About Healthy Hound Therapy
My name is Jen Hicks, I am a fully insured, registered Galen Canine Myotherapist specialising in the identification, assessment and treatment of musculoskeletal conditions and the associated compensatory issues that can arise from these conditions. I only work under veterinary consent or veterinary referral.
Having been a teacher, qualified fitness instructor and coach for many years, I am used to looking after my muscular health and wellbeing as well as the health of my clients. So, ten years ago when I started competing in the sport of canicross (cross country running with your dog), I naturally looked for ways in which to optimise the muscular health of my dogs too.
I was surprised and disappointed when I struggled to find a therapist to help maintain the musculoskeletal health of my dogs. However, it was realising that my English Pointer Storm did not have the best conformation or posture and was going to need ongoing support that started my journey into physical therapy.
Since he was about 18mths old I noticed he would often get a ‘tight spot’ in his shoulders, he would never ‘drive from behind’ like a dog should do, and his gait was not fluid, I could not quite ‘put my finger on it’ as it was nothing specific. He was never lame or in obvious pain, so my vet was not concerned, but I knew that something wasn’t right. I did not want to wait until something went wrong, I wanted to prevent that happening.
After a lot of research, I enrolled in a Mctimoney course to learn how to treat my own dogs, and Storm did show some signs of improvement. Although I still felt that there was a lot more I could do to help him and help prevent future complications. This led me to take the next step to train as a canine Myotherapist with Galen Myotherapy so that I could truly help to improve and enrich not only Storm’s life, but the lives of other dogs as well as my own.
Dogs have always been a huge part of my life, from family Labradors and Border Collies as I child, to my own Springer Spaniels and Pointers. The journey that my dogs have taken me on has given me a particular interest in treating sporting and working dogs as well as arthritic dogs of all ages. It has also made me passionate about taking a positive, proactive approach to managing chronic pain and providing the best support for you and your dog by working closely with your vet and other canine therapists as part of a multimodal team to help your dog live a happier, healthier life for longer.
Why did I choose Galen Myotherapy?
After extensive research into different training providers and practices, I chose to train with Galen Myotherapy because of their guiding principles. Fundamentally the welfare of the dog comes first. Galen's unique ‘choice led treatment’ protocol, Positive PACT® (Progressive Affective Cycle of Therapy), means that dogs have a choice. Treatment is always carried out on the floor or low level. Dogs are never restrained in any way for treatment. Therefore, a dog can walk away if they choose, they can get up, have a stretch, sniff around and have time to think. Crucially, they can then return for treatment when they are ready.