Helping the horse to relax in mind and body
The definition of healing is 'the process of becoming sound or healthy again' .
“Reiki” (ray-key) is Japanese for ‘universal life energy', and is also a word used to describe a system of natural healing.
Every living being is made up from cells. All cells contain energy. For a system to work, the energy needs to be balanced and needs to be able to flow. Blockages lead to problems, (think about what happens to the flow of water when there is a kink in a hosepipe).
Energy healing is a way of re-balancing the energy within the body. Horses are honest. They have no idea what I'm there to do. They will react to the feelings that they experience when I put my hands on them, or close to them. The ideal response is deep relaxation. Some horses will resist and often, these are the horses who need healing the most. It's my job to find the right level of contact that is comfortable for the horse. I then 'hold the space'. This means that I create a calm, peaceful and trusting situation with the horse, sensitively reading the horse's reactions and assessing when to back off, when to stay close or when to offer more support.
Often, as soon as I touch the horse, he will relax and 'zone out'. If someone is talking to me at this point, I'll stop the conversation because I need to 'listen' to the horse. If I'm listening to the person, I'm not listening to the horse. I'm happy to do a separate session for the person, or even a joint session if I think it's relevant. I use extremely light touch - imagine putting your fingertips on the surface of water just enough to touch the water but not to break through the surface.
The horse will start to relax, his head will drop, his eyes will begin to close, his nostrils and muzzle will soften and his ears might go floppy. His breathing will slow down. As the horse relaxes his mind, his body begins to relax. Tension starts to ease and the horse will probably do some stretches of their own choice to move tension out of his body. He'll yawn, lick, chew and sigh. Often the horses will thoroughly inspect my hands, sniffing and licking as if they're investigating where the 'magic' is coming from. Please go to my facebook page to see videos of their reactions, including the stretching.
The horse knows where he hurts, and what he has to do to release tension. It's up to me to make him feel safe and relaxed, so that the healing process can begin. Some horses are so sensitive or tense that they can't tolerate massage but they will relax through a healing session. Slowly, they will then begin to accept massage.
I will be reading my own senses as well as reading the horse. I can feel different sensations such as heat, cold, tingling, vibrations, magnetic pulls, tremors, twitches, and some horses will even make me almost fall asleep.
For me, the healing is more interesting than the massage. It's very personal. I've been told I have 'magic hands' and 'an amazing gift'. It's taken me a while to acknowledge (and understand) the strength of this gift. It is a gift, and I choose to accept it and use it with any horse who needs my help.
I've been lucky to learn from some excellent four-legged teachers, including some very sensitive horses, and some not-so-sensitive-bossy horses.
Horses are very receptive to healing, whether they are a stressed competition horse or a retired family pet.