FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is Equine Fascial Integration Therapy (EFIT)?
Fascial integration is a long lasting therapy that focuses on removing constrictions and compensatory patterns in fascia or connective tissue thus restoring more efficient biomechanical movement, improving performance, and easing discomfort. According to Equi-Librium Institute where Allison received her training and certification, EFIT is based on equine biomechanics, myofascial release techniques and human structural integration therapy, and re-establishes long-lasting equilibrium and balance in the body through fascial manipulation, release, and tissue re-integration. Fascia are treated as one interconnected tensional network, a bodywide tensional force transmission system (cite Fascia book, p. xvii). This network continually reorganizes and adapts its fiber arrangements and density according to local tensional demands of the body, creating constrictions and compensation patterns along functional movement chains. A localized constriction may present as a biomechanical or physical issue elsewhere in the body. An EFIT practitioner aims to releases these constrictions and patterns by working on the horse's entire body through a series of 1, 3, or 6 sessions.
Is EFIT the same as equine massage or myofascial release?
EFIT is NOT equine massage! While an EFIT session may include components of massage, accupressure, and myofascial release, it is a more encompassing modality that focuses on the functional integrity of the fascial tissues and functional movement chains throughout the horse's entire body. Massage focuses on muscles, not specifically fascia. Accupressure and myofascial release therapies usually focus on localized constrictions and do not address overall functional movement chains.
How many EFIT sessions does my horse need?
Like structural integration for humans, the therapy is usually accomplished in several sessions, each with a specific goal. The goal of the first session is to initiate release of constrictions across the body and begin to discern compensatory patterns. The goal of the second and third sessions focus on the pelvic girdle, thoracic sling, and barrel. The fourth through sixth sessions continue to address deeper core constrictions and compensation patterns. While you can choose to do just the first session, if you wish to progress you must commit to at least both sessions two and three in order to give your horse the best opportunity to benefit from this modality.
What is Reiki?
The word Reiki, means literally “spiritual energy.” Reiki is the energy that composes and connects all things. The practice of Reiki is a Japanese system of meditative and energetic practices, created by Mikao Usui in the early 1900s in Japan, which supports spiritual growth and development. The original purpose of working with Usui’s system was to attain enlightenment, or Oneness with the universe. In addition, a wonderful by-product of working personally with this system is the healing benefit it provides to both the practitioner and the animals and humans he or she treats. Working with the system of Reiki helps the practitioner strengthen his or her connection to the spiritual energy that makes up all things. The simple but powerful nature of Reiki brings balance and harmony to the individual’s body, mind and spirit.
What does a Reiki practitioner do?
Reiki practitioners use intention, focus, and meditation to build a sort of energetic “healing bridge”. The bridge is built upon the foundation of the practitioner’s dedication to his or her personal Reiki practice, energetic experience, and purity of intention. The bridge itself consists of the energetic harmony and balance that is the essence of Reiki. When animals are stressed, sick, or injured, you could say that energetically they are “imbalanced”. By offering an energetic correction and bridge of balance, the practitioner is offering the animal a support system that the animal can use to relax, self-heal, and rebalance.
What does a Reiki practitioner NOT do?
Reiki sessions are given for the purpose of stress reduction and relaxation to promote healing. Reiki is not a substitute for medical diagnosis and treatment. Reiki practitioners do not diagnose conditions, nor do they prescribe, perform medical treatment, nor interfere with the treatment of a licensed medical professional. Reiki practitioners do not manipulate energy or control treatments. Animals are the leaders in the process, taking only the amount of energy they wish to receive.
Benefits of Reiki for Animals (& People)
•Maintain health and well-being on the physical, mental, and emotional levels
•Induce deep relaxation and stress-relief
•Accelerate healing in sick or injured animals, or animal recovering from surgery
•Help reduce pain and inflammation
•Help reduce behaviour problems and aggression
•Help abused animals heal from past mental/physical trauma
•Complement conventional and alternative therapies
•Lessen the side effects of other medical treatments
•Support the dying process
Why Reiki is an Ideal Holistic Therapy for Animals (& People)
•It is gentle, non-invasive, painless, and stress-free
•It goes to the issues that need it most, even when unknown to the practitioner
•It can be given hands-on or from a distance and adapted to any problem
•It can do no harm to either recipient or practitioner
•Animals can control their participation in the treatment, thus becoming partners in their own healing process
Is Reiki for Animals a “Hands-on” Healing System?
Although a human Reiki treatment usually consists of a series of hand positions lightly placed upon different parts of the body, an animal Reiki treatment is approached very differently. When doing Reiki on an animal, it is best to treat from several feet away and allow the animal to come forward to receive hands-on treatment only if he or she is open to it. Many animals will actually place certain body parts into the hands of the practitioner so show where they need healing the most. Other animals will simply lie down several feet away and fall into a deep “Reiki nap”.
Because Animal Reiki treatments are not dependent upon physical contact for success, they are ideal for use with shelter animals. Animals who are fearful, skittish, abused, or aggressive are ideal candidates for Reiki from a distance. Practitioners can offer Reiki quite successfully whether physical contact is used or not.
What Is A Typical Animal Reiki Treatment?
An animal Reiki treatment is an offering of healing energy to your animal. It is useful for healing the physical, mental, emotional or spiritual issues your animal may be facing. It is also a wonderful way for your animal to relax and release stress. The practitioner will ask your animal permission before the treatment begins and observe body language and listen intuitively to determine response. The animal will decide whether to receive Reiki hands-on or from a short distance by moving to and from the practitioner during treatment and/or settling into a relaxing “Reiki nap.” During the treatment, the animal remains in control of the process, receiving only the amount of energy he or she is open to.
How do I know my animal is responding to Reiki?
Animals intuitively understand the healing that Reiki offers. In many cases, animals will actually approach practitioners of Reiki and show them the areas in which they need healing. For example, an animal with a sore leg may place his or her leg into the hands of the person offering Reiki. Signs that your animal is accepting a Reiki treatment include signs of peace and relaxation, including yawning, sighing, deep breaths and falling asleep.
How can I learn to share Reiki with my own animal?
All Is One provides Level I and Level II certification in Animal Reiki (as well as Reiki for people).
Allison is also a member of the Shelter Animal Reiki Association (SARA), a non-profit organization whose mission is to provide volunteer Reiki for the healing and support of shelter and sanctuary animals. Through SARA, Allison offers Animal Reiki sessions as well as Level I and II classes, and workshops in Self Healing for Animal Caregivers for staff and volunteers. For more information on SARA visit: http://shelteranimalreikiassociation.org