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microorganisms, catherine edwards, naturally animals, gut flora, bloating, weight, gut flora, animal health, holistic animal care, be complete, alison canavan, health and wellness, pets, horses, animal care,  I love my job! Working in holistic animal (and human) care means that I really need to ensure that I am looking at the complete lifecycle, environment, energy and physiology – the more we understand about our internal and external environment the better care of ourselves and those in our care we can take!

This week I had the pleasure of traveling to Austria to meet a supplier who is a world expert in Effective Microorganisms! Now this may not sound exciting to you, but you would not believe the impact these little critters have on your internal health, but also the health of our environment.

Did you know that an apple today has 80% Vitamin C compared to the past? This is due to many factors, largely soil quality and the intensive use of chemicals in our food chain and environment, but the result is that it is really difficult to get adequate nutrients from today’s commercially grown foods, and this has a massive effect on our animals health. So how does this relate to your health and that of your animals and what has all of this got to do with microorganisms?

Taking a holistic view on health really means looking at disease prevention not at treating disease once it is already established. Knowing what your animals need to maintain health is the best approach all around. My number one starting point with all of our health is a healthy gut flora!

One of the keys to good health in your animal is a robust immune system. Up to 80% of a mammal’s immune system function is located in the digestive tract whose job it is to allow absorption of nutrients, and act as a barrier to harmful bacteria and toxins.

The immune system is easily compromised when the digestive system is under strain. Typically parasites, chemicals from medication / wormers, inappropriate or processed diets, pain or stress can upset this delicate microbial balance within the digestive tract. This can result in diarrhoea, constipation, general loss of vitality and in some cases ulceration, which in turn puts pressure on the immune system to restore the animal to its optimum condition. Stressful situations such as travelling, competing, vet visits, dentist etc. can place extra stress on the immune and therefore the digestive function.

While gut flora and mucosa act as barriers against gut pathogens, they also play a vital role in removing toxins, enhancing digestion, and out-competing disease-causing microorganisms. A healthy population of gut bacteria therefore is vital to a fit gastrointestinal tract and consequently a thriving animal.

By supplementing your animal’s food with a regular amount of Effective Microorganisms (often called Probiotics, we use Manna products), the number of good bacteria in the gut is significantly enhanced, making it much harder for pathogenic bacteria to colonise the small intestine. This support, using a totally natural product right at the core of the immune function, is central to the idea of using the best of nature to ward off the things that may be detrimental to the health and well-being of your animal. Doing so without upset to the life balance that brings the vitality and wellbeing to your animal is something that we all prize.

So getting the gut flora right in your animal should result in:

  • Glossy, even coat & healthy skin
  • Solid, healthy stools & reduced odour
  • An even temperament
  • Less stomach bloating
  • Good weight distribution
  • Good oral health
  • Less sensitivity to allergens
  • Less sensitivity to metabolic imbalances
  • Less sensitivity to parasitic burdens

In addition there is evidence that a healthy intestinal gut flora can reduce the occurrence of ulcers within the digestive tract

So, look after your pet’s microorganisms, keep that gut healthy and you will notice a difference straight away! Try it today and let us know how quickly your notice results!

I hope you have been enjoying working with you herbs and powders with your animals. This week I will introduce the concept of working with essential oils with animals. The beauty of this is that all the essential oils that you have in your home kit can also be used with your animals, and Caroline has already given some great tips on which oils are appropriate for which conditions. Here are a few tips to ensure that they are used safely and to maximum effect. As before, this blog is not intended to fully train you in the use of animals self-selecting essential oils, merely to give you an introduction to this wonderful method of supporting your animals, and you will love it to!

The key to working with essential oils with animals is to always give them a choice as to whether they inhale or ingest the oils, the animal must always be allowed to walk away or choose how closely they come to the oil. Animals have millions more nerve receptors in their nasal passage than humans, and therefore the concentration of these volatile molecules reaching the brain is significantly greater. This means that the healing effects can be excellent, but also that they should be used with caution. Here are a few tips:

  1. Essential oils should ideally be offered on a daily basis for most complaints, however for acute or severe issues 1 to 3 times daily is ideal.

