Monthly Archives: April 2013

Why Should You Give Your Horse MSM?

MSM is a naturally occurring sulfur compound found in almost every cell of the body. It is also found in many fruits and vegetables. Sulfur is a dietary requirement that’s role is to move nutrients and fluids in and out of cells. It also helps toxins to exit. The body uses sulfur to produce insulin, which regulates glucose. Glucose is used to produce energy. This nutrient is found in joints, skin, and hooves. You can see why MSM is so important to any horse in competition.

Cooking destroys sulfur, so any grains that are heated (and remember: Meals are heated twice.) have no sulfur. Any hay or grain mix that is stored will lose its sulfur content. Even the sulfur in MSM supplements evaporates quickly, so that when you premix your grain and supplements, sulfur is lost.

MSM is known for helping arthritic horses, but it is also effective in preventing scar tissue from forming. In people, MSM is used to help with allergies and asthma. Recent research shows promise in treating equine ulcers with MSM. It coats and protects tissues in the gut and reduces inflammation from ulcers.

I have several quality MSM supplements listed in the sidebar to the right to make purchasing convenient.

Healing With Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera is a vegetable, in the same family as garlic and onions. The plant contains vitamins, minerals,amino acids, and enzymes. It can be used both externally and internally. It is an excellent treatment for wounds, as it kills bacteria, is cooling, and speeds healing by supplying the tissue cells with nutrients.

Taken internally aloe vera aids digestion and seems to help horses that are prone to developing ulcers. It is also effective to prevent and help recovery from urinary infections.

There are no side effects with Aloe Vera. It is considered extremely safe in all its applications.

Combining Structural Integration Massage with Cold Laser is a Powerful Combination

There are more than 3,000 positive studies and 300 randomized double blinded clinical trials proving the benefits of cold laser therapy!

The benefits of laser therapy can’t be overstated. It not only hastens healing, it actually improves the way tissue repairs and renews itself.

In post-operative patients, laser treatments reduce the risk of complications.

Lasers can reverse muscle atrophy and improve tendon and ligament strength and resilience. Range of motion, function, flexibility and mobility are all enhanced. In addition, the probability of re-injury is significantly less. Pets get back on their feet and return to normal activities faster.Patients don’t need to be sedated. No drugs are involved; there are no IV lines and no invasive clipping of hair or cutting into the skin.Laser therapy treatments are cumulative, meaning each treatment builds on prior treatments and the animal’s condition improves continuously.
When combined with stress point and trigger point release through deep tissue massage, mobility and health can be restored. This combination of holistic therapies can be used on horses, humans, dogs, etc.

Insanity in the Middle!

British Eventing officials recently released this statement:

“Event horses are very fit and sharp enough to run for their lives. Minor disobedience and keenness should not be punished too severely….Distractions such as close proximity to the show jumping and cross country should also be taken into account. If a horse is presented showing good training and way of going and does cope with the environment then it should be rewarded with very high marks.”

I was recently at an event where the dressage arenas (and the warm up areas)  are right next to the start box on the cross country course. So many of the most fit horses looked on the brink of explosion during their tests.

Cold lasers are not just effective for injuries. They can also be used for relaxation. Lasers are often used at the race track to calm young thoroughbreds before a race. There are three spots on the head where the cold laser should be applied:

_Between the nostrils

_Just below the ears

_Between the eyes



Identifying the Causes of Motion Problems

Barring an actual injury, many problems riders encounter can be the result of a muscle spasm in the horse. By releasing these spasms, the body can be restored to a correct balance (structural integration), tension will be relieved, soreness will resolve, and muscles will be restored to a healthy state. In this series of posts I will cover the most likely culprits that tend to spasm and affect the horses’ performance. Often, by releasing stress points and trigger points, a difficult horse will become sweet and compliant!

A stress point that I often see (especially in thoroughbreds) is on the neck, right behind the atlas (one of the cervical vertebrae). When your horse resists bending to the left, for instance, I will check to see if there is a spasm on the right side of his neck. At times there will be tenderness all the way to the poll. Even at rest, the head can appear to be pulled to one side. If you see your horse in turnout or in his stall stretching his head very low repeatedly, he could be trying to relieve the discomfort of tight muscles (the main culprit has a long name: rectus capitis ventralis).  It makes me so happy to watch the horse shake his head and stretch once this knot is released. There is often quite a desire to move forward as well, so watch out!

Heal Thyself

That is the title of the book I’m reading by Edward Bach.

Edward Bach developed the Bach Flower Remedies (some of you probably already use Rescue Remedy, but there are many more) because he had radical vision of healing disease, which he considered an internal conflict. Treating the body alone would never do more than a superficial damage control, not a cure. He presents his vision of true healing in this book.


Chemotherapy and Transfer Factor

Chemotherapy weakens the immune system. Patients undergoing cancer treatment can take Transfer Factor to protect the body from the infections which often occur.

Dr. Duane Townsend, author of “A Maverick of Medicine” and a gynecologic oncologist, puts all his cancer patients on transfer factor to boost their immune systems. Patients report fewer negative side effects from chemotherapy. In Japan and China, transfer factor supplementation is also used after surgery to help prevent the recurrence of cancer.

A Dose of My Own Medicine

Some of you who know me may have seen me hobbling around the last few months. It all started when I tripped on an uneven sidewalk and sprained my left ankle. Simple, right? Not exactly. As my ankle healed, my right knee (or so I thought) started hurting. Proprioception at its finest! (See my post:)

What is Proprioception, and Why is it So Important?


The pain kept getting worse and worse. I used my cold laser almost daily. I even resorted to taking naproxen, which I try to avoid. I don’t like taking any kind of medication, but I had to function. Finally (I know: I’m an idiot!!) I put two and two together and realized it was not my knee that was hurting, but the muscle that attached to it in the back. So, while I was sitting on the couch, watching TV, I started massaging my leg. I hit on a stress point on the upper hamstring and I applied direct pressure, just as I do on horses and dogs. It was excruciating! I always try to bring sensitivity and empathy to my 4-legged clients, but this drove the point home in a new way. OMG! I did cross fiber friction and kneading, and more direct pressure. When I stood up, not only was the pain cut in half, but my balance felt different.

This morning I went up and down stairs smoothly and almost without pain. Tonight, I will watch The Voice, and give myself another treatment. I think a long hike is in my immediate future. And now that the pain is subsiding, I am going to need a lot of yoga stretches, as I’m finding many of the muscles on the right side of my body are very tight from this ordeal.

Laser Therapy Goes Mainstream

The FDA has cleared laser devices to treat many medical conditions: carpal tunnel, neck pain, low back pain, muscle pain, and wound healing. NASA is using laser therapy to treat medical conditions in space! The US Olympic training facilities endorse laser therapy for athletes. In short, laser therapy is going mainstream.

I have a Respond laser which I am so impressed with. This is the same laser that was used at the Olympics on our USA horses.

Why Rest is Not Always Best

Rest is important and necessary after an injury. After that it is counterproductive: it allows muscle spasms to become permanent. The longer a spasm is allowed to persist, the longer this occurs: fluid is drawn to the area that is in spasm, which is the body’s way of protecting and healing an injury. That fluid is sticky and after a period of time, the muscle fibers become “glued” together. The only way to un-stick the muscle fibers is with manual manipulation and then exercise. With cross fiber friction, a massage technique, the muscle fibers that are stuck together can be released. I always have animals walk after their bodywork to maintain the loose, easy motion that was achieved during the session. An increase in range of motion, and a decrease in pain should be seen immediately.

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