Will Equine Craniocacral Bodywork help my horse with other issues as well or is it just for head injuries and compressions?
Yes, problems can occur at any point of the body and since everything is connected via fascia and other tissues, problems with the hock can affect the poll and the other way around.
ECS allows for the practitioner to unravel the story of the restrictions. No matter how long ago if it left a mark in the body, it can be released. Sometimes it takes a while because it is usually not just one restriction, but there will be more to follow. The horse will try to balance its body in its imbalance. So the hock issue mentioned above my have had its root cause somewhere else in the body - usually along the spine. A healthy nervous system can fix just about everything. The body will know esactly where and when to send what cells to repair the compromised area?
How does Equine Craniosacral Bodywork (ECS) compare to massage therapy or other holistic bodywork?
They all complement each other well. Equine Craniosacral bodywork is the only modality that adressess nervous system at the sourde. That said, chiropractic adjustments at the right time can either kick start the healing process and enhance it if done after a session of deep reaching modality of ECS.
Massage Therapy should be scheduled regularly anyway for any working horse, especially the eventing ones. Just like the human athlete the equine athlete experiences muscle soreness and micro-tears and can benefit from an increase of blood flow to and from the muscles on a regular basis.
Acuscoping can help tendons and ligaments and also decrease muscle tension.
Acupuncture is very well received by horses as well and can support a healthy life style.
Are there any contraindications for Equine Craniosacral Bodywork?
Yes, any recent change in intra-cranial pressure due to trauma or other illness, fractures, fevers and contagious illnesses. Please check with treating veterinarian.
I am taking good care of my horse and use biomechanically correct riding and training techniques - does my horse still need bodywork?
Yes, your horse will always benefit from equine bodywork and especially Craniosacral Bodywork. Horses are athletes and even with our best intentions and superb equipment and training - they will need our help:
- horses are not designed to carry humans (they just look like it) and
- they can be born with conformation challenges.
To avoid long term health issues it is important to address soft tissues on a regular basis.
Another great advantage of regular bodywork is that the therapist/bodyworker can monitor your horse's soft tissues as your training or other circumstances change. This way problems can be caught really early.
What is a good starting age for equine bodywork?
The younger the better. The sooner the young horse gets used to kind and gentle touch the easier they adjust to the demands we put on them and the equipment we use. Also, starting out young means the we can get a baseline in regards to how the soft tissues work best and feel when they are at their healthiest. This is an important tool when more intense training starts and muscles, ligaments and tendons tighten.
What about geriatric horses - will they benefit from this work as well?
If the older horse has never received bodywork before it will very well have adapted to many strains and imbalances on his or her body. Working with an older horse generally means lighter sessions and careful monitoring or the results and changes. Since compensatory problems can be very complex and very wise - the intentions for these sessions are not to dismantle them all, but rather to support the horse as best we can and help them stay as supple as possible.
Why do you use some essential oils during the session and what are they good for?
Horses have a very fine sense of smell. Most of their environments lack exposure to different herbs and plants that they would naturally seek to cure themselves. Horses are their own best herbalists. Since they, in most cases, do not have the opportunity to find the herbs and plants they need to heal themselves, it has been my experience that horses love smelling the oils I offer them. I never offer more than five different high quality essential oils and pick them according to their health, behavior and circumstances. The effects are amazing. Some lick the oils off my hand, others start flehming and hence sending the therapeutic essences right to their brains.