 

  1. Before offering the oils, make sure that your animal is in a peaceful environment in which they feel comfortable. Hold the open bottle with the lid off firmly in your hand, covering as much of the bottle as possible – animals have been known to try to bite the glass bottle (mainly horses) when they are desperate for a remedy. Be careful not to mix the lids up from different oils!

 

  1. All the oils (unless otherwise stated) will be safe to offer for inhalation, or to be taken orally, but always ensure that therapeutic grade pure oils are used. If your animal indicates that they would like to lick the oil (e.g. by mouthing the bottle), dab a small amount onto your hand and allow them to lick it off. You can repeat this process until your animal shows no further interest in ingestion. Your animal may wish to medicate by inhalation alone – this is a very potent method of receiving these essential molecules, especially if working with behaviour, as their chemical messages go directly to the brain. Do not try to influence the animals’ chosen method of application, and always allow your animal to walk away when needed. NEVER add essential oils to feed, the animal must always be able to choose their method of application and how much they take or inhale.

 

  1. Relax and enjoy this process, it may take a while but it will be worth it! Your animal may need some time to process the oil’s aroma so if they move away from the oil initially this shouldn’t be taken as a sign they are not interested. Allow them to process the oil and wait for them to come back closer again or offer the oil once more but at a further distance as they may find this more comfortable. Take your time to decide if your animal needs the oil or not, if in doubt always re-offer.

 

  1. As essential oils are much more potent to animals than humans (due to the extra olfactory receptors), so start by holding the oils several metres away from them and slowly move your hand closer until your animal turns or moves away. The most important thing is to always allow your animal to choose which oils they want to work with and for how long.

 

  1. The key to getting the best results is to learn how to read your animals responses correctly. Positive signs are different for each animal, here are some examples: Flaring nostrils, licking and chewing, deep breathing, heavy eyes, relaxation, twitching. Sometimes animals release in ways that could seem to be as negative, such as fleming or showing negative expressions. These responses are also really positive and show that the animal is really working with the oil so keep going! Working with the remedies is an extremely bonding process for animal and carer, the more you work with the remedies the better the results you will get.

 

  1. Essential oils must never be applied topically to an animal unless otherwise directed by a trained zoopharmacognosy practitioner, in which case they will most likely have given you a specific topical application (in these instances the application should still be offered for inhalation before it is applied to the skin). For any topical application always allow your animal to move away and do not force a topically application on an animal. NEVER apply essential oils topically to cats.

 

  1. A good tip to save time / allow your animal to continue to work with the oils when you are not there as long as they can move away when they have had enough is to:

 

  • Horses: dab a bit of oil on the stable walls or on an old lead rope, leaving about 1m between the oils. This will allow the horse to work with the aroma for a longer period; and / or:

Add 5 – 15 drops of their favourite oil to a bucket of water (always ensure plain water is also available in a separate bucket) – this will allow them to work with the aroma / drink as they wish, and also works well for horses living out. Peppermint is a favourite for adding to water in a stable or field.

  • Cats, Dogs & small animals: put a few drops of their favourite oil on a rag and leave near their bed. Use separate rags for each oil and always space about 1m apart. They can then move away from this when they have finished working with the remedy

 

Do let me know how you get on and if you want any tips on where to buy excellent quality oils either contact myself or Caroline. I am always happy to answer and questions, and I have some great video’s coming soon which will explain this more fully!

Enjoy!

self selection, animal health, herbs, dried herbs, plants, self-medication, naturally animals, be complete, pet care, horses, dogs, cats, alison canavan, holistic animal care, be complete

Herbs Rock!

Last week I introduced the concept of self-selection to you, and this week I hope you are going to have some fun with your animals trying a few simple self-selection techniques! These blogs are not intended to fully train anyone how to work with self-selection with their animal, but they will introduce you to the concept so you can start experimenting straight away and trust me your animals will love it!

