by David Ackerman, D.C.
One of my pet peeves is how we humans often wait until we feel awful or have been given a diagnosis before we do something to restore our health. We know everybody gets sick and eventually dies, yet we rarely take steps to prevent or delay the inevitable.
I am pleased to have been invited to write a column on holistic health for the horse guardian. My obsession with natural healing methods began in 1973 when as an undergraduate at the University of Michigan; I took a workshop with Dr. John Christopher, the herbalist who founded Natures’ Way herbal formulas. Nearly 40 years later I remain a passionate innovator of new techniques in healing as Dr. George Goodheart (muscle testing), Dr. John Pierrakos (Core Energetics), Dolores Krieger (Therapeutic Touch), Dr. Scott Walker (NET) and Barbara Brennan, author of Hands of Light.
Since 1997 my practice has included homeopathy, Chinese and western herbs, flower remedies, color therapy, clinical nutrition and acupuncture. In 1991, I studied in China as a member of a medical educational exchange program. During that time I observed acupuncture anesthesia for three surgical procedures, medical Qi Gong, herbal and acupuncture treatments at Chinese hospitals.
Besides offering practical self-care advice, I intend that this column will produce a paradigm shift in the reader’s perception of the mind-body connection. As caregivers to our animals, it’s extremely important we be as balanced in mind, body and spirit as possible because we do affect those creatures in our care. In future columns I will discuss topics ranging from emotions in Chinese medicine and the adrenal glands to psychoneuroimmunology and the chakras.
As animal caregivers, it’s extremely important we be as balanced in mind, body and spirit as possible because we do affect those creatures in our care. In future columns I will discuss topics ranging from emotions in Chinese medicine and the adrenal glands to psychoneuroimmunology and the chakras.
Prevention-The Best Form of Self-Care
One of my pet peeves is how we humans often wait until we feel awful or have been given a diagnosis before we do something to restore our health. We know everybody gets sick and eventually dies, yet we rarely take steps to prevent or delay the inevitable. It takes pain or sickness to motivate us. The wisdom of Chinese medicine teaches that it is preferable to maintain order rather than correct disorder.
Acupressure - A Gift of Healing Touch
One of the safest, least time-consuming, most effective and pill-free forms of self-care is acupressure. In western terms, acupressure adjusts physiological processes through activation of the homeostatic function of the autonomic nervous system. In this issue we will cover location and indications for use of four of the most powerful and commonly used acupuncture points: Large Intestine 4, Liver 3, Stomach 36, and Spleen 6.
Acupoints can be stimulated by finger pressure, laser, colored light, tapping with fingers, and more. One of my favorite methods is to click a ball point pen 22 times on the acupoint. When using finger pressure, stimulate points with gentle pressure in a clockwise motion using either the pad or the tip of the thumb, index finger, or middle finger for 30-60 seconds. When treating pain, use a harder, irritating pressure for a longer time. Otherwise, pressure can vary from light to heavy depending on the individual.
Large Intestine 4, or Hegu, is located between the thumb and index finger in the web. Popular for its ability to prevent and resolve headaches, Large Intestine 4 is also good for neck pain and stiffness; shoulder pain and tightness; arthritis of the hand, wrist, or elbow; sinus problems; sore throat; tooth pain; and abdominal pain from constipation.
Tip: To be effective, acupoint location needs to be within the radius of a dime from the correct location.
Liver 3 is the best point for liver detoxification and, since it is the livers job to break down all undesirable chemicals that come from our diet and environment, and to manufacture the enzymes required for chemical reactions, this amazing organ deserves some TLC. Liver 3 is located 1 to 1-1/2 inches up from the web between the great toe and the second toe. Liver 3 is good for headaches related to toxicity or allergies, insomnia, upper abdominal pain, PMS, excessive uterine bleeding, depression from unexpressed anger and resentment, and moves liver chi stagnation. Liver chi stagnation was an uncommon condition in China 4000 years ago, but today is very common as it translates to stress.
