WHAT KAY DOES:
Kay uses combinations of multiple modalities in her work. Typically there are two types of multi-modal sessions - a Structural Integration Therapy session with additional services added on, or a shorter and specifically tailored therapeutic session where Revitavet™ Therapy and/or Low Level Laser Light/Cold Laser Therapy and/or Heat Therapy are the focus with limited Structural Integration Therapy work.
Kay is certified as a Bach Foundation Registered Practitioner (for people) and as a Bach Foundation Registered Animal Practitioner (for animals of all species). There are currently only 10 Registered Animal Practitioners in the entire United States, and none in the Western States. The ability to offer this modality is a key component in developing a truly unique approach to treating the whole animal - not only the animal's body but also its emotional state.
These therapeutic modalities are explained in more detail below.
Structural Integration Therapy: a type of therapy designed to help the horse's connective tissue release and reorganize, returning the horse's body to its natural state of equilibrium. The Structural Integration Series (which is widely known as the Equine Natural Movement Series) usually consists of 6 progressive sessions, as explained below.
Revitavet™ Therapy: the Revitavet™ system is an L.E.D. (Infrared) Light Therapy system which is backed by top trainers and is used by world class riders and equine rehabilitation programs. Below are just a few of the benefits of using the Revitavet™ system on horses:
- Promotes Healing By More Than 50%
- Reduces Inflammation & Relieves Pain
- Stimulates Acupressure Points
- Works On The Cellular Level
- Fights Infection On Open Wounds
Kay decided to invest in a Revitavet™ system after experiencing the powerful rehabilitative benefits of this system on her own injured horse as part of his rehabilitation program. Kay has found the Revitavet™ system to be an incredibly effective tool when combined with Structural Integration Therapy, as it can really help to encourage tight areas of fascia to release and soften, which then allows Structural Integration to be done at a deeper level. Please click on the link in Downloads above to read an Explanation of the Revitavet™ Light Therapy System, which provides more information, including what the Revitavet™ system is, how it is applied to the horse, its benefits and Contraindications.
Low Level Laser Light/Cold Laser Therapy: low level laser light therapy works by stimulating the body's own "clean up, repair, and kill pain" processes at a cellular level. Research demonstrates that low level laser light therapy is particularly effective to stimulate the body's own healing mechanisms for soft tissue injuries such as suspensory ligament injuries, torn tendons, and simple fractures and open wounds. Kay is happy to work alongside your veterinarian and provide cold laser services as part of a rehabilitation program.
Please note: Kay uses only Class 3B 650 and 808nm infrared and near infrared lasers. Class 4 lasers are designated for use in medical facilities only, as these lasers can burn and cut tissue. Kay does not use Class 4 lasers.
Disclaimer: In some states, use of a Class 2 & 3 laser is prohibited except under direct supervision of or application by a licensed veterinarian. Please consult with your veterinarian regarding state laws on use of cold laser therapy.
Heat Therapy: when needed as part of a package of services Kay uses the Original Pony Pillow™ (patent pending) developed by friends at Equine Equilibrium. Much like a human physical therapist' wraps, Pony Pillows™ provide heat to stiff, painful tissues, allowing them to relax and more greatly benefit from other therapies. Heat therapy is an easy, simple, drug free way to prepare your horse for exercise and competition. The Pony Pillow packs stay warm for up to three hours, and are heavy and stable enough that they do not fall off the horse if they shift in the cross ties or even walk around a bit. Heat therapy treatment is typically included with other therapies.
Bach® Flower Remedy System: Bach® Original Flower Remedies were developed by Dr. Edward Bach, a Harley Street doctor and well known Physician, Bacteriologist, Homeopath and Researcher in England. Despite the success of his work with orthodox medicine, he felt dissatisfied with the way doctors were expected to concentrate on diseases and ignore the people who were suffering from them. He was inspired by his work with homeopathy but wanted to find remedies that would be purer and less reliant on the products of disease. So in 1930, he gave up his lucrative Harley Street practice and left London, determined to devote the rest of his life to a new system of medicine that he was sure could be found in nature.
