Equus Muscle Management (EMM) / Horse Muscle Care (HMC)
This is a gentle, yet powerful series of corrections that enable the release of muscle groups to enhance performance and greatly reduce the chance of injury by allowing muscles to regain their flexibility, strength and range of motion.
I nearly always start a massage (EMT) with aspects of the EMM technique, as it allows the horse to experience gentle release and relaxation, which helps me to establish a beneficial connection in which to work and gain the best outcomes.
Sometimes if a horse is too sensitive or too sore and will not tolerate a massage, I will utilise this technique in full to achieve improvement. It can also be adapted to use as first aid treatment for minor muscle dysfunction during events or other work.
Equine Myofunctional Therapy (EMT)
Most people understand this terminology better as remedial, sports or therapeutic massage. These various massage techniques work with the muscles, soft tissue and connective tissue to promote or restore biomechanical function and range of movement.
During remedial massage there is also significant stimulation of the lymphatic and circulatory systems to aid with elimination of toxins and to promote healing via improved blood and nutrient flow. The beneficial flow-on effect this has on all of the body systems is quite profound.
An EMM + EMT remedial combo treatment is probably my favourite, as the results are always observable and improvement continues for many days after. But it does need some consideration. Due to the flushing-out of body toxins via the liver, it cannot be used for 3 days either side of medications, dewormers and the like. And due to the postural changes experienced, it should not be used within 3 days either-side of hoof care or dental work. Riding is also best avoided for 3 days after. But with a bit of planning around these contraindications, this combo treatment is so worth it!
Other Bodywork Options
While EMM and EMT are the main bodywork modalities that I tend to utilise, I can offer a range of others. Most times I tend to incorporate these other modalities into a massage if I come upon the need – value-adding and customising the massage to suit the individual needs of the horse.
So in addition to my standard bodywork session, your horse may also benefit from my other skills with:
- Myofascial Release – to encourage the release of fibrotic muscle fascia (the connective tissue surrounding muscles) to reduce tension, tissue congestion, muscle pain and dysfunction to improve the tone and function of the muscles and promote normal range of movement.
- Rocktape – kinesiology taping improves proprioception (body position awareness), aiding: pain reduction; minimising predisposition to injury; facilitating correct movement patterns following injury; correction of postural biomechanical dysfunction; and reduced swelling in limbs with the oedema taping technique.
- Equine Reiki – utilising universal energy to encourage emotional or physical healing.