About Animal Therapies

“All creatures are deserving of a life free from fear and pain”

Maura Cummings

Historically traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) has been used for many thousands of years. A big part of the philosophy is the belief that all bodily functions are dependent on life force energy a.k.a. “chi”, (ki or prana). Chi, prana, ki, whatever we call this beautiful energetic flow; works through the movement of the blood to connect with, and nourish the meridian pathways to help the body to function properly. Chinese medicine (TCM) works on the belief that each part, makes up the whole. Nothing works independently. When the body is in homeostasis (balance) everything is integrated, so that each part functions in harmony with the other.

If and when an imbalance occurs, however, the sequence alters, resulting in other changes happening, in a consequential manner. If the body becomes injured, or faces a trauma or is in any way at dis-ease; the flow of energy (or chi) often becomes blocked. Impinging upon the body, enabling symptoms (or disease) to likely appear.

“This lifeforce is the energy that pervades the universe at all levels. Vibrating energies. All vibrating energies are prana. All physical energies such as heat, light, gravity, magnetism, and electricity are also prana. It is the hidden or potential energy in all beings.”

India Times

Blockages within the meridian and therefore discrepancies within the chi can be caused by many things. External influences such as a physical injury, the environment (ie dampness, excessive cold, wind or dryness); as well as mental stress, trauma, or emotional pain (for exp. anger, sadness, fear, stress, or depression) can all create an effect on the body. To be able to prevent the effects of blocked chi or blockages within the meridians, it bears to reason then, that we should take the necessary measures to prevent this from happening; before the problems escalate. If however, the symptoms have already surfaced; then it seems that we should also aim to find the root cause, if we are to make any real impact.

Trying to uncover the underlying cause, might sound doable if we look at the body on a physical level, but, what happens if we need to unravel potential emotional or psychological concerns? Is this still something that we can easily address? It might be difficult to delve into our own thoughts and feelings, to help to release potentially repressed emotions; what do we do, however, when it comes to animals?

In 2012, a prominent group of scientists created what we now know as the Cambridge Declaration of Independence. The treaty was the result of many hours of exploration and scientific research by many esteemed scientists, researchers, and those within the medical field. It signified a joint consensus, stating that many animals (including not just vertebrates, but also many invertebrates) are conscious, sentient beings. Meaning, that they have mental states that allow them to experience the effects of things happening to them. Consciousness in other words. It confirmed to the world, that animals are able to feel the effects of behaviours in either a positive or negative manner. The declaration itself states:

horse-fascia-massage

“Convergent evidence indicates that non-human animals have the neuroanatomical, neurochemical, and neurophysiological substrates of conscious states along with the capacity to exhibit intentional behaviors. Consequently, the weight of evidence indicates that humans are not unique in possessing the neurological substrates that generate consciousness. Nonhuman animals, including all mammals and birds, and many other creatures, including octopuses, also possess these neurological substrates.”

CAMBRIDGE DECLARATION OF CONSCIOUSNESS

Bearing this in mind, it seems imperative, therefore, to not only address areas of our own discomfort or imbalance, but to also consider the needs of our pets & animals. When confronting symptoms of a physical injury or trauma, for example, we generally, look for advice from those within the medical field. Emotional or psychological trauma, however, is much harder to identify as is often more obscure.

This can be especially difficult when dealing with animals. When looking at physical pain, dogs for example, as predators (like us), will generally react to or pull away from physical pain. In doing so, this makes it easier to gauge or to locate potential areas of discomfort.

Horses, however, as a herd animal, will naturally try to hide any pain or impairment.  Unlike humans, dogs, or other predators that inherently pull away from areas of discomfort, horses draw into it. This can make it hard to notice that they are in distress, let alone pain. Instead of drawing attention to the areas that are causing concern, horses will try their best to deflect the pain or discomfort, as this is, in their best interests as a herd animal.

This might be difficult within a physical capacity, but if we are to trying to address emotional or psychological distress, however, this is another story. If we are seeking to resume the body’s natural flow and to gain homeostasis then we should address the system as a whole.

To be able to detect physical injuries or sensitivities for example; we might need to look closer into the horse’s body language, gait, posture, or conformation. Differences in temperature or tension might also allow us further insight. But in order, to take on board the possibilities of emotional or psychological areas of discomfort; we must seek to look at the wider picture. External clues; such as shifts in social, training, behavioural patterns, as well as the day to day aspects of their life; are important factors that can allow us to unravel disparities or areas of distress. It is probably safe to say that all of the above cues, will help in one way or another. However, we should also bear in mind; how the body reacts when facing heightened levels of stress.

When an animal (or a person) experiences emotional or psychological trauma, the intensity of the emotions, will leave a strong impression (or memory) within the brain. The body will also feel an impact. A result of this dis-ease could even see changes happening at a cellular level. Altering the organization of the cell’s enzymes, causing a shift to happen within the nucleus.

Animals are much better than us, in letting go of emotions. For the most part, once experiencing something that triggers the flight or fight response; animals will generally go back to neutral within 15 minutes (as the body is designed to do). When a traumatic episode is encountered, however, or when the body is forced to live within the confines of chronic stress, the body tends to hold onto these traumas (as a survival mechanism (just case they are needed to be referred to at another time). Rather than being released, they remain locked within the system.

In the film “E-Motion” these trapped feelings and actions (emotions) are referred to on a physical level. Rather than being something that happens within our emotions or mind; they form and become matter; which can mutate or grow in size. Consequently, this matter will often show up in the body in the form of physical pain, tension, stiffness, anxiety. They can even form “trigger” points that might surface; elsewhere in the body. Depression is often a symptom of emotional trauma; disassociation; often a consequence of chronic pain. The impact of emotional distress and trauma is not just something that affects us as humans; it is also something that resonates, in almost the exact the same way, within our animal friends.

To be able to help the body reach homeostasis. To seek out the imbalances and address these areas of concern; we will in no doubt need, as many tools as we can within our toolbox of life. Energy medicine and holistic healing are one of the oldest forms of medicine. The techniques although gentle in their approach; have helped many to not just “heal” symptoms, but to re-address many levels of discomfort or distress.

“As a true empath, Vicki has a natural affinity with animals and nature. Through her studies, Vicki has learned how to hone her natural healing abilities to bring about very deep and powerful healings on a multi-dimensional level. She is a remarkable healer, a wonderful person and a beautiful soul.”

Marian Ryan, teacher and therapist

Despite all this, holistic therapy is not a magic pill. It will often need more than one session to be able to gain (even the slightest incline of “healing” or) understanding. (As a general rule of thumb, the deeper the issue, the more sessions it will take to be able to peel back, the layers of discord.) Although it may not offer a quick “solution”; holistic therapy and energy healing; given the chance, however, might enable the body to not just locate, but to address the root cause.

The animal therapy services offered are done so, on a personalized basis. Various energetic tools are used within the sessions; these include the techniques of Animal Reiki, Sound Healing, Crystal Therapy and Equine Touch Fascia Massage. To begin the process, an initial introduction can be provided if required. This session will allow your horse or dog; the chance to be introduced properly as part of a consensual process. Once the introductory session has been completed, the remaining tri-sessions are arranged according to you or your pets requirements. If you do not want to take up the complimentary introduction offer, individual sessions can also be arranged if preferred. Prices for the sessions can be found on our price list page. The majority of areas are covered inside and outside of the M25 area of London, as well as the surrounding counties. Although please do check for more details. Please send an email to mail@vickythompson.co.uk for more information; to arrange an introductory session or create an individual booking.