I generally don’t post about Husband’s energy work but since this relates to Z and my last post, I’ll expound a bit. You can believe, or not, read with interest or not. It really doesn’t matter to me personally; I’m throwing it out there for you to enjoy (or not).
Husband is a second degree Reiki master. Reiki is simply energy work – directing energy through the palms of the hand to another person (or horse in this case) to provide comfort or to aid releases in the body. If you look into energy work as a whole, you’ll find that many spiritual practices use the same concept yet approach it differently (i.e. prayer, meditation, using guides/angels, chanting, positive affirmations etc…).
Margrit Coates book Healing for Horses, was the first I bought that dealt with using energy work to help animals. For this reason, I found it very helpful when we were first getting started and it does have some detailed information about using Chakras, specifically for horses.
However, this books delves into a lot of New Age ideas such as Astrology, colors and stones which we don’t use. I personally have found that people need to follow a path that speaks to them and thus it becomes more powerful, fueled by your personal belief.
For example, a person in one of his classes saw things in color so she was very attuned visually to using auras. Other people find written symbols, especially religious ones significant. You may find repeating a prayer the best way for you to tune into your higher self and reach a meditative calm. I personally favor visualization using colors and supported by scents helpful.
As an important footnote, JMO but Reiki doesn’t cure anything though I do feel it can faciliate healing and provide valuable insight, opening up your intuition. For the record, neither of us buy into the “history” of Reiki as related by Hawaya Takata and husband has since adapted what he has learned to his own spiritual practices.
A very helpful part of Coates book was a diagram of Chakras as they relate to the horse. I see Chakras as energy centers that due to centuries of human observation, healing in both the East and the West, seem to correspond with areas of the body that serve as a power nexus where change can be brought about.
It’s no fluke that many, if not all, Chakras, are located at points where joints, tendons and nerves travel to meet into a dense cluster – a highway cloverleaf of information.
#7 Crown (Violet/Purple) Location: between the ears. The Crown deals with our spiritual or higher self, creativity and artistic vision. Peace and calmness. A location for headaches and often, if some other body part is in pain (i.e. stifle), it will also manifest here.
If you have ever worked with feral or very young horses with little human contact, you know they are extremely protective of having ears and poll touched. When a horse resists, the first thing they do is raise their head out of your reach. When a horse is frightened, the head becomes raised (BTW physically they must do this so their vision can focus at a distance). When people abuse horses, they often hit them between the ears or aggressively twist the ears in an “ear twitch” to gain submission – the bowing of the slave before the master.
We know from acupuncture/acupressure that the human ear has many sensitive nerve points that can send signals to other parts of the body, relieving pain or causing pain. I personally LOVE having my earlobes stroked! haha TMI I know.
It is no fluke that horses lower their heads and seem to achieve a state of calmness. It is no fluke, that lowering the head means acceptance OR defeat. What may seem like a good thing on the surface is not always a good thing once the outer layer is removed. When a horse provides you access to his poll is it because he has given up or because he is sharing his true self?
#6 Brow (Indigo/Deep purple) Location: Above the eyes, below the ears, on the forehead. The home for rational thinking and processing, wisdom and intuition. Open you see clearly; closed you act foolishly. Connected to the sinuses, mouth and nose.
Let’s return to Hemfplings, What Horses Reveal… Hempfling writes about horses who have a significant bulge in the area between and above the eyes such as The Sergeant (p. 79): “…indicates strength and assertiveness. Whenever I run into this feature at one of my clinics, I am definitely more careful with this horse than usual….this feature can be a harbringer of unpleasant surprises…”
This forehead bulge can also be seen in the gray Skeptic (p. 81), the Fat One (p. 85), the Minister (p. 118) and the Tough One (p. 125). A bulge on the brow can indicate one who is not using OR who does use his intuition and wisdom. Does he see things that are not there in his creative intuition, or does he know when to ignore it by using wisdom? Only the overall body appearance/conformation can help answer that question.
I personally don’t think it’s an accident that horses with very narrow brows and slender long faces are more sensitive to their environments then say a horse with a broad forehead and nice wide nose.
#5 Throat (Blue) Location: Where the neck mets the underside of the jaw, throatlatch. The ability to communicate and to share resides here. Where the truth from your heart, and the ideas in your mind, express themselves.
I think we can all agree that horses communicate through body language – the more expressive and playful the more open this chakra would most likely be. Conversely, when horses are overcollected, this angle becomes closed and the horse is “choked” off from expressing and communicating throughout his body. You will see a close link between the closed angle of the throatlatch to the angry, whipping-about-in-circles, tail – the body will manifest its emotions one way or another.
Unfortunately, in this world, horses have little say so in what happens to them or how they are trained. Expect abused horses or those forced to conform to be especially shut down in this area.
Physically, the conformation angle between neck and jaw plays into how well a horse can move, bend, flex, collect and the purity of their gaits. The head acts as a balancer to the entire body; it’s why a horse that is laying down cannot get up if you sit on it’s neck.
#4 Heart (Green) Location: in the horse, this is at two locations – one at the front of the chest, at the pectoral muscle group, and another at the base of the withers, going towards the tail. When working this chakra, place one hand on each area to connect them. This is the center of self love and giving love, trust, compassion, and where the physical and spiritual meet. Lungs, breathing, chest, and heart.