DOGS:

self selection, animal health, herbs, dried herbs, plants, self-medication, naturally animals, be complete, pet care, horses, dogs, cats, alison canavan, holistic animal care, be complete

Dogs love to self-medicate. Their amazing sense of smell makes this easy for them, and it will give you a real insight into areas of their diet and environment that may currently be lacking! The key with dogs is to put several remedies down at once and allow them time to explore and ingest what they need! Popular remedies with dogs include:

  • Organic virgin coconut oil
  • Organic Linseed or Olive Oil
  • Organic Barley or Wheat grass
  • Bilberry Powder
  • Brewers Yeast
  • Organic Spirulina
  • Organic Chlorella

Where possible use non-metallic bowls and put a small amount of each in a bowl – initially a tea spoon will do! For powders, some animals prefer them dry, some mixed with water into a watery paste – experiment and see what your dog prefers. Avoid using metal bowls for spirulina and barley grass. Some small animals such as dogs and cats prefer a small amount offered from the tip of your finger first. Powders are very popular with dogs!

Make a list of the order your dog selects the remedies in. When they finish one, top it up and keep going until they have had enough. It should be noted though that some dogs will purge (be sick or have diarrhoea) after this first session if they select a lot, as sometimes dogs need to purge out toxins from their body. This is completely natural for them and not a cause for concern (unless you have a cream carpet!).

Why not leave some bowls down in your kitchen to allow your dog to continue to select when you are not there – this is a great way to enhance your dog’s environment. Once you have seen what your dog selects you can then offer this daily to them, allowing them to select their dose.

CATS:

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As above for dogs but cats also love to roll in their herbs, as this releases the potent essential oils. For your cat also try the following dried herbs: put a small amount of each out in a small pile (again start with about a tea spoon) at least a foot away from each other and watch your cat enjoy!

  • Cat Nip
  • Valerian Root (a real favourite)
  • Lavender flowers
  • Peppermint
  • Chamomile flowers
  • Rose buds

 

HORSES:

self selection, animal health, herbs, dried herbs, plants, self-medication, naturally animals, be complete, pet care, horses, dogs, cats, alison canavan, holistic animal care, be completeAs herbivores horses love and need herbs to maintain health. Leaving some in their environment or taking them for a herb walk will really be appreciated.

Put as many dried herbs and powders down in bowls and allow your horse time to select. Favourites include:

  • Nettles
  • Spearmint
  • Rosehips
  • Dandelion (root & leave)
  • Cleavers
  • Calendula
  • Milk thistle
  • Plus all on the dog list!

 self selection, animal health, herbs, dried herbs, plants, self-medication, naturally animals, be complete, pet care, horses, dogs, cats, alison canavan, holistic animal care, be completeOnce you have tried this trained Zoopharmacognosy Practitioner will be able to explain the properties of what your animal has selected and how you can easily incorporate this into their daily routine. Your animal will select what their mind / body needs at that particular time, and that their needs will change over time, especially when they are undergoing a healing process from a trauma / injury / illness. The more you familiarise yourself with the properties of the remedies the more confident you will be in knowing what to offer when, but always follow your animals guidance and you will not go wrong! Relax and enjoy the process, your animal certainly will! This cannot be rushed, so if you are short of time then leave the remedies down so your animal can take their time.

Do let me know how you get on and I am always happy to answer and questions!

Enjoy!

Catherine Edwards, naturally animal, petcare, pet health, holistic animal health, self selection, herbs for animals, alison canavan, be complete,

2016 is going to be the year when people really take back control of their physical and emotional health, and Alison’s wonderful site gives people some amazing tips on how to do this.

As animal owners, one special gift we can give to the animals is to help them help themselves take control of their health. For all of us, whatever species, being allowed free choice on certain aspects of our lives is so important for happiness. If someone were to tell, and force you, to eat certain things every day of your life, however good for you they were you are unlikely to have the same mind-set as if you had chosen yourself. The same goes for our animals.

However experienced we are as animal owners, all animals have an innate ability to self-medicate. The bodies of all animals are programmed to maintain health and homeostasis (balance) – but sometimes the choices we make or circumstances push them out of balance. This is when we start to notice problems.

