Twenty-two year old Quarter horse, Lexi, had been having trouble breathing for some time. She could inhale properly, but not get all the air out, leaving her racked by heaving and coughing. Having tried every conventional remedy, the vet said there was nothing more he could do and recommended putting her down because she was clearly in great discomfort.
Although a date for her euthanization was set two weeks out, her owner was not willing to give up without having tried every possible therapy. She had heard of my work with horses and, as a last resort, called me. I did five sessions with Lexi over eight days. Not only did Lexi’s breathing improve dramatically, she became more energetic and playful.
On the date originally set for euthanizing Lexi, the vet came back and re-examined her. Listening with his stethoscope, he said that what he was hearing was completely different than before. “Tell the bronchial whisperer to keep doing what she’s doing. I’ll see you next spring.”
Lexi’s recovery wasn’t due to bronchial whispering, a miracle, or any unusual talent on my part. It was attributable to Spiritual Healing, an energy therapy modality that has been producing remarkable results in people and animals in Britain since the 1950s. Practitioners are taught and guided by England’s National Federation of Spiritual Healers (NFSH) and, in 2003, two of their trainers moved to California to open a U.S. affiliate: NFSH - Healing in America, to teach interested students (www.healinginamerica.com).
In Britain it’s not unusual to find Spiritual Healers working alongside doctors in hospitals, hospices and veterinary practices. Since 1991, Britain’s Department of Health has made healing part of the National Health Service, under the provision that the patient’s doctor remains in charge of the patient. University College Hospital in London, one of the country’s oldest and most highly regarded teaching hospitals, recently added two Spiritual Healers as full time staff.
Animals are so emotionally and spiritually open they respond very well to Spiritual Healing. Renowned British animal healer Margrit Coates, author of Healing for Horses and Hands-on Healing for Pets, is one of several members of the NFSH using Spiritual Healing on horses, with great success. Veterinarians in the U.K. will frequently refer their animal patients to healers, whereas in the United States, only 1% of veterinarians include any form of holistic therapy in their practice.
The tide seems to be changing, however. Just as people pursuing complementary therapies made the medical establishment take note, these same people are starting to pursue holistic therapies for their beloved animals. As one client put it, “when my vet said there was nothing more to be done, I knew it was time to look elsewhere.”
Not all fixes are as dramatic or fast as Lexi’s. Jenny, a five-year old miniature horse, had a chronic cough since she came to live with her human companion, Susan, in June 2005. The cough got significantly worse in the winter months so Jenny was given a daily antihistamine and, when the cough was very bad, a five-day course of steroids. Susan contacted me in January 2007 in the hopes that, with energy therapy, Jenny could go longer between her bad bouts and, therefore, avoid the steroids.
I started by giving Jenny 30-minute sessions for four days in a row, and then tapered down to weekly sessions. Jenny clearly enjoyed her sessions, usually dozing off after about 10 minutes and willingly following me into her stall when I arrived to treat her. Jenny’s coughing decreased dramatically after the first week of treatment; within a few months, what used to be a daily occurrence became only occasional. Twelve months later, Jenny had no cough at all.
A guiding principle of the NFSH is that each one of us has the ability to develop our healing gifts and NFSH courses are designed to help foster those abilities. In truth, a Spiritual Healing practitioner does not heal a client, be it horse or human. Just as new skin grows over a cut and broken bones mend, animal and human bodies have the ability to heal themselves.
However, due to the stress of modern life and the ingestion of toxins, our bodies often need assistance from an outside source. That is where Spiritual Healing comes in. The practitioner acts as a conduit for healing energy to flow to a client and facilitate their return to physical, emotional, mental and spiritual balance. Energy channels in the patient are opened to allow the body to deal properly and naturally with both stress and the build-up of toxins.
It is also not necessary to know the exact cause of a condition for healing to work. I did not know what was causing Lexi’s breathing problem, but the fact that it cleared so quickly indicated an energetic imbalance. Every horse owner knows that horses are very sensitive animals that can experience emotions just as humans do. Emotional issues are often at the root cause of illness, and energy balancing can help to clear those stuck emotions, thereby facilitating a return to health. Behavioral issues can also be alleviated after healing sessions, as the stress causing the behavioral issues is relieved.
Not all animals are as fortunate as Lexi and Jenny. Often the calls I get are for animals in the last stages of life, and in those cases where a patient is not able to make a return to physical health, Spiritual Healing has been found to bring pain relief and comfort. When 6-year old Morgan, Arthur, was diagnosed with acute renal failure, and did not respond to treatments at the veterinary hospital, his owner brought him home for whatever time he had left, and called me.
When I first met Arthur his distress was obvious; his entire body was shivering and I feared we’d lose him that day. He was very receptive to Spiritual Healing, occasionally turning his head to look at me with what appeared to be an expression of gratitude. I worked with him for 90 minutes, the longest session I’ve ever given, because he seemed to need it so desperately. By the time I finished the first session, he had stopped shivering and seemed much calmer. During all of his sessions, Arthur gave the classic horse relaxation signs: softening his mouth, licking and chewing, sighing, falling asleep, dropping his hips and relaxing his legs.
I came to see Arthur every day for four days. In that time, his energy and appetite increased a bit, and his bowel movements improved from diarrhea to cow pies to almost normal, but he was putting out little urine and tests revealed his kidneys had virtually shut down and his vital signs were alarming. The heart-wrenching decision was made to euthanize Arthur the next day.
I stayed and gave Arthur a session, after which he walked around and started eating, indicating that the healing session helped him feel somewhat better. I returned the next day and gave him healing before and during the euthanization process, which seemed to comfort Arthur, his owner, and his mother, Sonora.
But often, the “last resort” does bring a turnaround. One year after I first met Lexi, she is still breathing with ease and is feisty and playful. I still treat her monthly to maintain the excellent progress made. Having gotten her reprieve, she seems to be now living life to the fullest.
Nancy O’Donohue is a Healer Member of, and trainer for, NFSH – Healing in America who treats humans, pets and horses in southwestern Michigan. Under the pen name Molly Larkin, she is the co-author of the international best seller, The Wind Is My Mother. You can visit her website at www.LakeshoreHealing.com