Though it is more common to find an integrative approach to healing with people, the concept overlaps into working with horses AND their owners given their unique bond. Integrative Healing provides the best opportunity for complete and thorough healing (not just masking a symptom) because it considers the whole picture completely. It’s no secret that it is best to keep things light with your horse and not work them too hard when you’re having a bad day as your emotional state will rub off on them and it won’t be a productive work session. This extends even further to physical challenges as well… when the owner suffers from wrist or elbow challenges like Carpal Tunnel Syndrome or Golfer’s Elbow, we see a similar overlap into the horse’s foreleg with symptoms in its navicular or coffin bone, for example. Working on both “patients” with the understanding that one reflects the other can offer the most amazing and complete results.
Therapists are often pressured by owners to work on a given area of their horse without due consideration to what other biomechanical, compensatory, or energetic/meridian influences that may be causing or affecting the current symptom picture. This often leads to lingering symptoms and lengthy recoveries. We cannot separate the body, mind, and spirit from one another, therefore healing the three concurrently and creating equilibrium is ideal.
This is further complicated by the fact that horses do not speak their human’s language — they speak horse. The Language of Horse is really not as complicated as humans try to make it. The physical symptoms, the pattern of illness, the “bad behaviour”, the distant attitudes, and the sour disposition are the nouns, verbs and adjectives strung together to give us a clue as to how to best help them.
Furthermore, evaluating a the problematic signs with broad based training provides multiple perspectives that integrate to create the ultimate solution rather than the tunnel vision of a single concentration. It is not a matter of choosing a scientific or alternative means or an allopathic or holistic approach as they all can work together for optimal results reflected in the horse in both competetive performance and pleasure riding.
No two sessions at Body Kneads are identical as a range of modalities are seemlessly integrated to suit the needs of the horse and owner on that particular day. AnimalTalk Energy Medicine offers an energetic means to balance the body-mind-spirit, offering insights where other manual therapies might be beneficial. Myofascial Release and Advanced Sport Massage are some of the more aggressive massage techniques while CranioSacral Therapy and Acupressure are more of a hybrid between manual and energetic processes.