Animals possess a powerful, innate healing sense that allows them to utilise plants and other features of the natural world in order to safeguard and maintain their own health. A wild and free roaming animal use their environment not only for nutrition but also as a source of healing remedies and instinctively know what they are in need of to maintain their own health and survival. This behavioural instinct of self-medicating behaviour is known as zoopharmacognosy. Our horses, pets and livestock can still use this evolutionary innate knowledge to locate and identify healing remedies they are in need of, but often do not have access.
A facilitated therapy using this concept offers a gentle approach which gives an animal the opportunity to re-access nature’s wild remedies, allowing them to self select and self administer their own remedies they instinctively know they are in need of. Empowering them to be able to exercise this innate skill away from the wild is a crucial step in building and maintaining their health and well-being and allows animals to reconnect with their healing instincts, increases well-being and activity levels, helps reduce existing symptoms of physical illness or disease, promotes natural healing processes and boosts not only their physical but also psychological well-being. Tailored to the animals’ individual needs and owners, carers, are taught how to use this therapy safely and effectively with their own animals.
Assisting an animal with this approach can help a wide range of physical and behavioural health problems, help them to deal with the physical and emotional stresses of the demands made of them, ageing, and make them more comfortable and peaceful at the end of their lives. Helpful for a wide range of physical and behavioural problems and external injuries and skin complaints. reduced anxiety, decreased negative effects of trauma and helps instil self-confidence, can contribute towards stabilising training, improve mental concentration, infections, allergies and skin conditions including sarcoids and minor wounds, laminitis, weaving, unsociable behaviour, muscular and joint complaints, digestive, urinary and circulatory problems, help settle into new surroundings and travel related behavioural problems.
Like all holistic therapies, it addresses the whole body giving individual animals both physical and emotional support they may be in need of when they can’t always communicate their health needs with owners and carers. This approach gives animals the opportunity to take back some control on their own healing process, a behaviour that their wild counterparts have honed on this skill for millions of years. When natural health supplements and remedies are added to their food with good intentions, this may not necessarily be the animals’ innate choice had their wild remedies available to them.
An animal’s immune system is their first line of defence in combating the onset of illness and can be affected by stress and cause or exacerbate many physical illnesses, affecting an animals’ physical health. This therapy helps to restore the body’s natural balance, supports the immune system, helping to prevent or reduce the symptoms of an illness should they occur. Like ourselves, an animal’s body can be influenced by ‘stressors’, which could be changes in their environmental such as a new home or changes to their existing routine or lifestyle.
As with all complementary therapies, you should seek your Vet’s advice/approval before using alternative therapies on your animals. Feel free to contact me for a chat through about your animal’s needs first and we can work together on your vet’s recommendations.