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60 m a s s a g e & b o d y wo r k m a rc h /a p r i l 2 0 2 2 MYOFASCIAL RELEASE THERAPY FOR ANIMALS Although Animal Fascia is Unique, Myofascial Release is Still an Effective Therapy By Lola Michelin KEY POINTS • Horses and other animals possess anatomical trains, or pathways, of fascia that closely resemble the anatomy trains in humans. • Myofascial release techniques can be performed on animals to relieve pain and tension. As a student, I remember our anatomy instructor introducing the concept of fascia by comparing it to the pith of an orange—a continuous web that both connects and separates the pulp within each segment. This was in the early days of conversations about the role and function of fascia. Thomas Myers's groundbreaking book, Anatomy Trains, was still a few years away from hitting the shelves. And yet, I already felt I had a deep appreciation of this system. By then, I had spent over 15 years working on dogs and horses and the occasional zoo animal. Horses, in particular, had drawn me into the electrifying energy of a rippling fabric, neither skin nor muscle, evident just beneath the skin. Due to their tendency to sleep upright and their evolution for swiftness, the musculature of the horse had an affinity to the bone unlike other animals, and between skin and bone, the pulsing of energy was, well, palpable. Few images provide a better

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