Equine mobilisation and stretching, incorporating positional release and muscle energy techniques.
As an equine professional it is always important to keep your skills and knowledge topped up. This means going on courses. My main purpose of attending CPD courses is to broaden my skills and also develop a new thought process into treating horses. You never stop learning, and even more so in an industry that is always changing.
The aim of my job is to make sure I can enable your horse to get maximum relief and comfortable across the body, releasing any tight spots, sore spots or general aches and pains. I want to ensure they can continue their jobs, whether that be as a simple happy hack or a top class jumping or event horse.
A particular CPD course that Georgia went on, was Equine mobilisation. this course was a perfect start to developing a new set of skills; MET work and release. The concept of MET is a softer approach, a more accepting massage technique for the horse, minimising the chances of over stretching, straining then causing inflammation. You allow the body to guide you into a stretch, but not taking it to the point of bind then holding for 7 seconds, releasing then holding for a further 7 seconds, then lastly for 25 seconds at the point of bind. The concept allows the body to stimulate its regulatory mechanism to facilitate change, it has a longer lasting effect compared to that of your usual stretching and on studies using this MET method the range of movement has been improved. The way MET works is by stimulating the pain receptors and allowing it to descend through the pathways, increasing blood flow into the area and reducing the inflammatory markers.
As part of the same CPD, Georgia developed her skills on positional release and the concept of strain-counterstain. The way this works is by instead of finding the barrier within the muscle or fascia and adding pressure to remove the issue, instead you remove the restriction within the area into the easiest direction for comfort. Positional work allows the therapist to find a suitable position which dramatically reduces the pain and discomfort in the area, whilst still contacting the place or target of pain.
Trigger point work:
A basic area for any sports therapist to treat is via the use of Trigger points. These are areas across the horse of naturally tightened biochemical reactions in the fascia or muscle body. They occur when the area becomes too acidic, and this can happen in any type of muscle or tendon. Tissue tension compresses the blood vessels and increases the inflammatory markers, issues then appear and eventually a build up of metabolic waste plus a lack of nutrients to the area which then stimulates a pain response. Due to the complex design of connective fibres and tissues the trigger can spread via sarcomeres and then can affect the neighbouring muscles. Georgia uses trigger point release as a way to help lymphatic drainage and the distribution of toxins. Release is seen via licking and chewing, and in some cases yawning. The CPD course Georgia attended refreshed her existing knowledge on the subject, and has encouraged her to develop further meaning in to Chapmans Reflexes and Visceral work.