Applied Zoopharmacognosy (AZ) enables self-medicative behaviour in domesticated or captive animals by offering plant extracts that would contain the same or similar constituents to those found in an animal’s natural environment i.e. if they were living wild that they would be able to forage for and select for themselves. The word Zoopharmacognosy is derived from the Greek ‘zoo’ (animal), ‘pharmaco’ (remedy) and ‘gnosy’ (knowing), and Applied Zoopharmacognosy is the application of this knowledge for animals who do not have access to an environment rich in their natural resources – so the carer brings nature to the animal!

 

Over the next few weeks I am going to explain this process more, using various species and common health problems as examples. I am hoping that this will encourage you to try this with your animals and ultimately yourselves! This will really deepen your relationship and understanding with your animals, save you potential vet bills and most importantly give you the best chance of maintaining a healthy and happy animal! You will be amazed at what our animals can teach us!

So how do you allow animals to self-select and what do you offer them? How do you know if they want it or not? This is done by closely observing self-medicative behaviours exhibited by the animal. The extracts offered include a variety of essential oils, absolutes, plant extracts e.g. herbs and herbal powders, macerated oils, tubers, clays, algae, seaweeds and minerals. The animal may select a remedy for inhalation, ingestion, to be rubbed on their body (and hence absorbed through the skin / hair). The animal is always allowed to select its does and method of taking the remedy. For anyone attending my workshops we experiment with this process on ourselves, it is fascinating to teach people to listen to their body in this way!

Next week’s blog will explain how to offer herbs and herbal powders to your animals, the week after that will explain how to offer essential oils to your animals. If you have any particular health issues with your animals please let me know and I can try and incorporate that into the weekly blogs!

So in preparation for next week anyone with an animal I would like you to set the following products in and I will explain how to use them! All products should be organic where possible, and if using essential oils therapeutic grade:

  • Organic virgin coconut oil
  • Organic Barley or Wheat grass
  • Bilberry Powder
  • Brewers Yeast
  • Organic Spirulina
  • Organic Chlorella
  • Organic Linseed or Olive Oil

For more suggestions of what animals commonly select please also contact me and I can advise!

Happy 2016!

Catherine

Check out our website Naturally Animals

Naturally animals, catherine edwards, alison canavan, be complete, animal health, holistic animal care, good habits for our pets, minding our pets, top tips for pet health

We all love consistency and in many ways our animals are very like us. Even though we like a bit of excitement in our lives at times, we love consistency too. Animals are often reliant on their ‘owners’ for food, environment, play, health care, stimulation etc. Who can remember being a child and being reliant on your parents for many things including food? How did it feel if dinner was late without you being told? How did you feel if one of your parents was really late home (or parents how does it feel when your teenager comes home late and you don’t know where they are?). You worry don’t you? It is not a good feeling, especially when you have no control over the situation.

Most animals are creatures of habit and they love to know when their next walk / dinner / play time out in a run / time out in a field (for a horse) is coming. If this routine is broken or is not consistent it can cause a lot of stress, which can manifest in physical or behavioural problems, and even depression. I see many horse owners who, in the winter, only let their horses out for a few hours each day, and sometimes not at all. The horse has no idea when it is / is not going out and this causes a lot of stress to horses. Similarly I see a lot of horses at yards here there is a high turnover of horses, so just as a horse makes a new friend that friend is sold / moved on, and they have to start all over again!

I see many dogs who’ owners sometimes take them for a walk in the morning, sometimes not. Feed times often vary considerably. Supplements, for all species, are often given for a month then forgotten about, and then the animals health deteriorates.

I see people with caged animals e.g. rabbits or hamsters where they can go days without being let out on a run (a garage works well in the winter or a bathroom at the very least!).

So for 2016 let’s see if we can ensure our animals know that they can rely on us for the important things in their lives! Lets ensure that:

  • Their dinner is on time and consistently healthy;
  • That if you are going to be late home someone else pops around at the normal home time to let them out / comfort them so they do not stress;
  • That they have regular play / turn out time every day
  • That you find their perfect stable yard and keep them there so they can form friendships;

You will see just how much your animal appreciates this by their physical and emotional health, and a happy animal makes a very happy owner! Have a great Christmas and I am always here to answer any animal related questions.