Dr. Bach believed that attitude of mind plays a vital role in maintaining health and recovering from illness and wanted to find something that treated the cause rather than the symptom. After identifying 38 basic negative states of mind and spending several years exploring the countryside, he managed to create a plant or flower based remedy for each one. The System has proven to be of profound benefit in treating negative emotional states in both humans (babies, children and adults) and animals, and for very many years has been a highly respected therapeutic modality throughout Europe.
Common problems/performance issues where Structural Integration may be able to help:
- refusing/resisting leads
- "hanging a leg" over jumps
- head and neck discomfort/head shaking/tongue sticking out
- shortened strides
- stiffness on one side
- hollowness through the back
- evading the bit
- hind leg scuffing/tripping up/down hill
- improper tracking
- hip and shoulder lameness
- girthing problems
- "cold back"
- dislike of being groomed/blanketed/feet picked out
How Structural Integration can help the horse:
Structural Integration can help your horse to:
- achieve long-lasting comfort and range of motion
- improve performance
- be more fluid and graceful
- balance his body in rest and motion
- move more efficiently
- better avoid injuries
- obtain relief from chronic pain
- achieve proper rehabilitation from injuries and other ailments
- feel more energetic
- better enjoy his job
What is Structural Integration, in more detail?
Structural Integration is a holistic approach to rebalancing the whole body and integrating movement patterns. It was pioneered in 1975 by Dr Ida P. Rolf, who developed the concept of soft tissue work. Structural Integration brings the body back into balance by working with the connective tissue (or fascia) which surrounds all the bones and organs and envelops and permeates each muscle.
Its purpose is to connect the entire system into one working whole. Ideally fascia is elastic and gel-like, allowing each muscle and bone to glide by its neighbor, supporting and working in harmony with each other. Fascia is sentitive to touch pressure, tension and repetitive movement patterns and will respond to its environment as a means of protection.
As any horse owner knows, all horses, even healthy ones, develop inefficient movement habits and accumulate a history of "dings", kicks, falls and bruises. Injuries, chronic stress or strain, ageing, even normal "wear and tear" can cause fascia to thicken into adhesions as the tissue repairs itself, often becoming fibrous and glue-like in the process. This reduces flexibility of the joints and prevents muscles from lengthening to their full extent. Over time the horse's comfort and movement is compromised. If these issues are not resolved they can lead to decreased range of motion, pain and compensations in other parts of the body.
As chronic adhesions and holding patterns release, the horse's structure realigns so he can move more efficiently and the flexibility and range of movement of the fascial planes increases. Freedom of movement emerges as the different layers begin to glide effortlessly over one another, bringing more potential energy and power to the muscles and rhythmic grace and smoothness to the gaits.
The horse moves better, feels better and is more sound.
What is the Equine Natural Movement Series?
The Series is an individualized Structural Integration sequence that helps bring the horse's system of muscles, bones and connective tissue back into balance and alignment. It is the most powerful method available for restructuring and realigning the body.
Sessions unwrap structural and neuromuscular holding patterns in the connective tissue that compromise fluid movement. These Sessions can help horses organize themselves so strides become longer, backs lengthen, and gaits become smoother.
The Series consists of the following:
- Intake and Movement Analysis followed by Session 1
- Session 2 - approx. 1 week after Session 1
- Session 3 - approx. 1 to 2 weeks after Session 2
- Session 4 - approx. 2 to 3 weeks after Session 3 (we like to perform a brief Movement Analysis immediately before this Session)
- Session 5 - approx. 3 to 4 weeks after Session 4
- Session 6 - approx. 6 to 12 weeks after Session 5
What happens in a Structural Integration Session?
