McTimoney Animal Chiropractor Beth Absolon will be attending the Retired Greyhounds Gala at Owlerton Stadium Sheffield on Sunday 8th May to show visitors to the event what chiropractic for animals is all about.
The event is being held in support of the Greyhound Trust and entry is free. The Greyhound Trust Sheffield is a branch of the national Greyhound Trust operating in the Sheffield and South Yorkshire area. Their single aim is to provide fully vetted and loving homes for retired greyhounds so that these beautiful animals can continue to live a full and enjoyable life at the end of their careers.
Beth had always wanted to be a vet but places are highly competitive so when she didn’t get to vet school, Beth says she felt ‘lost.’ However, as often happens when we find ourselves looking for alternatives it is the people we meet and talk to that can open new doors. For Beth this happened while studying her undergraduate Animal Science degree. Beth explains, “I met a friend who used Chiropractic on her event horse. I went along to some treatments and couldn’t believe the reactions the animals gave and the praise so many owners gave the treatment. After finishing my degree at Newcastle I went on the study the MSc in McTimoney Animal Chiropractic technique at the McTimoney College of Chiropractic in Abingdon and graduated in 2021.” Beth currently operates her business from her base in Sheffield.
The McTimoney technique works by stimulating the nervous system which is the central regulator of the whole body. In every vertebrate animal – us, dogs, horses etc., the spinal column runs from the head to the tail and through the middle of this runs the spinal cord of the nervous system. The spinal column is made up of individual vertebrae, and these have individual range of motion. Each vertebrae is able to move independently of the one in front and behind it and it is at the junction of these individual vertebrae where the spinal cord sends nerves off to the rest of the body so the brain can tell each area of the body what to do. Occasionally individual vertebrae can get stuck or have reduced range of motion so they are unable to return to the neutral position in a straight line with the one in front and behind it. If this happens then the nerves exiting at this point can become affected resulting in the body not receiving the correct information. This is known as dysfunction within the musculoskeletal and nervous systems, and the body as a whole cannot operate to its full potential. We then see symptoms of discomfort such as flinching from touch, asymmetrical movement, changes in behaviour and even lameness in the dog which when investigated by the veterinary team, has no clear cause.
The McTimoney treatment itself is a gentle, hands-on technique which uses light and fast adjustments, not force, to help encourage the vertebrae to return to the neural position. By putting energy into the joint the muscles holding the vertebrae in the wrong position are reminded to relax and allow the joint to return. By using our hands for this we can tell how much energy is required to make this happen and can adjust for more sensitive or more painful areas.
Beth says, “I have always loved dogs, but when I was presented with my first dog to treat at college, I was so nervous! We had been taught all the intricacies of the canine body and he looked so small and delicate. It turns out that this is exactly why it is so amazing to work with them. Their little bodies respond so effectively and quickly, our treatments give them an idea of how to heal and they take it and run! So often I get comments that it looks like I hardly do anything only to hear the next day that they are back to their old selves.”
So what would cause our dogs to become so sore that they require a McTimoney treatment? Well, dogs tend to be very excitable or keen to play, and they can tumble about when playing or have a more serious trauma if involved in an accident. Beth explains, “One of the most common reasons I have seen clients is due to a very simple slip at home. We know they get excited and run around but mix this with our beautiful hardwood floor or tiled kitchen and we have a recipe for a slip, a twisting body and consequently asymmetry throughout. If we leave this as it is our dogs will slowly build muscle unevenly and the whole body becomes dysfunctional and possibly painful.”
In one particular case Beth saw an older staffy cross breed female dog whose owner had taken to the vets but got nowhere. She was not her normal self after the owner had seen her run down the stairs, make a sharp turn at the bottom on a slippery wooden floor and fall onto her neck. Since this incident she had not been curling up into the ball she normally sleeps in, she had been less enthusiastic about walks, and she was less able to jump up onto the bed or sofa like she always did. Beth states, “The vets gave us permission to treat her with Chiropractic after not finding anything in particular wrong. After two treatments, with adjustments through the whole neck as well as some along the back and the pelvis, her owner reported her back to herself – back to sleeping in her ball on the sofa and strutting down the road with her new harness that was discussed to help let her neck rest.”
So how can we prevent simple accidents? The solution is to simply put down a runner! Beth advises, “I know we think hard floors are easier to keep clean, but you can buy some stylish rugs that you can just throw in the washing machine! Runners and rugs around the house will help prevent situations like this which lead to pain for our dogs and worry for us.”
If you would like to learn more about the McTimoney technique and discuss any questions you may have then please visit Beth at the Retired Greyhounds Gala in support of the Greyhound Trust at Owlerton Stadium, Sheffield on Sunday the 8th of May.
Beth Absolon 07951 675214 / Beth.firstname.lastname@example.org / www.baanimalchiro.co.uk/
For more information about the Greyhound Trust and the Gala on the 8th May 2022 11am – 2pm visit www.greyhoundtrustsheffield.com