Naturally Animals Website

Catherine edwards, naturally animals, animal health, christmas presents for pets, keeping animals safe at christmas, cats, dogs, what is suitable for animals at christmas, holistic animal care

Christmas is nearly here and all of us sharing our lives with animals are probably looking at what we can get our special friend at this time of year! Christmas is a time for giving and sharing times with loved ones, but it is important to keep your pets safe and happy this Christmas! Here are some tips below that I hope will help:

Cats:

Cats LOVE exploring, and we have all heard the saying ‘curiosity killed the cat’. A discarded box from presents makes the perfect Christmas gift for your cats, but they also love catnip, valerian root, rose petals and lavender to roll in to name but a few!

Unfortunately Christmas tree lights can be dangerous for cats – climbing the tree, or knocking it over or chewing on the lights all present risks to our feline friends, so please always ensure that you don’t leave lights plugged in when you are not there!

Many people also burn scented candles / oils at Christmas. This can be great, but cats are missing a key enzyme in their liver that metabolises certain chemicals, so whereas essential oils can be amazing when used properly by self-selection with cats, shutting a cat in a room with oils burning (even worse if there are artificial chemicals involved) can cause serious health issues with cats, so always ensure your cats can leave the room if they choose. Cooked bones (which will splinter) are also very dangerous for cats so please keep that Turkey carcass well out of reach! ;

Dogs

Dogs LOVE Christmas and many people buy treats as Christmas presents for their waggy friends. However did you know that the following Christmas foods are poisonous to dogs, so please ensure that they are kept well out of reach?

  • Grapes & raisins (so this includes mince pies and Christmas cake);
  • cooked bones;
  • mushrooms & onions;
  • Peanuts & Macadamia nuts
  • Peach & Nectarine stones
  • Chocolate
  • Christmas decorations!

In addition many dog treats & hide chews contain harmful chemicals, so always choose a healthy treat – your dogs will appreciate it!

Horses, small animals, reptiles and birds all love a thoughtful present, but try and make it a healthy one – no one wants a vet’s bill over Christmas. Keeping guinea pigs, rabbits, chickens etc. safe and warm in the winter months is key, and horses and small animals alike will appreciate their share of your lovely festive organic fruit, vegetables and herbs!

But perhaps one of the most important gifts that we can give all our loved ones over Christmas is our time and love – so have an amazing and safe Christmas for all our beautiful

Naturally Animals, animal health, our pets emotions, catherine edwards, be complete, holistic animal care, animal welfare, pet health, animal experts, love your pets, treat your pets right, animal wellbeing

Life is a journey, we never stop learning. Just as we are all individual, so are our animals. However, we are also able to quite confidently understand certain species specific needs which, if not met, will cause stress to our animals. Listening is a key skill for successful relationships, most people acknowledge that if we are not truly listened to it can be hurtful at best and truly damaging at times. It can mean our physical and emotional needs are not being met and that always comes at a price.

I have been exceptionally lucky over the last few weeks to be introduced to a mentor who is truly a gifted expert in his field, and importantly an expert in human potential too. Having a mentor in your life that knows more than you do and has your best interests at heart can be life changing, they will oversee your journey to becoming the best version of you possible, and to achieving your goals. But how is this relevant to the animals in our lives?

  • Do you listen to what your animals are telling you? Do you really listen?
  • Do you take time to research your animals needs – from food, environment, companionship, exercise to name but a few;
  • Do you strive to make your animals life the best possible – keep them physically and emotionally balanced?
  • Do you have an animal ‘mentor’ in your life? Someone who really understands your animals needs and can help guide you to make the best decisions on their behalf?

Unfortunately I see all too often that people do not take their responsibility towards animals seriously. I see health professionals who feed their animal’s poor quality food and the wonder why their animal’s health suffers; people that in all honesty should know better due to the fact that they clearly understand the impact that poor nutrition has on their bodies. It is not that they do not love their animals, but that they are not really listening to them and researching their needs. If you understand that food is your medicine then you perhaps should understand that the same applies to your animals?