Doing acupressure on Large Intestine 4 and Liver 3 on the left and the right is known as “opening the four gates” and detoxifies the whole body. If you don’t have time for all four points, just do Large Intestine 4 and Liver 3 on the right, as the liver is located on the right and the right side of the large intestine is usually more toxic than the left, since the left is closer to the exit.
Tip: Please remember that, although the meridians are named after organs, they are different than the organ and may affect physiology other than that organ’s physiology.
Stomach 36 is called the 100-year point, because it is supposed to make you live a century. To locate this point, cup your palm over your kneecap while sitting - where the tip of your ring finger lands is Stomach 36. This point strengthens the immune system. Blood tests performed before and after Stomach 36 stimulation reveal an increased white blood cell count. It is good for stomach pain, indigestion, cough, knee pain, and poor circulation in the legs and feet. Stomach 36 is good for weakness following a chronic illness.
Spleen 6 is located four finger-widths up from the inside ankle bone. It is good for all types of menstrual difficulties, yeast infection, and PMS. Since there is not a pancreas meridian in acupuncture, all of the functions of the pancreas, including digestive enzyme secretion and blood sugar regulation are under the direction of the spleen meridian. Therefore, Spleen 6 has a beneficial effect on digestion, blood sugar levels, and diabetes. Spleen 6 is used to remedy headaches, those associated with menses, hormonal disorders, and as well as headaches resulting from hypoglycemia.
Tip: Stomach 36 and Spleen 6 are often stimulated together for many of the conditions they treat.
Large Intestine 4 and Spleen 6 are two acupuncture points that are contraindicated during pregnancy. They are both capable of causing uterine contractions that could lead to a miscarriage. The only appropriate use of Large Intestine 4 or Spleen 6 during pregnancy would be to avoid a C-section by using these points to induce labor after the water has already broken.
Don’t wait until sickness or stress sidelines you – instead, act preventatively and provide self-care through the use of acupressure.
Look for a new holistic human health topic in your next issue of Natural Horse.
About the author:
Dr. David Ackerman has practiced chiropractic and acupuncture on two-legged’s since 1979. He is a kinesiologist, Neuro-Emotional Technique (NET) practitioner, and a graduate of the Barbara Brennan School of Healing. Dr. Ackerman currently practices at The Verde Valley Wellness Center in Cottonwood, AZ. www.drdavidackerman.com
by Joannara Fox
As a veteran animal communicator, I have recently noted a marked increase in calls from bewildered humans who report that their animals are acting abnormally - suddenly displaying unusual, out of character, and erratic behaviors. These are not cases of animals with chronic, long-standing emotional or behavioral issues. These are well-balanced, well-behaved animals displaying sudden, often maddening, behaviors. I’ve received reports of “bomb-proof” horses running headlong into fences, with no intention of stopping, fluffy little lap dogs turning into fang-baring beasts, and an endless procession of cats vomiting, spraying, hissing, and bullying other cats. While none of these behaviors are unheard of in my line of work, the number of occurrences in normally well-adjusted animals is on the rise.
What They Have to Say
Often, animal communicators are consulted as a last resort – when the animal’s guardian has exhausted all other avenues--veterinarians, farriers, chiropractors, trainers… all to no avail. Therefore, most organic/physical causes have already been ruled out. Having queried several animals about their sudden changes in behavior, I compiled this list of responses:
“My skin feels itchy, like I want to leap out of it. It makes me go nuts!”(horse)
“Sometimes things look out of focus and I get dizzy.” (dog)
“I just exploded like a volcano, I don’t know why. My stomach feels weird. Please tell them I am sorry.” (horse)
“Alex (the cat) looked like he had wavy lines coming out of his fur and it was annoying me (from Pete, the other cat) so I beat him up. And it left.”
“Can’t you feel the ground moving?! It’s scary!” (horse)
Perplexed by these replies - and this trend - I visited the barn to consult with my wise, trusted colleague and companion, Patience, an 18-year-old Arabian mare.
“So Patience, enlighten me as to why I am getting so many calls about abhorrent behaviors within the animal community. And what is causing all of these strange symptoms?”
