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MASSAGE THERAPIST: Sara May, NCCMT, NCCAP [Canine Massage Therapist / Small Animal Acupressure Practitioner], Co-Founder & Lead Instructor for Canis Bodyworks, LLC


I offer a virtual consultation service for animal rehabilitation
therapists. From the comfort of your home or office, at a time that’s convenient for you, I collaborate with you to provide one-on-one coaching.  I provide consults for Veterinarians, Technicians, and Rehab Therapists who want:

  • To bring a valuable but often overlooked modality into the health plan for cases which would benefit from soft tissue work.
  • Insight into the benefits and principles of advanced soft tissue techniques for individual cases, including myofascial trigger point therapy, post-surgical massage and edema management, and orthopedic friction for tendon and ligament healing. While these techniques cannot be effectively taught in their entirety in a virtual setting (in-person, hands-on demonstration, guidance, and feedback are the ideal way to teach/learn), Sara can guide the veterinary professional in the fundamentals of advanced techniques and recommend how they can be safely applied in practice.
  • To expand upon their existing repertoire of rehabilitation interventions.
      Animals, like people, can have stiff, aching muscles and joints, which cause pain and limit their ability to get around. I am a massage and acupressure specialist and I offer virtual consults on massage and acupressure for painful or injured pets. Whether you have a puppy, young dog, or senior, I supply convenient access to animal bodywork and can provide relevant information and guidance with effective techniques that are easy and safe to apply at home. From the comfort of your home, at a time that’s convenient for you, I collaborate with you and your veterinary medical team to provide one-on-one coaching.

      If contacting me for help with a pet following injury or illness, I will need the following information before the consult

      • Pet's name, breed, weight, age;
      • Pet's injury or issue;
      • When did injury or issue occur;
      • In what sport or activity is the pet involved;
      • Why are you seeking a consult;
      • Veterinary professional who is currently treating the pet including clinic name, phone, e-mail.

      Once you purchase the consult, you will be provided with instructions.

      Teleconsultations for Pet Parents

      A Teleconsultation is a live pet care visit that's done using a cell phone, tablet, or computer.  You can access Vital Vet Consultants from around the world without ever leaving your home. Each Consultant is carefully chosen for their expertise in a specific area including orthopedic and neurologic conditions, sports medicine, athletic conditioning and return to sport, rehabilitation and physical therapy, holistic therapies, assistive products and equipment, and much more. Consultants answer questions and teach skills and techniques useful for pets. You may recognize our Consultants - they are some of the top people and pioneers in their field. We are incredibly lucky to have them as Consultants, and our pets are the better for it.


      Teleconsultations for Veterinary Care Professionals

      A Teleconsultation is a live patient care visit that's done using a cell phone, tablet, or computer.  You can access Vital Vet Consultants from around the world without leaving your clinic.  This is an excellent way to co-treat with a specialist without impacting your veterinary-client-patient relationship.  Each Consultant is carefully chosen for their expertise in a specific area including orthopedic and neurologic conditions, sports medicine, athletic conditioning and return to sport, rehabilitation and physical therapy, holistic therapies, assistive products and equipment, and much more. 


      What Happens After I Book a Teleconsultation?

      Your Consultant will contact you to schedule a convenient virtual appointment date. You may be asked to submit information about your pet to review before your meeting. Most appointments are scheduled within 5 business days of purchase but can be made sooner, if needed. That's it. We want to make it as simple as possible for you and your pet to get the help you need.

      Sara is a graduate of the Chicago School of Canine Massage and has been nationally board certified in Canine Massage Therapy since 2012 and in Canine Acupressure since 2016. Sara co-founded Canis Bodyworks LLC, with the goal of providing canine massage education to pet parents and veterinary professionals alike through intensive hands-on workshop experiences.

      As a former college English instructor, Sara is a strong advocate for education. One of the favorite aspects of her work is teaching massage classes to pet parents, shelter staff and volunteers, and prospective therapists. Through education, she believes that the value and importance of canine massage and bodywork can be understood, shared, and appreciated by an ever-increasing audience.

      Sara has a thriving private practice in northern Virginia and works part-time as a canine massage therapist and acupressure practitioner at Wholistic Paws Veterinary Services in Ashburn, VA.

