Equine CranioSacral Therapy can help to treat many conditions, both chronic and acute, including:
- GRINDING TEETH-DIFFICULTY CHEWING
- HEAD SHAKING
- BACK AND JOINT PROBLEMS
- HEAD INJURIES AND TRAUMAS
- FEELING FLAT IN WORK
- POSTOPERATIVE RECOVERY
- HEAD SHYNESS AND SPOOKINESS
- STUMBLING AND TRIPPING
- RESPIRATORY PROBLEMS
- FOLLOWING A PULLBACK
- DIFFICULTY WITH TRANSITIONS
- BLOCKED TEAR DUCTS
- TMJ/TMD (temporomandibular joint disfunction)
- FACIAL NERVE PARALYSIS
- HOCK OR STIFLE ISSUES
- LUMBAR OR SACROILIAC ISSUES
Horses and Ponies are similar to humans; they can store past traumas, injuries and bad memories deep within themselves for years. These things should have been processed, and either released, or integrated at the time of the occurrence. When bad experiences are “shelved,” these things can become locked inside, and keep the horse from moving on, and becoming free again.
Another of the many benefits of Equine Craniosacral Therapy is that it can reconnect the horse with its own natural processes and allow a gentle unwinding and release of what needs be gone.
What is Craniosacral Therapy?
In Craniosacral therapy, the practitioner works with the craniosacral system, which includes the cranium, spinal column, sacrum, central nervous system and the cerebral spinal fluid (CSF). The CSF circulates in this area the way blood circulates through the body. It brings nutrients to the brain, provides it and the central nervous system with cushioning, and removes toxins. When there are blockages or tension, this circulation slows down, and problems arise. The practitioner uses a very light touch (about the weight of a dime) in specific areas to release the restriction, which helps the CSF to flow at a normal rate and allows the entire craniosacral system to regulate itself, thereby promoting healing in all areas of the body, both physical and emotional.
Equine Craniosacral Therapy
Craniosacral therapy is done on animals the same way it is done on people. The practitioner feels for imbalances and interruptions in the craniosacral rhythm all over the animal’s body and treats it with a light touch on specific bone patterns.
CranioSacral Therapy for horses focuses on restoring balance throughout the cranial structure and the rest of the body. Practitioners will first assess a horse’s movements, posture, and soft tissue; then they will place highly sensitive hand and finger pressure to specific points, which may be anywhere on the horse’s body, to suit the individual needs of each horse at that particular moment and time.
Equine Craniosacral Therapy addresses issues that appear to be conformation related but are actually postural issues. Craniosacral Therapy offers an excellent and extremely effective alternative to more conventional therapies such as massage and physiotherapy. It is an especially effective therapy for nervous and anxious horses.
Equine Craniosacral has proven to be beneficial for horses from all disciplines; whether you have a top-level, high performance horse, a trail horse, or a pony. Many horses are forced to retire due to injuries or wear and tear caused by a lack of preventative care. Equine Craniosacral Therapy can help horses recover from the physical stresses and strains imposed upon them through many different disciplines; even from the effects of everyday handling, such as resistance to being tied. Equine Craniosacral Therapy allows horses to rebalance their bodies, so they are able to perform more effectively and comfortably over long periods.
Equine Craniosacral Therapy assists top level competition horses maintain peak performance and a competitive edge. It’s also gaining popularity in many other disciplines, including Eventing.
Equine Craniosacral can assist horses who suffer from head shaking, lameness, hindquarter injuries, head traumas, temporomandibular joint (jaw) dysfunction and many other conditions.
Craniosacral addresses the central nervous system and the limbic system of the brain which loads trauma. Craniosacral decompresses the pattern to alleviate the trauma that is held in the limbic brain. This is why it is a modality that stays with the horse. It isn’t about muscle memory with craniosacral. It goes deeper than that.
Craniosacral therapy is a very safe and gentle manual therapy that works on the central nervous system and the connective tissue called “fascia.” The light touch technique is used to help stimulate the body’s own healing properties along with lessening the restrictions found in the nervous system. It works primarily on the central and autonomic nervous systems and has been proven to help calm and rebalance these systems, especially in the horse.
Craniosacral therapy aims to use light manual touch to restore this cranial rhythm and also affect the nervous system at its core in the brain and nerves. The most important nerves are the cranial nerves that originate from the brain and either enter or exit the skull through small openings called foramen. There are 12 nerves in total and they help control everything from sensory organs, to facial muscles, to the digestive tract. So, these nerves are very important to consider when looking at a horse using craniosacral therapy.
The therapy itself is very non-invasive and employs a light touch that most horses really enjoy. The aim is to increase the activity in the parasympathetic or “rest and digest” part of the nervous system and decrease activity in the sympathetic or “fight or flight” part. It is through this process that the body can allow healing to occur and relieve internal stressors. The CST itself opens up restrictions in the fascial planes and restores motion to the cranial bones allowing the body to rebalance and restore normal function to the nervous system. The uses for craniosacral therapy are limitless. Owners can see great benefits in using it on healthy, working horses to keep them feeling their best. But it also very beneficial to horses who have performance issues, behavior problems, chronic pain, chronic medical conditions, and many other conditions. Please consult a veterinarian before using craniosacral therapy for horses with special medical conditions. The horse should be evaluated by a veterinarian and approved for manual therapies before using craniosacral therapy for horses.