Massage or other bodywork can be adapted to horses for the purpose of enhancing performance and preventing injuries. This field has recently been developed and shows signs of gaining rapidly in popularity, as breeders are interested in any techniques that can give them a competitive edge. According to Jack Meagher, author of Beating Muscle Injuries for Horses, the practitioner applies techniques of human massage, especially sports massage, to horses.
A pioneer in the fields of sports massage and equine sports massage, Jack Meagher turned to working with horses as a way of proving the value of sports massage techniques for athletes. By using the techniques on horses and achieving demonstrable results, he was able to rebut the contention that results with humans were due to psychological factors. can by performing equine massage. Equine Sports Massage Therapy is designed for any horse at any age. It is a vigorous type of massage that gets the blood and lymph moving in the body and assists is relaxing the muscles as well. The horse feels looser and more energetic after a session. Its performance, whether in the ring or just a pleasure ride, is greatly enhanced.
Benefits of Equine Sports Massage are: Alleviate discomfort, help prevent lameness, assist in correcting behavioral problems, enhances muscle tone and increases range of motion, assists in balancing the body by treating the body as a whole, rather than each individual part, reduces inflammation and swelling in the joints, thereby alleviating pain, promotes healing by increasing the flow of nutrients to the muscles, and carrying away excessive fluids and toxins, creates a positive effect on the contractual and release process of the muscles. When tension is released, muscles relax. Stimulates circulation by “defrosting frozen muscles”, thereby releasing ENDORPHINS – natural pain killers. Improved circulation also increases the excretion of toxins through the skin. Helps maintain the WHOLE body in better physical condition.
See IAATH website for practitioners.