Horses & Healing

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Hypervigilance & post traumatic stress disorder, the equine / human similarities & dissimilarites.

The aftermath of my having suffered with Lyme disease left a number of our children with reactive attachment disorder and post traumatic stress disorder (myself included in this last one). My life journey to the point of Lyme Disease had also contained divorce & dysfunctional parental relationships. Putting it bluntly I was a mess on the inside, and that displayed itself on the outside all too frequently. 

Acquiring a horse, embarking on a path of natural horsemanship, and delving into naturopathic medicines, kinesiology & energy psychology have unearthed and helped me identify a number of pieces of my own health & healing jigsaw puzzle. I have begun to realize how much trauma has been stored in my body, matter having memory. 

An excerpt from Tim Hayes book confirmed to me the efficacy of energy psychology practices to release trauma.

"If a horse is caught, overpowered by a pack of wolves, and is unable to flee or fight, he will collapse and freeze. His brain will then release chemicals that shut down his bodily systems, rendering him numb and partially unconscious to the pain of being torn apart. A predator capturing a prey animal that is suddenly frozen and lifeless may believe him to be sick... When the horse comes out of the freeze response, and before he can run to safety, he will commence an involuntary shaking. It is this shaking response that discharges the physical energy that was frozen, converting it back into the energy needed to flee. The ability to discharge the frozen energy from the death trauma is what prevents animals from having PTSD. As long as a horse can either use his adrenaline-fueled energy for fight or flight or discharge it with some form of somatic release, such as physically shaking, he can experience emotionally traumatic situations, survive, and recover without acquiring PTSD." p155 The Power of Horse to Heal - Riding Home by Tim Hayes 

Further study needed on somatic release in the human body...