Equine Muscle Release Therapy (EMRT) is based on the Bowen Technique &mdash a successful human therapy from Australia. It works on the fascia (a fine transparent membrane) which covers every organ, blood vessel, nerve, muscle and bone in the body.
The fascia should be loose, moist and mobile, allowing free movement between parts of the body and the unrestricted flow of bodily fluids. Injury or stress can result in it hardening and becoming less elastic, with a reduction in the fluid flow.
Internally, problems in the fascia may cause:
- contracted muscles, leading to bones becoming misaligned
- insufficient lymphatic drainage, leading to a build up of toxins
- poor blood supply
- trapped nerves
This can lead to restricted movement and a lack of body symmetry, causing muscle wastage or overbuild, which can be successfully corrected with ERMT treatment.
EMRT aims to stimulate the nerves that carry messages via the central nervous system to the brain to re-programme an area of trauma. As the nervous system affects the entire body, the treatment benefits the whole horse as well as accelerating healing of a problem, such as an open wound or muscle injury.
Practitioners use their hands, fingers and thumbs at key points on the body in a gentle, non-invasivetreatment that many horses seem to find relaxing and enjoyable.
Becoming an EMRT therapist
Training in the UK is accredited to the Bowen Association of Australia. All potential practitioners must understand and be able to handle horses safely.
Training lasts two years and covers equine anatomy and physiology, in addition to spending many hours training and building case histories, before being examined in both the practical application and theory of EMRT.
Treatment is only undertaken with veterinary consent, and a practitioner will make a visual assessment and take a case history in much the same way as other hands-on therapists.
This feature was taken from Horse & Hound’s The Healing Touch series (13 February).
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