“Touch and Torch Method” of natural healing helps foals born with contracted tendons.
The Touch and Torch Method (TTM) of natural healing is a combination of photonic and massage therapy applied as a direct treatment for tendon and ligament injuries and deformities. Cloud and Snooks, recipients of this therapy, share their stories.
Cloud was born May 8, 2008 with angular limb deformity (ALD) and received her first TTM treatment at 1 day old, with follow-up treatments at 3 and 5 days old. The owner was conscientious about conjunctive care, and at 5 days old Cloud was completely healed and was able to grow naturally to the strong and sound two-year-old she is today.
Her treatment was unremarkable in the world of TTM because it was optimum in every respect. In the world of traditional medicine, this treatment was remarkable due to the fact that no drugs, wraps, casts, hoof extensions, or surgery, were necessary. The healing process was complete within the first week of birth.
Snooks arrived May 26, 2009 with ALD. Her owners were not aware of TTM and turned to traditional medicine for care. Snooks was given drugs and wore wraps and casts without success until she was 7 months old, when surgery was recommended. Two surgical procedures, unfortunately, were unsuccessful; her condition worsened and continued to deteriorate to the point that the only option left was to put her down.
I was called in as a last resort. When I first saw her I knew that the only humane thing to do for her was to end her suffering, one way or another.
Snooks received her first TTM treatment at age 8 months, one month after her surgery.
When Snooks was born she was forward at the knee in both legs. Her owner said her legs looked like a “C” from a lateral view. Over the months of her foalhood, the tendons and ligaments continued to contract and pull the joints out of alignment.
The conditions from the original deformity and the surgeries were vast and severe:
- severely contracted tendons and ligaments in the forelegs
- foreleg joints under constant stress and out of alignment
- atrophied muscles in forearm of left leg
- rigid right leg muscles
- scar tissue on the cannon bones of both legs
- chapped and bleeding skin
- cut and severed tendons and ligaments
- severe inflammation
Because Snooks had been unable to extend and straighten her forelegs and stand up straight for eight months, her entire musculoskeletal system was involved. Her chest had narrowed to approximately 2 inches, with atrophied pectoral muscles, and she was standing up on her toes on both hind legs. Since the day she was born, she could only walk (not well), no trotting, cantering, running, bucking, rearing, or playing.
Her mental health had also deteriorated from eight months of pain.
Conditions this severe must be treated in layers. Her forelegs were so swollen they were hard to the touch. With the first TTM treatment I concentrated on the inflammation. I could not see or feel the tendons, ligaments or joints until the inflammation was reduced and removed. With the second treatment, two days later, the inflammation was removed on approximately 80% of both legs, and reduced in the areas that incurred the most trauma, the joints and surgery sites.
The next layer is to lengthen the contracted tendons and ligaments. The legs cannot extend, and the joints cannot align until pressure from the too-short tendons and ligaments is removed. The first six treatments were painful for Snooks, at and around the surgery sites, decreasing a little each time after the second treatment.
Treatments were done twice a week for 3 months, and then reduced to one time per week. As the tendons and ligaments began to lengthen, the swelling on the joints reduced and they re-aligned, even better than I had anticipated. The muscles were soon able to support their load and begin conditioning. When her legs were able to straighten, her chest started to widen, her back leveled out, she came down off her toes in the rear legs, and she started to tone up in the correct areas.
On February 1, about a month after beginning treatment, 8 months after birth, Snooks cantered for the first time in her life. It was only 4 strides, but it was the most beautiful 4 strides I had ever seen. She receives treatments 2 to 4 times per month now, with lots of conditioning, building and strengthening. We are still working on the left suspensory tendon that was so severely damaged due to the club foot on that leg and the scarring from the casts. This too, is still continuing to progress as she rehabilitates.
Initially, Snooks was kept in a small corral to restrict movement until the tendons and ligaments were lengthened. In April she was turned out in a small grazing area, graduating to the arena, and now a large pasture. She has been a real trooper with her own rehabilitation, and seems to know what she needs and can endure. I passively stretch her front legs for her, but ever since she has been able to straighten her legs, several times a day she rocks back and stretches her legs out in front of her. I think it still amazes her that she can straighten them, and it must feel SO good. The past month she has progressed to galloping and playing around the arena, fast bursts of speed, bucks, and roll-backs.
Snooks has a big heart, a lot of try, and an owner who loves her, all major assets in her healing journey.
Janet Crow offers certification courses in the Touch and Torch Method of Natural Healing. Visit www.naturalhorsepower.net or contact her at 970-590-3875 or firstname.lastname@example.org