A typical Session takes 1.5 hours. Session 1 will take up to 3 hours as she will review the Intake Form (which can be downloaded via the link below as a pdf document to print, review and complete), and paperwork, and then see the horse move both in-hand and on the lunge, in each direction. Session 4 will take approx. 2 hours as she likes to perform a Movement Analysis immediately before this Session.
In each Session Kay uses her hands to work the superficial layers of muscle and tissue. As outer layers become more flexible and less restricted she is able to work deeper into the horse's structure to organize intrinsic muscle-joint relationships more efficiently.
All work is done with sensitivity and at a depth and speed the horse readily accepts. Kay will make notes on all findings in preparation for the next Session, and the owner will be provided with a copy.
Are Structural Integration Sessions tailored to the individual horse's needs?
Yes. Each horse is unique and the skeleton and muscular structure, strengths, weaknesses, training, history of injuries and reactions and attitudes of each horse are different. Structural Integration techniques are tailored to the specific needs of the individual horse and the goals of the rider and trainer. Every horse receives individualized treatment.
How many Structural Integration Sessions before you typically see noticeable differences?
A noticeable difference will usually be seen even after Session 1 as superficial tension patterns will start to clear. The work is progressive and ongoing changes and improvement will be experienced as the horse integrates the new movement patterns into its body.
Each Session builds on the one before as the practitioner works to release the deep core holding patterns that have been causing secondary problems. By Sessions 4, 5 and 6 Kay will be solely working on the areas where the horse needs the work most.
What about after the Structural Integration Series is completed?
Once the Series is complete, maintenance sessions are then scheduled based on the horse's workload and tissue type. On average these sessions are recommended every 6 to 12 weeks (depending on the horse's condition).
Do I need to commit to the whole Structural Integration Series? Why can't I just do 1 Session?
This is a frequently asked question. It is understood that the Series is a significant investment for most horse owners. Kay will of course always try to work within the budget of the owner, but Structural Integration is a type of physical therapy designed to be broken out over a total of 6 Sessions. Many times deep imbalances come from deep holding patterns which cannot satisfactorily be resolved in a single 1.5 hour Session. A single Session will certainly help (and Kay would always be happy to do a single Session on a horse, particularly where an owner would prefer to see how the horse handles the work before committing to a Series) but please bear in mind that the work is designed to be done in 6 Sessions in order to realize the full benefit of the work, and Sessions 1, 2 and 3 are designed to first work each part of the body individually to establish the core holding pattern; then to clear tensions in the foundation areas (shoulders and hips); and finally to clear tensions in the barrel. Therefore, to conclude, if an Owner was unwilling to commit to a Series for their horse Kay would be willing to do either a single Session or a “mini-Series” of 3 Sessions.
Is Structural Integration the same as Massage?
No. It is a commonly held misconception that Structural Integration is "just another form of deep tissue massage". Massage comes in many forms and is particularly effective for loosening tight tissue, increasing blood flow and detoxing the body, thus promoting the feeling of relaxation and well-being.
Horses typically experience profound relaxation and a heightened sense of well-being from Structural Integration. However that does not mean that Massage and Structural Integration are the same - the modalities are in fact very different.
Ray McCall, a Certified Advanced Rolfing Structural Integrationist, and former student of Dr Ida Rolf said: "What Structural Integrationists do can be summed up in three words: palpation, discrimination, integration. They "palpate" (touch) the tissue, feeling for imbalances in tissue texture, quality and temperature to determine where work is needed; they "discriminate" (separate) fascial layers that adhere to and align bones and muscles which have been pulled out of position by strain or injury; finally they "integrate" the body, relating its segments in an improved relationship, bringing greater physical balance within the gravitational field."
Massage (along with other soft tissue manipulation therapies) can "palpate" and "discriminate" but does not "integrate" and balance the body in gravity. Dr Ida Rolf has said "Anyone can take a body apart, very few know how to put it back together". As mentioned above, Structural Integration is the most powerful method available for reshaping and reorganizing the horse's physical structure according to clearly defined principles in a systematic and consistent manner.
