“Eastern medicine has been in practice longer than Western medicine; this does not mean one is superior to the other.”
Many people ask me if Equine massage therapy is better, safer, or more effective than conventional, Western medical techniques; the answer is they should compliment each other. The horse industry is highly competitive and I feel that this is a mistake. Horse practitioners from any background should build an alliance and create partnership. This article focuses on how alternative healing practitioners and conventional healing practitioners are able to create a balanced alliance. I encourage vets, acupuncturists, massage therapists, acupressurists, chiropractors, herbalists, and other practitioners to read this article carefully and give it some thought.
While conventional techniques are beneficial it does not address everything; while alternative techniques are beneficial it does not address everything. It is easy to understand how and why partnership is necessary for a successful recovery or for health maintenance program. If conducted correctly and with the right practitioners involved a horse can have a healthy, long life. The whole horse needs to be addressed in order for success when dealing with health. Diet, hoof, nerves, skeleton, muscles, emotion, internal systems, ligaments etc must be addressed in order to improve the entirety of the horse’s well being.
Alternative practitioners can provide help to reduce stress, improve movement, diet, or other elements of horse health while vets can provide help with injuries and medical needs. While a horse is recovering a vet should be encouraged to contact or refer the client to an alternative practitioner to help encourage recoveries or health maintenance. At the same time when an alternative practitioner runs into a situation requiring vet care he/she should be encouraged to contact or make a referral to a vet.
Every injury and or activity impacts the whole horse in some form. Running into fences, pulling back, kicking one’s self, trail rides, and physically demanding disciplines will influence the horse’s musculature, skeleton, and internal systems. An example would be that of a horse who pulled or tore a muscle. A vet can provide medical treatment, a massage therapist can help loosen up tight muscles from stress/discomfort, a chiropractor can help readjust any out-of-place joint, an acupuncturist can help stimulate nerves in the injured area, an herbalist can make adjustments to the diet to encourage healing of the injury etc; however this cannot be done without partnership between the practitioners and client.
In closing I encourage horsemen from all background to partner up and work as a community. Please contact me if you want referrals and I will do my best to meet your needs.