Hello! I'm Sara. I am a professionally-trained clinical canine massage therapist, providing remedial soft tissue therapy and performance massage treatments to pet, working and sports dogs, with the aim of delivering results that you can see and your dog can feel in as few as 1 to 3 treatment sessions.
It was further to receiving powerfully successful soft tissue therapy myself (following injuries to my shoulder, ankle and thumb), and seeing how physical therapies could make a noticeable difference to the physical and psychological well-being of dogs when I was working in dog rescue and rehoming, that I felt driven to find out what opportunities there might be for me to provide similar treatments to dogs, to help them (and by association their owners) to live healthier, happier lives.
My research led me to Natalie Lenton's Canine Massage Therapy Centre, where I was delighted to be offered a place on the intensive and externally accredited 2 year Therapeutic Canine Massage Diploma (now called the Clinical Canine Massage Practitioner Programme), which I successfully completed in 2015.
Upon completion of my Diploma, I became a proud member of the Canine Massage Guild - the professional body for clinical canine massage therapists in the UK - which promotes safe practice and high standards including continuing professional development amongst its members.
I am a contributing member to the first ever clinical trials investigating the efficacy of clinical canine massage therapy, and, specifically, the Lenton Method®, which is utilised by all members of the Canine Massage Guild. The results of this study, undertaken by the University of Winchester and University Centre Sparsholt, were published on 13 June 2021 in Vet Record (the official journal of the British Veterinary Association), and showed "significant decrease in pain severity following canine massage therapy", with 95% of dogs responding positively to the treatment.
I am also proud to be a member of the International Association of Animal Therapists (IAAT), the membership organisation for animal therapists in practice, who promote excellence in animal therapy throughout the world.
Complete Canine Massage Therapy is fully-insured with Balens.
As a canine health practitioner, I believe it is not only my pleasure but my responsibility to continually develop my knowledge, understanding and practical skills, both in relation to the anatomical, physiological and biomechanical workings of the canine body, and to the various techniques which can be applied by a clinical massage therapist to help restore, maintain and enhance the healthy functioning of the dog's soft tissues and other body systems.
I am committed to lifelong learning to ensure that I am always providing the very best service possible to my canine clients and their owners, and since completing the Canine Massage Diploma, I have continued to develop my knowledge and skills, as well maintain the high standard of previously-learned skills, through further specialist training with the Canine Massage Therapy Centre, including:
Advanced Myofascial Release
Facilitated Stretching for the Canine Patient
Advanced Deep Tissue Techniques
Manual Lymphatic Drainage
Neuromuscular Facilitation (Advanced Trigger Point Manipulation)
Skills Review workshops - Levels 1, 2 and 3 (maximum number of levels)
I am also certified in Canine Health & First Aid through the vet-taught Animal Love programme.
In addition, further to achieving a degree in Animal Welfare and Behaviour with Distinction from the University of the West of England in 2011, I worked for several years caring for rescue dogs at the Blue Cross animal welfare charity before establishing my clinical massage service, and also provide dog training and behaviour support through the other arm of my business, Complete Canine Dog Training. I continue to to develop my knowledge and skills in these areas too, through practical workshops, online courses, seminars, webinars, conferences and private study, with organisations and individuals who are leading the field in dog behaviour and training research and education. I am a proud member of The Pet Professional Guild - The Association for Force-Free Professionals, and a Julie Naismith Certified Separation Anxiety Pro Trainer.
What clients say
"We decided to try massage therapy for our 14 year old Border Collie Candy as she has bad arthritis and was too stressed to cope with hydrotherapy. We wanted to give her some pain relief, strengthen her muscles and relax her. I found Sara and have been so impressed with her. We have noticed an improvement already in Candy after 3 treatments. She seems happier in herself, more interested in her environment exploring the garden more, is stronger - her legs don't give way so easily, and she moves more freely. Candy really enjoys her massage, relaxes and even falls asleep. Sara is so patient and waits for her to settle down. Sara has also given us lots of helpful advice e.g. supplements, how to adapt the home, and exercise advice, which has been really helpful. I would highly recommend Sara, she is kind, caring, patient, professional and so knowledgeable. The report we received was excellent and forwarded to our vet who was very impressed. We feel very lucky to have found Sara."
Trish and Candy the Border Collie