“It’s all about the vibrations on, around, and within the earth. You’re a former science teacher; you need to spend some time researching the astronomical events that are occurring.” (She never minces words and has the tact of a dump truck.) So, as usual, I followed her advice.
Dynamic shifts within the cosmos occur daily, affecting our planet and all of its inhabitants. The following are just two of many examples.
“SPECTACULAR EXPLOSION (UPDATED): Magnetic fields on the sun's northeastern limb erupted around 17:45 UT on April 16th, producing one of the most visually-spectacular explosions in years. NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory recorded the blast at extreme ultraviolet wavelengths:
The explosion, which registered M1.7 on the Richter scale of solar flares, was not Earth-directed, but it did hurl a CME (coronal mass ejection) into space. Analysts at the Goddard Space Weather have analyzed the trajectory of the cloud and found that it will hit NASA's STEREO-B spacecraft, the Spitzer space telescope, and the rover Curiosity en route to Mars. Planets Venus and Mars could also receive a glancing blow.
This event confirms suspicions that an active region of significance is rotating onto the Earth-facing side of the sun. Stay tuned for updates.”
Space Weather News for July 5, 2012
HIGH SOLAR ACTIVITY: Sunspot AR1515 has grown into a behemoth more than 10 times wider than Earth. The active region is crackling with M-class solar flares and seems poised to produce even stronger X-flares in the days ahead. At least one CME is en route to Earth, and ham radio operators are reporting shortwave solar radio bursts roaring from the loudspeakers of their receivers.
So how do scientifically monitored cosmic events such as sunspots, solar flares, and coronal mass ejections affect our relationships with animals? Who and what are affected by these events?
In an article, How Do Solar Flares Affect Earth, Ezmeralda Lee states:
Earth's satellites can have orbits altered by the massive energy pulses of a solar flare. Atmospheres are affected by these energy flares as well. The introduction of short-wave and long-wave gamma and X-rays that are the product of solar flares can ionize the components of a planet's atmosphere leaving it less able to maintain an even enclosure around the planet in question. For earth, the atmosphere that wraps the planet is in a constant state of defense against forces from within and out. Powerful solar flares can generate huge holes in the ionosphere, which can negatively affect people and equipment on earth.
I am told that when solar flares are released from the surface of the sun, and are hurled in the direction of Earth, they crunch the Earth’s atmosphere, sending shock waves reverberating throughout the planet. Humans may or may not feel, or recognize, what is occurring on a conscious level. We are generally focused on work, caretaking of children/ animals, paying the mortgage, etc. and have lost the ability to be in constant, close connection with Nature and cosmic energies. Conscious or not, we are still affected by the energies. Have you noticed an increase in fatigue, confusion, sudden bouts of anger, and road rage in the general public?
Animals, on the other hand, maintain an unobstructed connection with the natural rhythms of Nature, feeling all energies intensely. They move as the spirit moves them – in accordance with what feels good to them. When there are sudden bursts of unfamiliar energies surrounding them, they act on instinct, no matter how well they are trained.
Do I have solid, unequivocal proof that cosmic events in the Universe are causing our animals to be off-kilter? No, I do not. However, I have found that during a number of consultations, when I broach the subject of whether the animal can feel the energetic waves, the animal will answer affirmatively. Many of them, like Pete the cat, can actually see the energies. This is often why we have cats and dogs bullying, spraying, urinating, and defecating inappropriately. They are simply marking territory, attempting to ward off the offending energies. Pete reported feeling annoyed with the energy attached to Alex’s fur; indeed, he actually thought he was doing Alex a favor by attacking it. Horses often suffer the most; they possess immense energy fields, making them extremely sensitive to these shifting energies.
In my practice, I have had success in treating this phenomenon. I first state a clear intention of the desired outcome. I then administer essential oils, orchid essences, and/ or energetic bodywork. Sometimes it is simply a matter of conversing with the animals and their humans, reassuring them that they are not “going nuts.” Each case is different and unique, as are the apparent symptoms. Information from the animal, human, and my intuitive guidance are all part of creating a plan to restore the animal and family to a healthy balance.
