When we talk about message, what springs to mind? Indulging oneself at an exclusive spa, receiving special wraps and treatments from a burly masseuse? Put away those ideas that body work such as message therapy, chiropractic adjustments, or acupuncture are merely for the hedonistic wealthy set. Instead, think of these treatments as a means of keeping you and your horse healthy, comfortable, and injury free.
Injury free? How can that be?
Of course there are no guarantees against injury, but bodywork can keep the muscles, connective tissues, and joints in proper alignment, preventing tears, excessive wear, and soreness that cause more serious problems. I’m a runner and I credit the fact that at my age (undisclosed) I have not suffered any serious set-backs to my monthly deep tissue message treatment. Sometimes it does feel like a bit of an indulgence, but on the other hand, I have avoided IT band problems and other runner complaints. My horse suffers from sacroiliac (SI) point problems. Although she has had joint injections, I plan to further support her musculoskeletal function with message and adjustments.
Lets not forget our equine athletes. Bodywork can help them, too. My horse suffers from sacroiliac (SI) point problems. In the past she has had joint injections, but I also plan to further support her musculoskeletal function with message and adjustments. In order to educate myself on the topic, I’m reading a book written by Jim Masterson, the USET Endurance Team equine message therapist, entitled Beyond Horse Message. Although I do not believe one can or should undertake performing equine message from a book, it is interesting reading. His techniques aim to alleviate soreness, strain, and tension in the horse. On the topic of equine message, finding a certified practitioner who will work with your vet and farrier is key. So, treat yourself and your horse for better and longer lasting performance.
What is your experience? Have you had success treating or preventing injury with bodywork? Share in the comments!