I see other people that tell me that their dog is quite happy being left at home all on their own – they are not, fact, but perhaps it is that they have just given up complaining as no-one listens?

I see people who keep their horses stabled all day, and think that is acceptable, but then will not spend any money on giving them the physical and environmental stimulation and nutrients they need, but will spend a fortune on lessons in an indoor school that offers no enhancement to the horses at all. Keeping a horse restricted all day with no social interaction is not acceptable physically or emotionally to the horse, or a dog in a house all day on its own, or a guinea pig in a hutch – but who is listening to the animals when they cry for help? I want to scream on behalf of the animals and I can assure you the animals are screaming – sometimes silently and sometimes more overtly! What happens when they scream overtly – they get punished, called rude and told ‘this behaviour is not acceptable’ (often with physical violence) – well to whom is this behaviour not acceptable because to the animal the humans treatment of them is certainly not acceptable, but the poor animals have no control over their environment so they depend on us ?

 

But enough of doom and gloom – what can you do about it?

  1. Research your animal’s needs – knowledge truly is power BUT only if it is applied;
  2. Find an animal mentor – someone who is truly an expert in their field, and follow their advice. Your animals will soon tell you if you are getting it right;
  3. Really listen to your animal’s needs, sometimes what they are not ‘saying’ is as important as what they are! If your animal is not energetic, playful, with a shiny coat and good social skills then there is something wrong, most times what is wrong is the decisions that the owner is making for them!
  4. Change your mind set – when you truly believe that your animals have the same rights as you do you will be rewarded tenfold, and your interactions with humans will also improve exponentially.

Start today, your animals are worth it and so are you!

Naturally Animals Shares the Gift of Knowledge.

Naturally animals, catherine edwards, animal health, holistic animal care, be complete, health and wellness, lifestyle blog, animals and emotions

At this time of year people are more conscious about seeing their friends, recommencing with distant friends who they may not have seen or spoken to at all, and being more aware of visiting those who may be on their own. We all know how amazing it feels to know that someone is there for you, and we all know how difficult it can be when we feel we are alone.

How many of you have animals or pets that do not share their lives with their own species? I constantly hear people complaining that their horses (herd animals) do not like leaving their friends; I constantly see signs of physical and emotional stress in horses who are not in fields with other horses, and so are prevented from interacting with them in a natural way. Herd animals must live with others of their species to avoid long term stress – this does not mean seeing a horse over the fence! They need to groom each other, play with each other and interact e.g. they will bunch together if they perceive a threat or danger.

Similarly I know many people who have one dog, cat, guinea pig or rabbit. This can cause real stress on the animals. We put our worst offenders in solitary confinement, and this has been used for years as a form of torture, yet we feel it is acceptable for animals. Being isolated from members of your own species is very stressful for virtually all animals (there are a few exceptions). However much time we spend with them, we are not the same species and we see the world through different eyes / ears / smells etc. Dogs that are left alone for long periods always show signs of stress (sometimes the owners are not aware of this); small animals such as rabbits get very depressed and stressed when they do not have others to interact and snuggle up with, and any owner of multiple cats knows how they love to cuddle up together! Birds are generally very sociable too!

So what can we do to ensure our animals do not feel lonely at this time?

  • For those of us with horses make it your commitment to ensure they have daily turn out with a herd of horses – a minimum of 3 is normally Ok. This will allow them time to groom, play and interact with each other as they choose. If this is not immediately possible then negotiate some free play time in a school and start looking for a new yard!
  • For those with dogs on their own, arrange walks and play time with other dogs; offer to dog share whilst people are at work; take your dog with you as much as possible; consider getting a companion for them!
  • For cats on their own – if possible get another cat (there are loads of amazing rescue cats looking for a new home) and introduce them gradually – rescue centres or I can advise how to make those initial introductions a success!
  • For small animals such as rabbits and guinea pigs again investigate getting them a friend (introduce gradually and with expert advice), spend as much time with them as possible and give them as much space as possible.

You will be so thrilled with how grateful your animal is – they are our best friends, now let’s make sure they have a best friend of their own! Happy Christmas!