We live in interesting times! And we are all, animals and humans, in this together. May your awareness of the cosmos help you facilitate and co-create with grace and ease, peace and balance in your lives!
About the author
Joannara Fox is a telepathic animal communicator who can act as the messenger between you and your animal companions. Additionally, she can serve as a dimensional bridge between you and your animals/ loved ones in Spirit, as well as a bridge between you and your guides, guardians and angels. She lives with her beloved animal companions at Spirit Wind Ranch, Dewey, AZ.
By Nayana Morag
This is one of a series of articles that will teach you about individual essential oils and how they can be used for your animals. These oils are all ones I use regularly in my practice with animals.
Myrrh: (Commiphora Myrrha)
Physical and energetic description:
Myrrh is a shrub or small tree with sturdy knotted branches, trifoliate aromatic leaves and small white flowers. The trunk exudes an oleoresin, which hardens into red-brown tears. The trees are native to Northeast Africa and Southwest Asia, especially the desert regions of the Red Sea; the name is derived from the Arabic for ‘bitter’. Myrrh is the grand old statesman of essential oils, one of the first substances to be valued for its scent. The Ancient Egyptians valued it as a healing unguent, and burnt it to honour the dead; the Ancient Hebrews drank it with wine to prepare themselves for religious ceremonies; Jesus was offered wine laced with myrrh on the cross to diminish his suffering. Myrrh is like a desert wind, drying out dampness and invigorating those who are slow, lethargic or run down. Myrrh frees thoughts that are caught in a pattern of restlessness, brings peace of mind, helps close wounds physically and emotionally and creates a quiet place inside to recover from loss or rejection.
Fungal skin infections
Rain scald and mud-fever
Weighed down by responsibility
Over-concern for others
Antifungal, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antispasmodic, astringent, cardiac tonic, carminative, cicatrisant, expectorant, immunostimulant, sedative, stomachic, tonic, vulnerary
Safety: Non-irritant, non-sensitising, possibly toxic in high concentrations. Avoid in pregnancy.
Think 'Myrrh' in these conditions:
Restless animals who worry about others especially if they are prone to damp, oozing skin conditions or excess mucous. Those who are stoic about pain and past suffering, especially if they have breathing problems
About the author:
Nayana Morag is one of the world's foremost experts in the use of essential oils and aromatic extracts for animals. She has developed a system of animal wellness she calls Animal PsychAromatica, founded on the use of essential oils, understanding animal behaviour and the reduction of physical, environmental and psychological stress. Nayana also works with horses and owners to help them develop a positive, creative relationship based on trust and understanding. She teaches worldwide and also offers distance or on-site consultations, workshops and a professional standard Certificate in Animal PsychAromatica. Her book, Essential Oils for Animals, is now available.
By Gail Snyder
Sidebar: A horse is sound if he is comfortable going barefoot, not if he is comfortable in shoes.
It’s about time someone speaks up about the unnecessary suffering inflicted upon horses by well- intentioned people. Someone needs to make horse guardians aware of this “dark side”, so it might as well be me. I’ve kept such mentions to a minimum while still getting my message across. But as a hoof care professional, I’ve seen things that made me cry.
Who hasn’t heard a farrier say, “He can’t hold a shoe because he has crappy, shelly feet”? You may be surprised to learn that horseshoes are the primary cause of shelly hooves. The outer wall has been routinely thinned with the rasp, making it dry, brittle, and eventually unable to hold a shoe. The hoof capsule then loses its strength and becomes painful. Now the horse “needs” corrective shoes, wedge pads, toe clips, and epoxy to hold Humpty Dumpty together! The shoes also inhibit the circulation needed to deliver vital nutrients to the hoof - yet another contributor to shelly walls. This is a common scenario that can be avoided (and remedied) simply by going barefoot.
