September Newsletter

Keeping in Touch - Our Real Teachers

Meet demo dog of the month, Ole!  Ole is a french bulldog with a heart of gold. Within two weeks of being brought home, it was discovered that he had distemper. Distemper is very deadly to puppies and there is no treatment or cure. Ole's new mom, Brit, immediately got opinions from various practitioners and with their help, along with supplemental massage treatments and Brit's determination, Ole was able to overcome the odds and the poor prognosis. Shortly after his distemper diagnosis he developed pneumonia, but Brit and Old did not give up and the tough guy pulled through against all odds! Ole was a very lucky puppy to be taken home when he was because without a loving home he surely would not have survived. 

Ole began coming to the Chicago School of Canine Massage in 2012. At this time he had a prominent twitch in two of his legs and he walked almost sideways with a limp and a head bob. He was very thin, had very little muscle tone, and was reluctant to go up or down stairs. Constantly stimulating Ole's nervous system through massage was very beneficial. Massage increased overall circulation and helped blood and oxygen get to the muscles, giving them the nutrients they needed to grow stronger. Given that Ole had a twitch and limp, he was compensating by overusing other muscle groups. Massage helped to reduce pain and soothe the sore muscles that his condition created. Now, three years later, Ole has gained muscle tone and no longer walks with a limp, his head no longer bobs, the twitch is only barely noticeable in one leg, and he is able to go up and down stairs on his own. In the past, Ole could hardly control his movements, now he is happily giving high fives to anyone who asks!

"As complications from his distemper and being a mill puppy, Ole has a neurological tremor which causes his front paw to twitch uncontrollably, his liver does not function properly, he has a congenitally dislocated hip, and most recently he has developed spinal fusion - but you would never know if you met him! Through massage and other therapies, Ole's quality of life has greatly increased. His tremor has greatly reduced and his posture and strength has improved. Ole loves to run and play with his people and his best friend, Nelly, roll in the grass, snuggle, and hang out at the dog beach." -Brit Tornes, Ole's Mom

Professional Clinic Hours

Our professional clinic is now open! We are taking clients at our new office, located in For Your K9. Sessions are scheduled by appointment, with some walk in hours available. We also offer in home sessions in the Chicagoland area. 

Professional Clinic Hours
Monday 5:30pm - 9:00pm
Tuesday 3:00pm - 7:00pm
Wednesday 5:30pm - 9:00pm
Thursday by appointment
Friday by appointment
Saturday by appointment
Sunday closed

To schedule an appointment contact Jaclyn at or call our office at 773-770-5996

Recent Events

Pet Parent Classes
CSCM recently had two pet parent classes, Basic Sports Massage for the Active Dog and Canine Communication. Students in the basic sports massage class learned multiple techniques including effleurage, petrissage, compression, vibration, and some basic joint mobilization. They can now use these techniques to help  their dogs prepare for activity and to help them recover which will in turn improve the dogs' performance, reduce the chances of injury, relieve muscle soreness and help to maintain good range of motion. 

Since dogs use body language to communicate with each other and with humans, the Canine Communication class focused on canine body language to help people understand what their dog and other dogs are trying to communicate.  Those who love dogs but don't understand their language can send the wrong signals even with the best intentions. Students learned the correct way to greet a dog, what calming signals look like, and how to recognize when a dog is stressed or afraid.

K9 Enrichment Initiative Adoption Event
On August 29, Chicago School of Canine Massage attended an event hosted by K9 Enrichment Initiative. The main purpose of the K9 Enrichment Initiative is to educate the rescues and attendees and help make dogs more adoptable. This adoption event was a great way to bring together rescues, have some fun, and spread the word of adoption while having potential adopters come out for meet and greets with the rescue pups. CSCM students and graduates had the opportunity to practice their massage skills on adoptable dogs, network with the rescues and attendees, and give back to the community! We as practitioners educate pet parents and those that work with dogs on how to use massage and low stress handling to help dogs overcome fear, accept handling, and enhance their physical and emotional wellbeing.  Massage and low stress handling is a imperative in enriching rescue dogs. It helps reduce stress they may be experiencing in the shelter environment and helps them get used to handling and touch from people that they do not know, overall helping them become more adoptable! 


Violet's Story: Scope of Practice and Helping Pet Parents Recognize When to See the Vet


I am frequently surprised when clients bring their dogs in to see me for a massage or bodywork when, in fact, they should start by seeing their vet. As a trainer and small animal massage therapist, I appreciate the trust and confidence that many clients have in me, but I often wonder why they would bring their dog in for an assessment or massage treatment before seeing the doctor.

However, after thinking more about it, I realized that many pet parents or pet guardians don't always know when to bring their dog to a vet. Many don't know the signs of pain or illness. Many still think that because "it's a dog" they do not feel pain like humans do, or that dogs cope with pain better. Or, they just don't know the signs and symptoms of pain or illness. As a professional who provides bodywork and who understands canine anatomy, physiology, and behavior, I also have to remember that it is second nature to me to assess a dog and know that the dog may need this medical intervention.

I will use Violet, a Great Pyrenees-Boxer mix, as an example.  I had the honor of working with this lovely 8 month old rescue pup the other day.  When she becomes healthy, she'll be up for adoption. 

To learn more about Violet's story and how to recognize when your dog needs to go to the vet, check out the latest CSCM blog here.