What is Energy Healing?
All animals, including equines and humans, benefit from healing. It helps in a wide range of physical, emotional and psychological conditions, working holistically on the whole animal, rather than on isolated symptoms. Healing is a natural therapy, promoting calm, trust, peace and deep relaxation. But how does it work?
Energy healing activates the parasympathetic nervous system, bringing a state of homeostasis and balance back to the body, allowing for rest, relaxation, restoration and healing to naturally occur.
The parasympathetic nervous system finds its origin in the sacral spinal cord and medulla and works in tandem with the sympathetic nervous system. Its core function is to return the body to a restful state of balance (parasympathetic) after experiencing a fight or flight response (sympathetic). It manages the rest, digest, heal and grow processes of the body. Horses are prey animals, instinctively using flight vs. fight to survive. This is core to their survival and it is not something we can breed out of them. Pair this natural survival instinct with other stresses like training, competition, transport, lack of pasture/outdoor space, herd and barn dynamics, etc. and what can occur is an energetic imbalance in the body and a system that can maladapt to be more sympathetic dominant rather than being in harmony with the parasympathetic nervous system.
The sympathetic nervous system prioritizes survival and vital bodily function, and diminishes processes of restoration. When the body is in balance, the parasympathetic nervous system will automatically "turn on" after a threat (perceived or real) resolves and the body’s relaxation response will activate. However, when the sympathetic nervous system is chronically active due to lifestyle, stress levels or habits, the parasympathetic nervous system may become less active/dull and therefore unable to operate optimally to provide its rest, digest, heal and grow processes. Healing work helps to activate the parasympathetic nervous system, bringing homeostasis back to the body and providing an environment in which the body can heal itself.
What will my horse experience in the healing session?
What might your equine feel or experience as part of the healing session? Do me a favor and make a fist. Now hold your fist tightly for 30 seconds. Now release your fist. Feel the difference in your body? This feeling of release is what I aim to provide your equine through energy healing work. Ultimately it is the body that does the healing but the work I conduct with your equine provides the body with the right environment in which to heal itself.
When experiencing healing work, equines will sometimes exhibit a sleepy eye and lowered head carriage (signs of becoming peaceful). They may yawn or do a shimmy shake (signs of releasing tension). They may scratch or become itchy (feelings coming to the surface). They may lick or mouth (signs of receiving the healing/peace). They may present me with a part of their body that is concerning them or guide me to an area they need support with. I will be looking for these signs and for signs of a peaceful state of mind. Sometimes they can do this quickly and sometimes, it takes multiple sessions. Even a little progress can be profound for the animal.
Following a session, your horse may appear more relaxed and even sleepy. We typically don't advise strenuous exercise following a session. Sessions help the carer to gain insight into their horse's behavior, wants and needs. These insights help to deepen the relationship between you and your horse. Healing can support a calmer demeanor, improved behavior, ease of movement as well promoting a more trust-based connection between you and your equine friend.