Would your Horse enjoy some free QI?
Thank you for your interest in acupressure, and your willingness to help me master this ancient wellness tradition. I discovered Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) while in recovery from a traumatic accident, and while my narrow little western-perspective science brain really struggled to understand how it worked, the results in relieving pain, mending my body, and keeping my emotions on an even keel during recovery were undeniable. As you know, I love understanding how things work, so couldn't resist the chance to study this modality in depth and bring it to my four-legged friends. Thankfully, my alma mater, the Northwest School of Animal Massage launched their acupressure program shortly after I discovered TCM, and I was lucky enough to attend their first Intro to Acupressure class in 2016.
So far, I've completed the coursework and hands-on practicum in acupressure, and now need to complete 25 sessions as case studies. Ideally I'd like to have 3-5 sessions per horse, so a total of 7-9 horses participating in case studies. Existing clients get first dibs on acupressure sessions, and if we're able to set up our sessions when I'm already in the neighborhood, there will be no travel charge. All case study sessions will be complimentary!
WHAT CAN YOU EXPECT?
A session of acupressure is quiet and simple. I'll observe the horse's behavior and current state, might ask to have you walk the horse so I can see how it moves, look at its tongue, smell the body for indicators of imbalance, feel for areas of heat/cold, and stiffness. I'll then be checking the Shu points on the back to understand which organs/meridians need support. There will be lots of looking things up and shuffling of my paperwork as I make my plan, and I'll step away from the horse for a few minutes to do this. Once I have a game plan, I'll be locating acupressure points on the meridian and treating them with touch. I'll need to really concentrate, so probably won't be as chatty as usual, but promise to fill you in at the end of the session. The first session may take about 1 1/2 hours, but the following sessions should be quicker.
One novel thing to note is that the organs of the body in TCM sometimes share characteristics with parts of the body as we understand them in Western medicine, but often have other areas of influence which affect the body in very different ways. For example, if I refer to the Stomach Meridian, I'm talking about a path that extends from the eye and corner of the mouth all the way back to the hoof on the hind leg. In TCM the stomach meridian influences eyes, mouth, jaw, lower neck, and stifle, in addition to digestion. It could be a very entertaining error to hear 'stomach' and whisk your horse off to your vet with concerns about your horse's stomach.
After the first session, I'll want to return for the next session 3-7 days later to see what changes have occurred and treat again. If you notice changes as well, by all means report them to me. I'd love to hear what you're seeing!
Once my certification is complete, I'll begin using whichever wellness tool I think will serve the horse best in our normal sessions. Usually that will be some blend of massage, stretching and acupressure, but if you have a preference about what modality I use, please let me know!
MORE ABOUT ACUPRESSURE
Acupressure is a gentle modality developed over thousands of years, which focuses on restoring balance and smooth flow of Qi (a.k.a. 'Chi') throughout the body. This ancient TCM modality recognizes and honors the mind-body connection and can be used to balance emotional states in addition to balancing the body or providing pain relief.
In treatment, physical pressure is applied to specific points on the body to influence flow through the meridian. Unlike acupuncture, no needles are used. By detecting issues early, we can often catch and correct them before they escalate to serious infections or chronic conditions which require veterinary care.
Acupressure is a wonderful tool for supporting general health, influencing recovery, and managing pain without medication, but is not a replacement for veterinary medicine. If your horse is experiencing fever, signs of serious infection, or a physical emergency, please call your vet immediately.