“After having to leave work due to a stressful job that I could no longer bear, I was searching for a career that would be rewarding, enjoyable and one that would support my health and encourage mindfulness whilst I work. In addition to this, my own dog was suffering with an orthopaedic condition and it opened my eyes to complementary therapies that are available to support dogs.
I researched Canine Massage Therapy and the 2-year Clinical Canine Massage Practitioner Programme with the Canine Massage Therapy Centre blew me away. My background includes a Degree in Sport & Exercise Science (with the following disciplines: nutrition, physiology, biomechanics, psychology) a Masters in Nutrition for sports performance, and a PGCE in Primary teaching, so I have high standards when it comes to sports performance, rehab work and my expectations of what a course should be able to offer a learner.
It was clear that this courses stood out against other courses on the market, both in the UK and abroad and the only one I was willing to apply for, due to the level of theory and practical competencies that were required to pass, in addition to the professionalism the course projected. I was also impressed by the Clinical Trials that were being conducted with Winchester University and the level of support the Canine Massage Guild offers upon completion.
The first year of theory, in anatomy and physiology, pathologies and gait analysis, was essential and very well constructed to ensure learners had a sufficient level of knowledge before even entering the classroom. The classroom environment was incredibly friendly, supportive and fun but it was clear that students needed to achieve a level of competency to uphold the professionalism and standards of the course and to fully support the dogs in our care.
At all times Natalie instils our duty of care to the dogs, their owners and the consenting vets and that this therapy most definitely isn’t something that can be done by just anyone with a pair of hands! Learning the Lenton Method was such an amazing experience, an incredible amount of thought and planning had obviously gone in in order to deliver such a complex technique and to make these advanced skills accessible to learners. The tutor team, Sam, Catherine and Hannah as well as Natalie were excellent at guiding you through learning and ensured that each student was challenged and supported in equal measure. The practical days were always engaging, and it was clear that a lot of thought had gone into planning with not only the material and the techniques, but the amazing dogs and their owners who come in for clinic days for the students to work with.
The tutor team were adept at structuring the day to include all the information necessary but in a way that complimented the energy of the learning environment and what learners required on their journeys. From my background in teaching I know how difficult this can be to achieve, especially when you have a classroom of 10 dogs, 10 students and sometimes 10 owners! Continued learning was in the form of online support sessions via zoom, online lectures and an externship, which is where you get out there and start case studies. Time was provided for case analysis and debrief in the classroom and you are coached in how to write vet reports, which I found essential to becoming a paraprofessional working in the veterinary industry. Both helped to further our knowledge and understanding, and principally the externship offered learners the opportunity to practice the skills and processes that are required when practicing as a canine massage therapist, so you are fully prepared on what to expect when you set up your own practice.
Natalie’s passion for canine massage therapy is unrivalled and she is wholly dedicated to her students’ success. This course has been life changing for me and I want to take this opportunity to thank Natalie, Sam, Catherine, Hannah and their glorious dogs for their support, encouragement, and patience; and for sharing their wisdom to progress in such a rewarding career. It truly has been life changing and I feel so privileged to have a job working with such wonderful animals, trying to help each dog live their very best life. If there is something missing in your job and working with dogs calls to you, I can whole heartedly recommend this course. It has been everything I dreamed of and so much more! ”
Rachel Fraser – Leaps & Bounds Canine Massage Therapy
Download the Clinical Canine Massage Practitioner Programme here