pB: You just completed your certification program for Small Animal Massage. How rigorous was this program, and were there any particularly challenging aspects of the curriculum, for you?
JM: Very rigorous! I’m not exactly sure what I was expecting, but I was both surprised and pleased that our classes were so thorough and detailed. We learned about everything from Small Animal Anatomy, Behavior, Handling and Management, Massage Techniques, Passive Exercises, Species and Breeds, Business Practices/Ethics, Marketing, Internship, and more. I’d say the most challenging part was trying to memorize the names and locations of the muscles, including their points of origin and insertion.
pB: Having just launched your new Animal Massage practise, have you gotten a flood of bookings yet? How has the initial response been?
JM: While I’m choosing to wait until the holiday craziness is over to “officially” launch, I did put a call out to the public in order to complete my 40 internship hours required to graduate. The response was huge and very exciting. Everyone I’ve had the pleasure of providing this service for has been extremely appreciative, thankful, encouraging, supportive and interested in experiencing the long term benefits for their furry loved ones.
pB: Do you often face skeptics, who maybe think that you’re just doing some kind of expensive “petting”, or that anyone can do this, etc? What do you tell them?
JM: Sure, I’ve encountered a doubtful person here and there, understandably so. Considering how long massage has been around, practicing on animals is still a relatively new modality. Massage is quite different from petting in that massage is the intentional manipulation of muscle and other soft tissue, by a certified animal massage therapist, to promote health and healing. (*Massage is meant to complement and support traditional veterinary care, not replace it.)
pB: You work on cats as well as dogs. What, do you find, are the main differences between these animals when it comes to massaging them? Are there generalizations that hold true? What’s your favorite part about working on these furry critters?
JM: Overall, there’s really no difference. While their anatomies differ in some ways, both cats and dogs receive the same healing benefits. My favorite part about massaging animals is watching their transformation as they melt into a relaxed state. My second favorite part is the look on their humans’ faces as they observe the benefits for themselves.
pB: What’s new for Blissed Out Barklyn? Anything for the animal loving holiday shoppers out there?
JM: Come January 1, 2015 Blissed Out Barklyn will be in full swing and accepting new clients! I’m offering all the last-minute shoppers out there a PAWESOME GIFT CERTIFICATE SALE for animal massage sessions! Stay tuned on the ProspectBArk facebook page for more details!