What type of horse will the work benefit?
Structural Integration and the Series benefits any type of horse from the family horse or pony, used solely for trail riding and pleasure, to the top competition horse. Every horse worked on will feel and show a marked improvement in their performance, strides will lengthen, the hind quarters will engage and the body will become softer and more fluid.
The horses really enjoy the work as it is done with honor and respect in an environment of safety and trust.
The work is also suitable for donkeys and mules.
Is Structural Integration effective as a rehabilitative therapy?
Absolutely. This type of work has been shown to be extremely beneficial as part of a rehab program:
- when you restore elasticity to the connective tissue, blood flow is increased to the affected area, bringing increased oxygen and nutrients to damaged tissues;
- by releasing compression in the area, structural misalignments have a much greater chance of correcting themselves;
- this type of work is a full body therapy. Even if an injury is in a specific location the entire body is affected because of the interconnectedness of the connective tissue structure. By working on the entire body we have the chance to catch compensatory problems before they take hold - so the work is also preventative;
- in addition to the effects on the physical body the work can influence the body's energy flows as well. Accupuncture meridians flow through the fascial planes of the body and when compression settles into the tissue this can also restrict energy flow along the meridian pathways, which can interfere with normal organ function. By releasing the compression along the meridian pathways this work can also have a dramatic effect on organ function.
Does Structural Integration work well with Chiropractic work?
Yes. Chiropractic adjustments are more easily achieved when the tissue is softer and more responsive. The Chiropractor will find it easier to adjust the bones and the adjustments will last longer as the bones will not immediately be pulled back out of alignment by holding areas in the fascial web covering and surrounding the bones.
Is Structural Integration suitable for older horses?
Very much so. Kay has a particular interest in the challenges faced by the senior horse. Older horses (including those retired from ridden work) derive significant benefit from the work as stiffness and pain can be relieved and general mobility improved, hence improving the animal's quality of life. After receiving Structural Integration work the senior horse's owner will often notice a significant improvement in the horse's attitude, energy and "zest for life".
Sessions on older horses will be tailored to the physical limitations of the animal, for example by using energy to influence tissue instead of using direct stroke pressure, on painful or stiff areas.
Are there cases where Structural Integration is not suitable or where there needs to be a waiting period before the Session?
Yes. As with many types of physical therapy there are some conditions where Structural Integration is contraindicated. In addition, there may be cases where there should be a waiting period before performing the Session. The most commonly encountered of these cases where there should be a waiting period are set out below:
- Significant cut injury - 8 weeks after scab falls off
- Significant impact injury (eg bruising) - 2 weeks from healing
- Farrier changes hoof angles - 3-4 weeks. Sometimes it is necessary to start the Series again
- Colic - Mild case of colic requiring single vet call and/or1 dose of banamine – must wait at least 2 weeks before bodywork; if episode required multiple vet calls and/or banamine and/or fluids and/or admission to vet hospital – must wait at least 4 weeks before bodywork; if horse required colic surgery – must wait at least 6 months before bodywork
- Joint injection or other joint treatment - 4 days
- Vaccination/worming - At least 72 hours after vaccination/worming
- Fever - At least 72 hours after a fever
Please click on the link in Downloads above to read the Contraindications List, which provides more information about contraindications and waiting periods. Where Structural Integration is contraindicated other therapeutic modalities may be appropriate - in these cases special pricing will apply.
Are there some guidelines for before and after the Structural Integration Session?
Yes. Some of these are critical as if they are not followed before the Session we will not be able to perform the work - for example: the horse must be dry and free from mud and "slick" products like Showsheen. Some guidelines for after the Session are also very important - for example: if you could allow enough time so that you can hand-walk the horse for 10 minutes immediately after the Session that would be great. Please click on the link in Downloads above to read the Guidelines for before and after the Session.
BACH FLOWER REMEDIES SYSTEM:
Please click on the links in Bach Downloads below for further information on the remedies, how the system works, and FAQs.