I am positive every horse owner can relate when I say that my horse, Chloe, gets more spa days than I do.
It is so not fair, right?! It is amusing how we do not hesitate to spend money on all the maintenance that goes into keeping our horses happy and healthy, but yet we bulk at treating ourselves to a similar treatment. When Chloe gets her routine chiropractic sessions, I am always so jealous of her! She looks so relaxed afterward and I can always tell a difference when riding her. Not too long ago I decided to try something new, called Pulsed Electromagnetic Field Therapy, also known as PEMF therapy. I had heard about it but it wasn’t something I was familiar with. Here are the facts you need to know:
The PEMF machine (a small, suitcase-looking box on wheels) converts the electrical current from an outlet into a series of electromagnetic pulses. These pulses quickly travel from the machine to the loop attachment and create a large magnetic field. This magnetic field can measure up to 18 inches from the loop, meaning the loop does not have to be directly on the area needing treatment. Pretty convenient when you are working on a 1,200 lbs. animal.
As the loop is placed on the horse’s body, the magnetic field painlessly stimulates the body’s cells by (in simple terms) boosting the electrical charge found within every living cell. This boost rebalances the charge of the cell membranes so that the cells properly separate from other cells. When red cells are separate from each other (not clumped together), their membrane channels open. This openness results in improved blood circulation and an increase in the amount of oxygen delivered to the cells. An increase in blood/oxygen circulation better enables the cells to receive the nutrients they need and dump the waste they produce more effectively. This helps to rebalance and restore optimum cell function and means that the tissues, organs and hence the entire body can function better. It is easy to see that even the healthiest and sound working horses can benefit from regular PEMF treatment.
The magnetic field not only helps to promote healthy cell growth, but it can also aid in the healing of sick cells. Additional results of better circulation are: a reduction in swelling and inflammation, an increased range of motion, muscle relaxation, decrease in pain, and stress reduction. In some cases, treatment can be used to repair damaged or fractured bones.
I remember from Chloe’s session that when the loop rolled over her right hip area, it started to really vibrate and bounce. It was drastically different than how it was when it went over my left side. The PEMF technician explained there must be more tension or inflammation in that right hip area and it was causing the machine to react that way. Interestingly, this is the same troubled area the chiropractor points out each visit.
While PEMF is not to be used as a diagnostic tool, it is beneficial to make note of areas the machine shows as more sensitive. This way as trainers, riders and/or horse owners we can keep an eye on these potential problem areas. For me, it was nice to see that the results mirrored that of her chiropractic appointments and therefore reminded me to keep working on staying balanced and doing flat work to build her weaker side.
All in all, I was happy with the treatment and I could tell Chloe enjoyed it too. Going forward I think it is something to be used in conjunction with chiropractic work and as a special treat for all of Chloe’s hard work!
Have you tried PEMF Therapy? What is your favorite way to keep your horse happy?