Boone is a beautiful Quarter Horse. He stands 16 hands tall. For those of you who are not horse savy: 16 hands is not huge for a horse, but when you stand 5’4” on your tallest day as I do: it is quite tall!
I was called on to help Boone with lower back pain. He is a chiropractic patient already, but still has limitations in his movement as well as stiffness that Boone’s mom is hoping can be resolved. I am an advocate and fan of chiropractic, and it is a powerful tool in it’s own right; but when combined with acupuncture you have a powerhouse of healing.
Again, for those of you who are not familiar with horses, they are sensitive souls. Boone is not an exception to this rule but an extreme representative. Boone is tender and loving. The affection between he and his mom is tangible and beautiful.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) life history is an important part of the medical history. In going through some of the circumstances of his past, it became clear to me that what may be considered normal for some, were in fact traumatic for Boone. He feels deeper than most; this is a both a blessing and a curse.
Recently Boone had shown reluctance on rides and most recently had been unwilling to be ridden, and was showing signs of fear even when he was led on a walk through the grounds where he lives.
One of the incredible character traits of this kind horse is that he is remarkably gentle. When he is afraid, instead of becoming violent as some horses may, he simply freezes. Boone’s desire to please his mom is strong; this was evident in his early history in the show ring where he did quite well in his youth. Remember what I said earlier about Boone’s size? When a horse who stands 16 hands tall decides he is not going to move, he does not move.
Acupuncture moves blood; it is the foundation of the therapy. There are many benefits to the movement of blood. In Boone’s case the issue was not only that his back end was in need of some additional blood flow, but in fact the muscles held the memory of the emotional pain he had felt in his past. I liken this “muscle memory” to PTSD. I believe that because Boone is more sensitive than most and that he feels differently than most, he was quite literally storing the memories he found to be traumatic in his muscles that are now showing signs of weakness.
Muscles are by nature meant to move. When they hold on to traumatic memories they become stiff and immobile. His hip flexor muscles were one muscle group I felt affected, the other was his diaphragm. The diaphragm is essentially a membrane that separates your chest from your abdomen: but it has holes in it that allow movement between the two body cavities. Have you ever had a panic attack? It feels like your chest is being squeezed, right? You can’t breathe, you feel like your blood is stuck in your chest? Well, that is a tightened diaphragm!
This may sound strange to you: but to an acupuncturist who makes a habit of moving blood, it’s not so strange at all. There are points that help not only the hip flexor muscles and the diaphragm to relax, but there is also a therapy, which can release this tension in the muscles. I nick named this treatment the PTSD treatment. This is one of the treatments I had planned on for Boone.
I am happy to report that Boone handled the treatment like the sensitive horse that he is. He considered what I asked him to do with the needles. You can see his considering in the following pictures.
Boone is an amazing horse, and highly intelligent! This is what horses do when they think. They “digest” the idea by literally chewing it up.
I am happy to report that Boone is back to his athletic self, Please visit my facebook page for an amazing video!
The smile on his Mom’s face says more than this blog ever could!
Until next time,
Happy Holidays and Healthy New Year!