Galen Myotherapy

The world-leader in Canine Myotherapy education, treatment, and research

All about Galen Myotherapy

What is Galen Myotherapy?
Galen (Canine) Myotherapy is a branch of massage therapy which promotes health and treats chronic muscular pain in dogs through unique massage techniques and exercise management.

It’s concerned with the prevention, management and treatment of movement and allied disorders. It encompasses detailed assessments and effective treatment programs, including specialised massage techniques along with dynamic remedial and strengthening techniques, to manage the chronic muscular pain and inflammation that is caused by the many different conditions that are so common in a dog’s life.

Using Positive P.A.C.T.®, Galen’s unique ‘choice led treatment’ protocol, dogs always have a ‘choice’ when being treated. Restraints are never used and Galen Myotherapy practitioners always treat on the floor or on a low level, where a dog is most comfortable.
How does it improve a dog’s health?
The canine body, like any living body requires balance or homeostasis to thrive. To maintain balance, all the body’s systems have to work together. Without this balance the systems can suffer, for example pain in the muscular system can affect behaviour patterns, the digestive system and compromise the peripheral neurological system.

The repeated postural and impact of old injuries, combined with tension generated from emotional and psychological can lead to tense and contracted fibrous muscle tissue, which can manifest as lameness in dogs. Galen Myotherapy treats the muscular tension and chronic muscular pain that can result in a multitude of physical and behavioural changes.

Chronic muscular pain is widespread and often misdiagnosed and therefore often not offered the correct treatment.

Galen Myotherapy can be highly effective in many conditions and situations, including:
  • Repetitive strain injuries - one of the most common causes
  • Ongoing lameness that is typically difficult to pin-point accurately
  • Osteoarthritis – especially in dogs that are intolerant to anti-inflammatory drugs
  • Patella subluxation (think the ‘Jack Russell Hop’)
  • Behavioural issues
  • Compensatory issues
  • Whiplash caused from impact at speed
  • Enhancing the health and performance of sporting dogs – ‘Keeping Working Dogs Working’
Practically every lameness in a dog will be from a muscular problem and most of the conditions we see are as a result of underlying conditions, old injuries or repetitive strains.

Lameness can stem from any accident or injury a dog has suffered that’s been treated solely with rest and not any muscular therapy. Alternatively, an injury or trauma could have been treated, but serious and undiscovered muscular harm was left untreated. This is incredibly common.

Repetitive strains are also typical and can result from inappropriate exercising or activities or environmental problems such as slippery floors in the home or jumping in and out of a car.
Where did it start?
The therapy was first conceived when Julia’s own Labrador puppy, Huffo, who was recommended to be put to sleep at just 6 months old because he was suffering from an inability to lift his head from the ground after an accident. Through Julia adapting exercises for Huffo she was able to improve his condition and he lived happily until he was 17 years old! This led Julia to realise that that many dogs were being put to sleep due to a painful but manageable muscle problems. Huffo and the issues he faced with his neck were the foundations of Galen Myotherapy.

Julia established Galen Therapy Centre in 2002 and since then has worked tirelessly to improve dogs lives and their health. In this time she has treated over 8,000 dogs and trained hundreds of people in Galen Myotherapy techniques.

Julia was one of the very first in the UK to understand and treat the effects of adaptive change (or muscular compensation) in dogs and through years of dedication has learned that trends, patterns of behaviour and physical changes occur in a dog when they are suffering with muscular pain. This quantification of the nature of the changes has now been formalised into the Galen Comfort Scale©, which is being used in the many studies and treatments that Galen are involved in.

In late 2019 we changed our organisational name from 'Galen Therapy Centre' to 'Galen Myotherapy'. This decision was based around the fact that Galen Myotherapy is now synonymous globally with the work that we do. Julia speaks all around the world and with the launch of our International Schools program, we believe that this new name truly reflects the global impact of what we do.
Books and DVDs
Julia is a published author of three books and has produced two DVD’s including ‘Tongue to Tail’ which was the winner of the coveted US Maxwell Award – from the Dog Writers Association of America in 2012.

You can find all her books and DVD on our shop page.
International Seminars
Julia is an expert, pioneer and leader in her field of Canine Myotherapy both in the UK and worldwide. She has been invited to speak at national and international symposiums, travelling to 12 different countries and made 29 International appearances over the last four years.
International Schools
In 2019, the first Galen Myotherapy International School was launched in Oslo, Norway which was quickly followed by the launch of a second school in Melbourne, Australia. 2019 also saw the translation of the Galen Canine Myotherapy Diploma into Spanish, providing greater accessibility to the course worldwide.
Positive PACT
Positive P.A.C.T.®, Galen’s unique methodology for ‘choice led treatment’ is revolutionary when working with animals in pain. It has been formed from Julia’s extensive experience and observations over her years of practice and underpins how we work at Galen Myotherapy.

We're proud of our animal-centric headquarters
The minute Julia saw Skipper she could see the problem was in his back, caused from an old injury, after his first treatment Skipper was so much better, much more free movement and less pain. Having now had three treatments he is a different dog, no more lameness and back to his old happy self.

I cannot thank Julia and Galen Myotherapy enough for restoring my boy to his happy self and back to his winning ways in the show ring. I cannot recommend Galen Therapy highly enough and do so to all my show friends, thanks Julia, you are a star!