In my first blog post I talked about energetic medicine and how it can be used as a powerful tool to enhance the health, well-being and strength of your equine partner. Today I would like
to talk about one area; equine meridian massage.
Meridian massage, also called “The Masterson Method”, is unique in that it allows the horse to be actively involved in the releasing of its own pain. Compared to typical massage it works
along the same meridian lines as acupuncture and acupressure. From my experience using this method, I have found it to be a powerful compliment to the aforementioned modalities
creating a powerful synergistic effect for pain relief, rehab and stress relief. The interactive process between horse and therapist through a series of targeted maneuvers allows the horse
to communicate where release needs to happen. Allowing the horse to actively engage in the release process enables true healing to take place.
The success of this modality depends on the therapist’s understanding of what a horse’s release looks like. By watching for specific signs like long blinks, shuffling, sighs, huge yawns,
snorting and head or whole body shaking, it becomes apparent where the pain is located and where the work must be concentrated. From this experience a deep trust and understanding
begins to develop between horse and therapist creating a powerful healing effect. The main goal of this work is to bypass the survival defense response and connect directly with the part of the nervous system that releases tension. The first area worked is the Bladder Meridian which starts at the poll and runs just below the spine all along the horse over the rear and down the rear leg to the hoof. This meridian work deals with the entire mind/body of the horse. The release of this meridian calms the horse and establishes the touch/response vehicle that the therapist will work with. The Poll/Atlas is the next area worked and it is the most important. This area effects all movement in the body because the major muscles are attached to the poll and neck. The most important takeaway is that all pain and tension in the body is reflected in the poll. If there pain in the front legs it manifests in the poll and so on.
Slowly the therapist works through the entire horse’s system; lateral cervical flexion, neck/shoulders/withers, the hind/sacrum/sacroiliac joint and finishes with lateral rocking which
is a lot like the end of a human massage. This final stage releases the back and spine for a final time and seals the finish of the massage.
As a therapist, I have personally experienced the powerful effects of this method. I prefer it over traditional massage for rehab, soreness and tension. It is an important tool in any training
program to ensure your horse stays happy, healthy and pain free.
Staying ahead of the curve when it comes to the health and well-being of your horse creates an environment where horse and rider can meet their full potential. Happy Riding!