Pain is a valuable and natural tool that notifies us when there is a condition that needs tending to. Immediately taking or administering (in the case of our animals) painkilling medicine without first reflecting on what message the pain is sending is not useful. The medication will temporarily treat the pain, with side effects, but whatever caused the pain is most likely still there. I prefer a cure to treatment!
Pain is not a disease. Pain is a symptom.
Muscles have two major functions: they contract to create motion, and relax to return to its full length and allow another muscle to pull in the opposite direction. No other tissue in the body does this. Muscles move bones that are attached by tendons. To move bones back to their starting points, the muscle that made the movement has to relax so the opposite muscle in the pair to bring the bones back to resting position.
What happens if this dance doesn’t run smoothly? If the first muscle doesn’t fully relax, the bones cannot return to their restful, or healthy postural position. Alignment and balance are then adversely affected. Stiffness and immobility (lameness) gain control of the body, robbing it of strength, stamina, and graceful movement. When the body is balanced (the massage work I do is called body balancing) it is in a state of health. When postural balance is restored, pain symptoms disappear.
I recently worked on a mare that looked to be in pain in her front end. One leg was twisted so that her hoof pointed in. Her walk looked painful as well. I found an area of very tight muscles in one shoulder (I have no idea how they got like that. This was my first meeting with her.) It did not take long for her whole posture to change. Her leg starting to turn until it was fairly straight. At the end of her bodywork session I asked to see her walk, and she just strutted out of the barn. We were all smiles, and once again I was elated to see an animal relieved of pain just by re-balancing some tight muscles. A week later I heard from the owner that the mare is moving well.