Corrective Shoes and Wedge Pads
Veterinarians and farriers commonly use corrective shoes and wedge pads to address hoof issues. This should raise a big fat red flag for the horse guardian because this approach doesn’t fix anything. Instead, it is the beginning of a slow decline leading to even more rigid shoes that better mask the pain, allowing the horse to be used despite the lameness. A horse is sound if he is comfortable going barefoot, not if he is comfortable in corrective shoes. When the shoes come off, the truth is revealed. In the conventional world of rehabilitation, corrective shoes and pads come first, followed by drugs and surgery; then, one day, “Sparky” is put down at the ripe old age of 12. Natural hoof care would remove the offending shoes, restoring circulation and expansion of the feet, thus beginning the hoof rehabilitation process.
Thrush and Nail Problems
You can smell the stench of rotting tissue when a hoof pad is removed. Serious thrush lurks under the pad and within the hoof capsule. The all-white hoof in Photo 3 shows thrush is resident in the nail holes, then radiates over the sole, and lives deep under the bars as well. Farriers do not always tell guardians that the shoe/ pad combination is making the hoof unhealthy, so it is wise to check this out for yourself.
Natural Balance Shoes and “The Square Toe Syndrome”
There is nothing “natural” about the Natural Balance Shoe (NBS). It is a square-toed device placed on an anatomically round-toed hoof. It is intended to shorten breakover and improve biomechanics. The shoes are often placed too far forward, thus actually inhibiting breakover (see Photo 4). Also, the leverage on the long square toe is significant enough to cause soft tissue damage to the coffin joint within. Even if the shoe is placed correctly, a square shoe on a round front hoof has biomechanical interference on the diagonal (at the toe pillars) such that turning is significantly inhibited, even more than direct forward movement. The added interference forces the horse to lift its legs higher, just to breakover, as you would have do if wearing a pair of swim fins.
It is common knowledge that horseshoes cause concussion, especially on hard ground. Concussive forces are extreme when metal shoes are applied, so plastic shoes are being used to better absorb shock. Like metal shoes, they need to be nailed on, and they cause peripheral loading. But plastic shoes are also thick and clunky, making biomechanics even worse than their metal counterparts. So, don’t fall for the plastic shoe spiel (see Photo 5).
Laminitis and Founder
Laminitis (inflammation of the laminae) and founder (coffin bone dropping or displacement resulting from laminae detachment) are often the result of inappropriate, unintentional - and usually preventable -horse keeping practices. Photo 6 depicts a foundered hoof. The red-stained area of sole, near the frog tip, is the result of coffin bone penetration. Other common causes of laminitis and founder include: overeating, inappropriate feed, metabolic/ hormonal conditions, poison, toxins, drugs, vaccines, stress, obesity, illness, infection, and hoof trauma.
Some of the worst cases of laminitis and founder can be found in obese and insulin resistant horses. It is becoming an epidemic as a growing number of horses are “over-bred, over-fed, and under-worked”. Conventional emergency measures include a plethora of drugs such as butazolidin, pergolide, isoxsuprine, and peripherally loaded horseshoes that are equally inadvisable. The drugs and shoes mask the condition, thus allowing it to worsen. They do not address the metabolic problems at hand. In this case, fix the horse, not the hoof.
Incompetent Hoof Care Professionals
There are many people in the hoof care profession that believe hoof rehabilitation can only be accomplished by aggressive trimming techniques. Sole thinning, bar removal, exit cuts, resections, digging for abscesses, and toe chopping by well-intentioned people is a very grave concern.
Another form of incompetence is flat out laziness or lack of knowledge, both of which result in poor workmanship. Please - request references and speak to long-time clients before hiring a hoof care professional.
It is a common and widely accepted practice to put horses in pastures and paddocks previously used for cattle. As such, the number of barbed wire cuts is astronomical, affecting about 25% of my client’s horses. Many a horse has lost his life to barbed wire entanglement and T-post impalement. Those who survive the ordeal endure hoof disfigurement, lameness, bacterial infections, thrush and the need for ultra-frequent hoof care. Please don’t accept unsafe fencing, and properly train your horses to not panic if an entanglement of any kind should ever occur.
Hoof Trauma and Event Rings
The hoof in Photo 9 depicts what is called an “event ring” – a moment in time when the horse developed painful laminitis due to an extreme life event. The things known to cause laminitis and founder are also responsible for “event rings”.