Can someone really die of a broken heart? Consider the damaging effects of depression, I believe it is possible. It’s interesting though that we connect the heart to our emotions in many of the idioms we use. When people feel emotionally vulnerable, you will often see the person hunching their shoulders, crouching slightly forward and collasping their chest in order to protect their heart.
Coates writes this chakra connects the human to the horse. When working it, she often finds that the horse’s owner will become emotional and release by crying or feeling suffused with caring and love.
If there is one chakra you want to experiment with, I would touch the Heart chakra after grooming and before saddling. Close your eyes, think of the positive feelings you have towards your horse, take about five slow, relaxing deep breaths and see what happens. Don’t be surprised if your horse gives a deep sigh and lowers his head. At the very least it will help you center yourself before starting a ride.
#3 Solar Plexus (Yellow) Location: the center of the horse’s back, about a hand length behind the heart chakra. Freedom of Spirit, a good place for releases to be gained, self-esteem and willpower. Strongest concentration of sense of self. Whole body, digestive system, and liver.
In humans this is called the Navel Chakra and from the navel in the front, draw a line to the corresponding point on the spine.
Closed: for horses that have given up, feel defeated, and think poorly of themselves. Open: self confident and energetic horses. If you compete, you may want to send encouragement to this area the week prior to a show to help your horse feel good about his place in the world.
#2 Sacral (Orange) Location: at the hip go up to the spine and you will feel two bony protusions on either side of the spine. Grounding, stability, self acceptance, sexuality. Lymphatic system, kidneys, adrenalin glands, and reproductive organs. Expect more activity in this area when a mare is cycling or in a stallion, then perhaps a gelding.
Out of balance and this horse could be overly emotional, the Drama Queen, and he who throws senseless temper tantrums. In balance, and this horse can use it’s energy for beautiful and harmonic expression and can think through problems, finding appropriate solutions.
#1 Root (Red) Location: at the base of the rump, right above where the tail begins. Legs, feet, and intestines. Grounding, stability, self acceptance, self preservation, and physical strength.
In addition to the Heart and Brachial Chakras, we’ve found the Root to be very powerful in helping a horse release old “crap.” Again, let’s return to a common idom: “I don’t give a shit” or “remove the poker from your ass” could mean someone who actually needs to release anger but simply can’t.
These sayings mean something to us because they touch our primitive self and speak in symbols, something the unconscious mind understands. Next time you find yourself saying one to describe a situation, look a bit deeper and see the meaning underneath.
When working the Root the horse will often pass gas, or relax one of his hind legs. This is exactly what you want. The Masterson Method MM goes into several points below the tail so check that out too as a way to gain relaxation and releases that effect the entire body.
+ Brachial Major (Black) Location: About two thirds down the shoulder blade where the neck muscle goes under the bone. BTW there is a ganglion of lymph tissue in this area too.
This is a chakra that Coates discovered that is specific to horses. She ascribes this to the relationship the horse has with mankind, healing, energy intensifer, unity and awareness.
We’ve found it to be a very powerful spot to work so again, if you are looking for just a few to experiment with, I would put this right with the Heart and Root chakra as active spots.
New to energy work? Don’t understand Chakras? Here are some helpful tips to get you started.
The Masterson Method MM is a great way to check in and learn more about where your horse is holding tension and preventing bracing (the horses’ first line of defense when feeling threatened or forced). He doesn’t use Reiki, but it is a very complimentary system and would be my number one method I would encourage you to try.
Check out his Bladder Meridian “check-in” which traces from the poll to the hind foot and provides good feedback on learning how to help your horse release tension through very gentle touch. It’s a very easy method to learn also so the video can get you started.
Horses are easier to impact then humans. Their emotions ARE tied into their physical bodies. They cannot separate them like we humans sometimes attempt to do (but are often not as good as we think i.e. ulcers from stress, constipation from not speaking up, heart disease from anger).
If you can encourage the physical body of the horse to release tension, the emotional side will also release. You don’t need to be a shaman or believe in your horoscope to get this to happen.
If you don’t use energy work (BTW I don’t, that ‘s hubby’s thing), you can use a very light pressure – MM calls this Air Gap (barely touching the hair) or Egg Yolk (pressure that would dent but not break an egg yolk) at any of the chakra’s I’ve mentioned above. Look for a blink, nose twitch, head shake etc… and then hold until you get a bigger release (i.e. snort, large head shake, licking etc…). Do NOT be tempted to use a heavier pressure; light is far better and less invasive emotionally to the horse and will prevent internal bracing.
Work from your own belief system. I am not here to tell you what to believe on your spiritual path. That’s for YOU to decide! Whatever you do believe, you can incorporate it into the above touches and bodywork. You can repeat a brief prayer, draw a symbol in your mind, visualize something peaceful with your eyes closed, etc…
How husband does his work with my horses, vs. how I do my work with them is complimentary but definitely not the same.
Experiment. If you feel you aren’t hitting a chakra, then go slightly up or down on the spot you were working on. Look at the horse and seek a blink or change in the eye. Try working more then one chakra at a time, using a hand at point A and another at point B; see what combinations seem to work for your horse. Use your hands, your intuition and feedback from the horse to guide you.
I found this website very helpful about Chakras. Check it out!
I’d be interested in what you discover and I will report Z’s Reiki session in another blog post…