more dogs transform their core stability, flexibility, proprioception, balance......and more! Please do have a browse of my website for more information and don't hesitate to get in touch with me if you have any questions.
I love to learn and am committed to my CPD requirements as both a Clinical Canine Massage Therapist (25hrs per year minimum) and Canine Conditioning Coach (8hrs per year minimum). As well as my CPD requirements, I will often complete additional training which is either relevant to these roles or of personal interest to me as a dog owner.
EXCLUSIVE TO CANINE MASSAGE GUILD MEMBERS: The Canine Massage Therapy Centre runs a number of CPD workshops which are exclusively available to Canine Massage Guild Members and take place in Bromsgrove. These workshops refresh and add to my practical Clinical Canine Massage skills.
Canine First Aid Level 2 (VTQ): A must for anyone who works professionally with dogs and highly recommended for all owners. Refreshed every 3 years.
Level I Canine Touch: A gentle form of bodywork which uses specific, vibrational moves to address the whole body, both physically and mentally. The moves are very relaxing and help the body to both re-align and rebalance itself.
Reiki Practitioner: Attuned to level II (practitioner) plus additional Animal Reiki attunement: Reiki is a Japanese Technique which promotes healing by channelling 'life force energy'. It helps to reduce stress by bringing about a real sense of relaxation. I find energy work fascinating and as it flows where it's needed, your dog can benefit from this too.
LED Phototherapy in Veterinary and Animal Therapy Practice: Run by Danetre Health Products (UK distributor for the Photizo).
Online Courses: Hawksmoor 'Introduction to Hydrotherapy', Canine Principles 'The Dog Rescuers Guide' and First Aid for Pets 'Choking and Drowning Short Course'.