Massage has been used for healing for hundreds of years. The earliest written records have been discovered in Egypt and China. Egyptians have been credited with creating reflexology with tomb paintings dating back to 2500 BCE depicting massage therapy. Massage therapy has many health and healing benefits for both humans and dogs including · Improving the condition of the body's largest organ—the skin · Releasing endorphins · Releasing of serotonin · Increasing blood flow to the area · Increasing lymph flow to help the body dispose of waste products · Stimulating muscles · Reliving stress · Lowers Blood pressure and heart rate · Allows for early detection of problems Other benefits to you and your hound include bonding, enhancing your relationship and building trust. The relaxing effects of massaging your hound will leave you feeling great. Most racing greyhounds are used to being massaged on a regular basis. This could be before or after a race or part of their daily routine. How do I massage my hound? When massaging your hound it’s important to check they are comfortable at all times. While most will have received lots of massages during their racing career it does not guarantee your dog will be used to it. Start slowly and make sure they are relaxed and comfortable. You can always build it up and do a little more each time. In the diagram below we have indicated some of the key massage points for a greyhound (and other dogs too!). 1. Head muscles: This is one of the most relaxing places for your dog to be massaged. Using frim soft circular motions massage around the area concentrating on the top but not forgetting the sides. 2. The neck: using “cupped” hands rub up and down the length of the neck. Your dog will be wagging their tail for more! 3. The shoulders: using your thumb to gently rub from side to side this will relive any tension your dog may have. 4. The lower back: using your thumbs in circular motions to warm up. If you find any tension you can rub gently at right angles to or across the tension to help relive this. 5. The front legs: using the heel of your hand rub up and down and round in circles to warm the muscles up. Then using the tips of your fingers to focus on any tense points. 6. The hip and back legs: Use the same method as for the front legs. Use your thumbs on the area either side of the tail in small circles for the ultimate relaxation. This is our introductory guide to massage for your hound. The person that knows your hound best is you. Tailor it to your hounds needs, likes and dislikes. Creams such as trainers choice or similar can be helpful when massaging any tension.