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Soothing our furry friends

Coppertop Therapy in the business of keeping animals feeling relaxed

Amy Becker's extensive background in agriculture, and her sense of empathy and an everlasting love for animals, has inspired her to get into massage therapy for our four-legged companions.

Coppertop Therapy provides services for cattle, horses and dogs, and is an option for anybody who notices pain in their animal, or desires to provide them with increased range of motion and other health benefits.

"Animals of any age can benefit from therapy sessions," said Becker. "That can range from improved mobility, reduced inflammation, increasing lymphatic and blood circulation, relieving stiffness and aches, and improving muscle tone. It's very comparable to some of the benefits we, as humans, would notice from massages."

Becker began her pursuit of the field in October, 2021, by taking a hands-on course in South Dakota to become a Certified Equine Massage Therapist, which carries over into other species.

When she decided to name her business, a friend told her to consider her dyed-red hair, and the Coppertop name was born.

"I wanted something to include more than just equine species in the name, and also wanted to stray from including my initials as a lot do," she said.

She says that her ag background has helped her immensely in her therapy approach.

"It gives me an understanding of how animals react to certain situations or lifestyles, and what therapies will benefit them the most," said Becker. "It's also what's driven my passion for animals, and keeping them feeling top-notch."

Becker notes that what she does doesn't replace proper veterinary care, farrier needs or nutritional care, but it does serve its purpose in allowing animals to be more relaxed.

She typically starts a session with familiarizing the animal to her touch, usually in places familiar to them.

"That way, it keeps them more relaxed, and I'll also ask the owner questions about the animal and their activities, or any lameness concerns," Becker says.

From there, Becker begins a hands-on, slow and steady acupressure and deep tissue massage technique from top to bottom and side to side, and from the front of the animal to the back.

At the end point of the session, she helps the animal with basic stretches, which the owner can utilize in between appointments.

"Throughout the session, my main focus is on the animal to read the cues their body is telling me; if specific trigger points need more attention, then I will focus on that until we get a desirable result."

Becker notes that the animals will often show different forms of tension release, such as yawning, lip licking; and head dropping.

"It's extremely rewarding to watch this during the appointment," she says.

One benefit she notes that some animals exhibit following therapy is increased water intake, as they're releasing toxins that the body has been holding.

A new discipline Becker is offering is "cupping." While not a standalone service, it is an additional option for animals if deemed necessary.

"It requires a lot of ultrasound gel and medical grade cups, that I have in two different sizes to accommodate different muscle groups and species."

She also has added a facial blade, also known as a Gua Sha blade, which offers a different form of assessment and touch to the technique she already uses.

"The blade can also be a partial, standalone treatment just to encourage the movement of stagnant fluids," said Becker.

Bovine and equine sessions cost $100 per session, and canine sessions run at $60. If cupping is needed, it will be at an extra cost depending on the muscle groups and situation.

"I travel to clients across the state, and am not local only to Carrington," she said. "There is no additional mileage charge. I'll also attend barrel races, rodeos, and other events."

Becker highly recommends letting the animal relax for a 24-hour period after appointments, so their bodies can self-adjust to the treatment.

To reach out to Becker at Coppertop Therapy, give her a call at (701) 307-0376, or message her via Facebook.