After just finishing up a great three day course on Cranial Sacral, Osteopathy approaches, Chakra balancing, and much much more I have had time to reflect.
This last course with Integrated Equine Therapies has furthered my appreciation for this method of work but mostly proven to me that it works. again. I come at any type of equine body work with a skeptical mind but and open heart. This means that I need to see it work for be to believe that I can master it. I want to see a change, long term not just the horse feeling good in the moment.
A lot of life is us feeling good in the moment. But what can the equine take away from it and what things can I "clear" in that horse before I go.
One thing that really stuck with me is how powerful our own bodies and minds are. Our bodies want to self-regulate. They want to heal. A lot of times we don't allow it. I am unapologetic about Cranial Sacral and how well it works. If you know me I am not someone who just tells you what you want to hear. In fact in some of my sessions you might hear something you don't like.
I try to negotiate what is best for both horse and rider without compromising the horse. Let's break down some of the more advanced moments from my most recent class and how they will help your horse.
So here are some basic things that I took away from this class and will utilize on horses in the future:
Science and anatomy are key. Knowing how organs function, what emotions are attached to each organ and the connection between them. I had a very good understanding of this before, but now I am on a whole new level. There are deep ancient roots here from Chinese medicine to Native American beliefs to modern day science that shows us how this works.
Grounding myself- this is a big one, because I tend to take on a lot of what the horse has. This means that when I am working on a horse, I get a little too involved. Making sure I am grounded before starting work and again after each horse is huge for me. I don't want to bring my own baggage to the table. I want to leave it and approach each animal with the intention to heal and let go.
Chakra balancing was a huge one for me. I needed to see this and feel this to really believe that it works and is true. I think of Chakras and think of some spiritual element that is not rooted in reality. But boy am I wrong. Not only am I able to feel and rebalance this energy but I was blown away by how well it works on horses. From helping heal a colon issue to straightening a horses hip, rebalancing the equine with their own Chakra is a legitimate tactic. No wonder it is thousands of years old. This will be something that I address in the horse. It is so non-invasive that it almost puts the whole room, stall, arena to "sleep". This is a palpable technique that few people use or know how to.
The parts of the brain that are linked to the body and how important the Pituitary Gland is. The brain and gut are "sisters" to me. A healthy gut means a healthy brain There are so many nerves that attach at the base of the skull for a horse. The brain stem is key to unlocking so much. But so are the bones in the head. If you have a horse with a stomach issue or organ issue or nerve issue, I can now assess from the Hypothalamus or Amygdala how a horse can heal this. I never thought this was possible. Knowing the parts of the brain, skull and glands associated are really vital to the rest of the body. If you have good cranial rhythm, the body will start healing itself.
Mirroring. Mirroring is when your horse mirrors your pain or ailment or emotional relation. This might be a little hard for some people to swallow. But again the proof is there when you can see it or feel it. Work on a horse that has a headache or inflamed pancreas. I bet you it isn't really his. Or he has gained traction on this from years of partnering with someone who has this issue. Can I help this? Yes! And I have more proof for myself now than ever that this is a huge problem in so many horses today. They are becoming more and more empathetic and partnering with us so closely that they literally can feel our burdens.
The Theory of Five Elements and how it relates to us, our horses and the people around us. The theory of five elements is something that I will use for almost every interaction with the horses from now on. This theory of circling, north, south, east, west and organ association really resonated with me. Many times it is also a quick way to assess a horses biology.
Something else I came away with from this amazing class that I didn't think about before: if someone or something doesn't want to be healed or helped you are limited. This is why I think cranial and osteopathy techniques are hands down the best. Even if they are not widely used or known, that isn't because of their limitations. It is because of ours.
When I come across a horse or a person who are blocked to this modality, I then rely on science. And science never lies. The proof is in the results. If a horse is blocked to really wanting to receive help, I can physically nudge their bodies into a healing cycle. This over time will open up the horses cranial rhythm and eventually begin to unwind them. But ultimately it is the horse receiving the treatment that needs to participate. If they aren't willing then I know I might not be asking the right questions, tapping into the correct areas or I need to realize that this horse is so blocked off that it might take multiple sessions to get to the heart of the issue.
Tom and Yolanda Mayes are responsible for my positive attitude and belief in this type of equine bodywork. In my most recent class there were people from Canada, Maine and Montana. In past classes there were people from South Africa, Arizona and many other regions from all around the world work with me on horses. And I have been able to learn from others in my classes as well as Toms and Yolandas different approaches to healing.
I was also able to work on a person (human) this time, and I surprised myself by being able to located a couple of their issues and feel what their cranial rhythm was like and where they were "stuck". This was not expected and I was apprehensive in doing it but once again allowed myself to understand and the rest just worked itself out. Thanks to Yolanda for her positivity and affirmation. Affirmation is huge for both horses and humans. Especially in equine bodywork.
We want to have multiple ways to tell if something is working how it's supposed to. There is no "one size fits all" in this line of work.
Assess- reassess and be open.
Stay skeptical of anyone working on your horse, but open to possibilities.
You want to see results.
I am so very grateful to my teachers and mentors and can't wait to learn more.