Naturally animals, catherine edwards, words hurt, alison canavan, animal health, holistic animal care, horse, do animals have feelings, be complete

As an animal therapist I visit many different environments. It can be hard at times, as I have been invited in by the ‘owner’ to help their animals, but sometimes the situations still shock me. It is vital that I stay non-judgemental and that I approach every situation with love and compassion. I always do.

This week I attended several clients whose horses had gained a bad reputation for themselves through no fault of their own. They had been labelled as ‘dangerous’, ‘too nervous / spooky’, ‘rude’, ‘disrespectful’ to name but a few. It amazes me that people do not understand the impact of these labels on another being, whatever its species. Every word has an energy associated with it, and animals are far better at picking up on this energy than most humans. Being constantly miss-labelled for something you are not has a devastating effect, emotionally, which then leads to physical problems.

There is always a reason for perceived ‘bad’ behaviour, whatever the species (and yes that includes us humans)! These horses were both in severe pain that had not been detected, despite all the warning signs being given by the horses! These horses were expected to carry a rider, both had poorly fitted saddles which would have been causing severe pain when ridden, yet when they expressed this pain via initially facial expressions (which were ignored), then by more extreme behaviour e.g. not being caught, biting or bucking, they were told off severely, often physically but always emotionally by being told by everyone how horrible they were and that they would be sold.

During their session with me, amongst other therapies, I used essential oils to help release traumatic emotions (more on this amazing process of animals self-medicating in a later blog). The release of emotions is amazing and heart breaking at the same time, the scale of hurt and abuse these majestic animals carry is humbling. I then working with the humans to change their perception of the animal, to see that when you have no language for communication, the only way you can express your fear, pain etc. is through physical actions, and if no one listens to you then your actions have to get more severe to try and be ‘heard’.

When people understand why an animal may be behaving in a certain way, it changes their approach completely. The animal immediately respond to this new approach, and the healing of the relationship can truly begin. Knowledge truly is power, but only when it is applied!

So today I encourage you to always talk kindly to others, whatever their species. Unkind and insensitive words really do hurt and can have a devastating impact on an animal. By trying to understand why an animal or human is behaving in a certain way, and by approaching them with compassion rather than judgement, a positive outcome can always be achieved. Our animals will always reward the slightest effort by us humans in kindness, compassion and true communication. They will help us understand ourselves and how we impact on others if we are prepared to listen, and we should be truly grateful for every interaction we have with these beautiful animals.

Naturally animals, animal health, human emotions, Catherine edwards, holistic animal care

Many of us are constantly working on self-development. It is really helpful when doing so to have a deep understanding of your true emotions, value systems and dreams. Often we as humans can say one thing and mean another. This can be for a variety of reasons, including not really understanding what we truly feel, or not wanting to hurt others feelings. However, when we say one thing and do another this can give misleading signals to those around us.

Animals are amazing at giving a true reflection of whether we are being really honest with ourselves and others. Animals don’t concentrate on the words we say, but on the true meaning and emotions behind our words and behaviours. This can provide us with invaluable information on areas of ourselves that we may want or need to work on.

This week I attended an ‘Alignment with horses’ course. It was amazing. I have loads of animals myself, including horses, and am well aware that we can hide nothing from them emotionally! As an animal therapist, I also see close links between conditions that animals present with (physical and behavioural issues) and their owners. For those of you that are lucky enough to have animals of any species in your lives, trying these simple exercises can really help you understand your subconscious thoughts, emotions, values and also how you may be subconsciously judging others and why:

  • How does your animal react when you walk into the room? Does this reflect how you think you are feeling?
  • How does your animal react when you are angry? What emotions does this provoke in you when you see this reaction?
  • Look at your animal playing, or if for example you have a dog, out on their favourite walk. What emotions do you feel when you watch them?
  • If you see an old or sick animal how this make does you feel?

As animals have such sensitive energy fields they pick up our true emotions and often mirror them back to us. Taking an honest look in that mirror is so helpful and can really help to understand what energy you are giving off in certain situations – once you recognise it then you can decide which, if any, of your emotions and behaviours you would like to work on.

Do try this and let me know your results!

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