McTimoney Therapy

McTimoney Therapy with Rachel Watkins

McTimoney Animal Therapy is a manipulation technique that works in a holistic way to restore the optimum function of the musculoskeletal and nervous systems in the body. The whole body is treated, not just a problem area, making McTimoney a fantastic maintenance and well-being treatment, as well as one that works for specific issues. It works brilliantly alongside TTouch.

There is a very close anatomical and physiological relationship between bones, muscles and nerves. Repetitive stresses, trauma and accidents can cause areas of muscle tension. This can lead to restricted or altered range of movement of the bones in the body. In turn, this can also result in nerve impingement, causing discomfort and pain. McTimoney Therapy consists of a series of very high velocity and precise adjustments, carried out by the practitioner. These are designed to relieve muscle tension and restore the normal range of movement of the bones. This allows normal nerve function to resume, provides relief from discomfort and improves movement. McTimoney therapy has an effect on the deep muscles, which some soft tissue techniques cannot reach. 

The adjustments are carried out using my hands and require no tools or equipment. Due to its very gentle nature, McTimoney Therapy is usually readily accepted by animals, who often show signs of relaxation and enjoyment and many animals will fall asleep during or after treatment. I will normally carry out a McTimoney treatment, followed by some soft tissue techniques and stretches.

The signs and reasons your dog may benefit from a treatment are numerous but include:

• Stiffness when getting up after a period of rest

• Stiffness after exercise

• Coat pattern changes

• Quietness of mood

• Lowered exercise tolerance

• Crying out in pain

• Subtle changes in behaviour

• Reluctance to play

• Reduced performance in competitive disciplines

• Intermittent lameness

• Sensitivity to touch

• Change in appetite

• Restlessness, unable to get comfortable when lying down

• Sitting to one side

• Males unable to cock a leg to wee

• Difficulty lowering head to eat from the bowl

• “Roached” or raised spine with obvious muscle tension

This list is not definitive and other signs may be apparent. I must also stress that some of these signs can be due to other causes, which is why I take a thorough case history prior to treatment. Even if no signs are apparent, dogs can benefit from maintenance treatments every 6-12 months, as a preventative measure and to assist with general well-being. 

Please note that under the veterinary act 1966, it is a legal requirement that veterinary consent is obtained prior to a McTimoney treatment. This need only be verbal consent over the telephone but referral forms are available on request.

Behaviour Manangement Consultations

Does your dog exhibit a behaviour that is undesirable, unsafe or worrying? Are you concerned that your dog is finding life or certain situations stressful? Behaviours could include:

• Reactivity towards other dogs

• Fears and phobias

• Reactivity towards strangers

• Resource guarding

• Separation anxiety

• Rescue dogs finding it hard to adjust to their new lives

One to one behaviour consultations will take place at your home or in the environment in which the problem occurs. I will initially visit you at home and take a detailed case history, asking about your dog, day to day routines, the onset of the behaviour and what triggers it. Every case is assessed on an individual basis – what works for one dog may not work for another, so individual differences such as temperament, age and previous experiences are taken into account. 

The health of the dog should also be assessed. I am happy to incorporate McTimoney Therapy into behaviour work but veterinary consent must be obtained prior to treatment. I prefer dogs to have seen their vet prior to a behavioural consultation so that any health issues can be ruled out as a cause of the behaviour.  Some of the techniques I use, have a very calming effect on dogs and can be really useful for excitable or stressed characters. 

The initial consultation can last 2-4 hours and will include some practical work where we will look at the problem behaviour and put an action plan into place as to how to work with the issue. I use positive methods at all times. I have a firm belief that aversive methods have no place in dog training. My behaviour modification methods help the dog learn to replace unwanted behaviours with an alternative behaviour or to change their emotional response to a stimulus. Various techniques and training tools may be used, depending on the problem behaviour and the causes.

Behaviour management can involve changes in the dog’s routine, the way you handle them and their environment. If seeking advice for a behavioural problem, you must be prepared to make these changes, in order for the training to be effective. I can give you the tools to work with but it is essential that you continue to work with these once our sessions are over.