We can often predict when the event occurred by understanding that wall growth occurs from the coronary band to the toe at a rate of 1/4 to 3/8 inch per month. Knowing the timeline helps to identify the actual cause of the event.
My hope is that the case studies presented above demonstrate how important your hoof care decisions are to your horse. I hope you will turn into a hoof fanatic and demand quality work from the people you hire. Making good decisions is the key to preventing lameness and minimizing (if not reversing) hoof pathology.
About the author:
Gail Snyder is an experienced hoof care professional, clinician, author, trim instructor, and hoof rehabilitation expert. She has worked on horses with severe hoof conditions, previously deemed incurable, and was able to restore health through natural hoof care, nutrition, and the healing powers of movement. This recipe for success is proven, however, Snyder’s degree in Mechanical Engineering and work in the field of dynamics, modeling, and mechanics give her unique insight into the biomechanics, form, and function of the equine hoof.
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Indictments Made in Maryville, Tenn., Horse Soring Investigation
The Humane Society of the United States commends prosecutions of all perpetrators of soring
(Dec. 4, 2013)--A Blount County, Tenn., grand jury has indicted four people suspected of animal cruelty by “soring” Tennessee walking horses by applying acid or other caustic substances to force them to perform the high-stepping “Big Lick” gait. The Humane Society of the United States applauds the Blount County Sheriff’s Office and Tennessee prosecutors for continuing to pursue criminal charges after an investigation into a Maryville, Tenn., training barn earlier this year.
The grand jury indicted Maryville horse trainer Larry Joe Wheelon, Randall Stacy Gunter of Louisville, Tenn., Brandon Lunsford of Walland, Tenn., and farrier Blake Tanner Primm of Sevierville, Tenn., on 17 counts of aggravated cruelty to animals.
Leighann McCollum, Tennessee state director for The HSUS, said: “Anyone complicit in the depraved practice of soring should be held accountable—including owners who may have knowingly put their horses in the hands of abusers. We are grateful for the persistence of the authorities in Blount County on this case, and we encourage them to continue aggressively investigating anyone who participated in these cruel and illegal practices.”
• The arrest warrants allege that Gunter and Lunsford worked with horses who had suffered serious bodily injuries, were discovered to have had chemicals and other foreign substances applied to their legs, and responded in pain when their legs were palpated by veterinarians.
• Wheelon, Gunter and Lunsford were arrested in April on felony animal cruelty charges stemming from suspicions of soring. The HSUS, Blount County SPCA and Horse Haven of Tennessee assisted authorities with the rescue of 19 horses from the training barn used by Wheelon.
• The HSUS encourages Congress to pass the Prevent All Soring Tactics (PAST) Act, S. 1406/H.R. 1518, which strengthens the Horse Protection Act by ending industry self-policing, strengthening penalties and banning the use of certain devices associated with soring. Without these important amendments to the existing law, the “Big Lick” faction within the Tennessee walking horse industry will perpetuate the culture of corruption and abuse.
• The HSUS offers a reward of up to $10,000 to anyone who provides information leading to the arrest and conviction of a violator of the Horse Protection Act or any state law which prohibits horse soring. The HSUS will pay up to $5,000 for any tip leading to an arrest and conviction for bribery, intimidation, fraud or other corrupt activities related to the inspection of Tennessee walking horse shows. Anyone with information on this cruel practice should call The HSUS’ tipline at 855-NO-SORING. The HSUS will protect the identity of all callers.
Subscribe to Wayne Pacelle’s blog, A Humane Nation. Follow The HSUS PR department on Twitter for the latest animal welfare news. See our work for animals on your Apple or Android device by searching for our “Humane TV” app.
The Humane Society of the United States is the nation’s largest animal protection organization, rated the most effective by its peers. Since 1954, The HSUS has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education and hands-on programs. We rescue and care for tens of thousands of animals each year, but our primary mission is to prevent cruelty before it occurs. We're there for all animals, across America and around the world. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty -- on the Web at humanesociety.org.
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