      “Sara is an exceptional teacher with the ability to allow each and every person to feel comfortable with their skills and grow within their own practice. Sara teaches and demonstrates Canine Massage and Acupressure courses in away that should be taught in all animal body work classes. Massage therapy or any ‘body work’ can be challenging to teach because each student’s individual senses are different and each student learns differently. Sara understands that and finds ways to help each student develop their sense of touch, optimize their connection with animals, and sets the foundation of what they need to know to be successful when working with animals.” Kasey Braun, LVT, CCRP, CTMT

      “The progress of Bear’s recovery from an articular fracture in his front left leg, where he needed extensive surgery to repair the injury, has been aided by Sara’s caring involvement. Her knowledge and skill as a canine massage therapist helped relieve the swelling associated with his post-surgical condition. While implementing a lymphatic massage, the swelling and bruising around the incision was greatly reduced in a short amount of time. This technique also helped his rather sluggish digestion to start working normally again. The massage itself has had positive benefits to Bear’s health and well being and because Sara is intentional with her presence during her time with Bear, he actually stays calm and enjoys it. As a “pet parent,” I have also appreciated Sara’s willingness to care and support me. Her passion for this practice has been helpful for me to see that this is an essential part of his recovery. With every visit, she instructs and informs me of how I can continue to further the beneficial effects from the massage. Having Sara work with us has been the best medicine for Bear, not just for his healing effects but for his comfort and peace for life.” Dana, Virginia

      "Our dog Gypsy was diagnosed with IVDD, a serious, chronic disease of the spine. After receiving intensive rehabilitation therapy and pain control medications for 2 months, her inflammation was down, but she still labored during even short walks and was fatigued for hours later. We were informed that she was compensating for her bad back by using muscles she had not used before and was constantly sore. She was no longer excited about going out and seemed depressed. A few sessions after working with Sara, we started observing changes in Gypsy. She moved more easily and was more enthusiastic about walks. Sara sees Gypsy every week, and the improvement is remarkable. WhileGypsy is not allowed to leap, run, chase, or tumble anymore (even though she wants to), she is able to go for longer walks and looks forward to outings. Gypsy is no longer depressed and is as active as we allow her to be. Sara is one of the most caring, skilled, competent, responsible, compassionate professionals we have ever encountered. She goes beyond the call of duty. She maintains contact with Gypsy's doctor and coordinates treatment. She reviews the diagnostics and explains what is not understandable to me. We feel so fortunate to have found her. Gypsy loves her, and we love her!" Ann and Fred, Virginia

      "I saw a recommendation for Sara and called her for help with our 15-year old golden retriever. Sara gave my dog and me an excellent pet parent massage training session, and now I feel able to help with my poor old dog's aches and pains while remaining confident that I will not make anything worse. Sara provided a lot of information, including canine anatomy/physiology complete with diagrams, and she has such a kind and calm demeanor. It was a very helpful, soothing experience for my dog and myself, and we both recommend Sara!" Lisa, Virginia

      "I was referred to Sara approximately one year ago. At that time our 12 year old Rhodesian Ridgeback, Sadie, was suffering from hind-end weakness, and her condition was deteriorating quickly. Given her age and stubborn disposition, my husband and I had determined that invasive testing, therapy, or surgery were not paths we were willing to follow. A neighbor recommended Sara and her canine massage practice, and we began to have Sara treat Sadie on a weekly basis. Sara has a thorough knowledge of canine anatomy and how massage can or cannot improve a client’s situation. She has been careful not to provide veterinary advice or to inadvertently risk injury. I am confident that Sara’s treatment has not only prolonged Sadie’s life, but has improved her quality of life. By increasing the blood flow to the tissues of her hind end, Sara has allowedSadie to continue to move independently. Sadie is now 13, which is beyond the age range for her breed. She and our 11-year-old male Ridgeback anticipateSara’s arrival every week. Sara is kind, caring, and gained our dogs’ trust very quickly." Lindsey and Ellen, Illinois

      "We started using Sara's services when our 12 year-old Cock-a-poo, Max, was diagnosed with Intervertebral Disc Disease. We are completely convinced that the massages have improved Max's quality of life. Also, during one of Max's massage sessions, Sara found a small lump on Max's hind leg. Our vet tested the lump and found some abnormal cells. Thanks to Sara, we caught his cancer early, and now he is as healthy and active as ever. We are so grateful to Sara for finding that lump -- she saved him!" Wes and Julie, Illinois

      "Sara is an outstanding teacher, with a deep understanding of her subject matter, including canine anatomy, physiology, kinesiology, behavior, massage techniques, and business practices. She teaches with enthusiasm, humor, and high energy, fully engaging her students even with the most difficult subjects. In addition to her strong skills as a teacher, Sara is an excellent canine massage therapist. She develops close bonds with her canine clients and their pet parents, and she is responsible for improving the quality of life, both behaviorally and physically, of the many dogs she has worked on. She keeps excellent notes on her clients, documenting any changes observed and keeping pet parents apprised of such changes, so that they, along with their veterinarians, can make the best health decisions for their dogs. She truly cares for her clients, both the canines and their humans, and that care is clearly reciprocated." Debra, Illinois