Bodyworker Education

The Importance of Bodyworker Education

There are several considerations when selecting a bodyworker for your pet or performance animal.


At this time, there are no state or national licensing requirements for animal bodyworkers nor boards to regulate animal massage. "Certification" is only as good as the training program which issued it. Therefore, it is important to make certain the person who will be working on your animal companion has had thorough training in equine or canine massage from a reputable educational program.


Licensing or certification as a human massage therapist isn't necessarily an indicator of a person's ability to provide safe and effective massage for animals. While massage therapists who work on people must be experts in human anatomy and the biomechanics of bipeds, a thorough understanding of canine and equine anatomy and movement is essential to working effectively on dogs and horses.

Four-legged creatures use their bodies differently than humans who walk upright. The animal bodyworker needs an in-depth understanding of the functions of the quadruped's muscles, bones and joints, the implications of having a horizontal spine (as opposed to a spine which acts as a column to keep the human body upright,) and how force and pressure affect the animal's gait, balance and mobility. Such understanding cannot be gained from books or weekend workshops.

Carla Campbell has had more than 1,000 hours' training in canine and equine massage, anatomy of the musculoskeletal system, biomechanics, gait analysis, rehabilitation and exercise physiology from some of the world's most highly respected instructors and training programs.

She received her training from:


Massaging a yearling Clydesdale is quite different from massaging an elderly Chihuahua. Your animal bodyworker's experience working with a wide variety of dogs and horses means your quadruped will receive an individually-tailored massage appropriate for her species, size, breed, age, physical condition, temperament and activity level. Carla has been in business as a canine and equine bodyworker since 2000 and has worked with hundreds of animals during the intervening years.

Membership in Professional and Special-Interest Organizations