Students will continue to develop their observational skills and link this to functionality prior to therapeutic intervention; this module begins to develop the student's observational skills. It also introduces them to a number of holistic therapies.
The importance of the animal therapist is emphasised in relation to enhancing muscle function using a variety of techniques. To do this a therapist must develop through observation and touch, the ability to recognise tension, restrictions and changes in muscle tone. There will be a chance to work with animals using massage, myofascial release and trigger point therapy to begin developing these important skills.
It is also essential for a massage therapist to recognise when other modalities may be needed to enhance physiological and psychological repair. Lecture/demonstrations for chiropractic, animal aromatics, acupressure and cranio-sacral therapy will be included in the module to enhance existing knowledge and gain an understanding of the concepts behind physical, energetic and healing therapies.
Whilst carrying out empathetic therapy the recognition of pain is essential and students will learn how to read both subtle and more obvious body language as animals use compensatory mechanisms to deal with low-grade and chronic pain in a variety of ways including behavioural changes, depression and musculoskeletal bracing.