INTRODUCTION – ANCIENT HEALING AND EQUINE HEALTH
Since the beginning of human history, the horse has been our constant companion in farming, war, travel, and sport. These powerful animals have played an important role in human survival worldwide. Because of the horse’s athleticism, intelligence, and adaptability, humans have forged a bond between our two species that will never be broken.
When we domesticated the horse, we also took on the responsibility of caring for horses. We realized if we were going to rely on the horse’s strength for food, travel, military purposes, and communication across distances, then we’d best take good care of this living, breathing resource.
The ancient Chinese were well aware of their dependence on horses and the need for their horses to be healthy. Acupressure-massage has been used with both humans and domesticated animals for thousands of years in the vast countryside of China. Equine acupressure-massage charts that document the use of these ancient healing techniques still exist. What started as tribal healing evolved over thousands of years into a more pervasive and codified science. Fortunately, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has been passed down from generation to generation.
Modern medicine has finally “caught up to” traditional medicine. Current conventional veterinary medicine has also begun to see the value of integrating modern technology with a form of medicine that has thousands of years of clinical observation to support it. Both approaches to medicine have their place in caring for ourselves and our horses. By combining the strengths of each form of medicine, we can reap the benefit of health and well-being.
Acupressure-massage, called Tui-Na in Chinese, is noninvasive, always available, deceptively gentle, yet profoundly powerful. Horses have proven to be excellent candidates for the healing nature of acupressure because they’re highly attuned to their internal energetics and sensitive to external, physical stimuli. Just think of how the horse wards off a fly even before it lands on him. Also, when horses stampede, they rarely, if ever, bump into each other.
Acupressure offers you a way to actively participate in your horse’s health. It gives you a means of building a close partnership with your horse and his well-being, and contributes to years of quality performance and mutual enjoyment.
- strengthen muscles, tendons, joints, and bones
- enhance mental clarity and calm required for focus
- release natural cortisone to reduce swelling and inflammation
- increase lubrication of the joints for better movement
- release endorphins to increase energy and relieve pain
- resolve injuries more quickly by increasing blood supply
- balance energy to optimize the body’s ability to perform
In Chapter One of ACU-HORSE: A Guide to Equine Acupressure, we delve into the TCM theories and concepts underlying acupressure. Subsequent chapters take you step by step through application of this rich traditional medicine. Once you have a firm grasp of these ancient Chinese ideas and practice their application, you’ll gain insight into your horse’s health and be able to help him feel and perform at his best.
Please note that acupressure isn’t a substitute for veterinary medical care. Rather, it serves to complement medical services. Therefore, when your horse is ill or injured, seek appropriate medical attention from a qualified veterinary practitioner.
Horses are particularly receptive and responsive to acupressure. They want and need to bond with their human. With acupressure, you can provide them with this rich, shared experience, both for their health and this close connection.
ACU-HORSE provides a key that will help you unlock your healing ability as well as assist your horse in fulfilling his promise.
In the following chapters of ACU-HORSE: a Guide to Equine Acupressure covers the evolution and nature of the horse, Traditional Chinese Medicine concepts and theories underlying equine acupressure followed by a step by step approach to assessment and the acupressure session protocol.
The final chapter of ACU-HORSE provides over 30 specific condition acupressure point charts for common equine physical and emotional health issues such as arthritis, colic, pre- and post-performance, founder, and many musculoskeletal problems. ACU-HORSE: a Guide to Equine Acupressure is due to be out this coming autumn – Stay Tuned!