In her opening address, Positive Energy for a Positive Future, keynote speaker and veterinary neurologist, Dr. Susan Wagner, told the 300+ veterinarians and practitioners attending the 2010 American Holistic Veterinary Medicine Association Conference, October 22-26, at the Northern Kentucky Conference Center in Covington that, “When you help an animal heal, the two of you create a ‘third energy,’ a higher vibration, to heal the planet.” This message resonated throughout the conference, and was reiterated in Dr. Christina Chambreau’s lecture, Heal the Planet While You Heal the Animals: “Choices of herbs, therapies and infrastructure have a profound impact on local, global and veterinary communities.” Choice was in abundance, with more than 30 guest speakers and 80 exhibitors. “I’m here because my clients want more alternatives,” said one first-time attendee. “Holistic choices are becoming more accepted.”
Among the trends discussed were Ella Bittel’s look at the rise in hospice services for animal family members; a regulatory update from William Bookout, with the National Animal Supplement Council, on animal supplements (“Due to industry efforts, with support from veterinarians, the risk (of a supplement’s removal by the Association of American Feed Control Officials) has lessened but remains a possibility”); Dr. Joyce Harman addressed the often-overlooked effects of a negative P3 angle (angle of the coffin bone inside the hoof capsule) on the equine back; and Dr. Laura Taylor spoke on loss of normal organ mobility as a common cause in equine musculoskeletal problems (“Addressing loss of organ motion can resolve longstanding lameness and pain”).
Good works and good deeds were also represented. The Shelter Animal Reiki Association (SARA), founded by lecturer (Benefits of Reiki for Animals) and horsewoman, Kathleen Prasad, offered free Reiki sessions to conference-goers while introducing SARA’s mission of a healing sanctuary for unwanted horses and animals. SARA is featured on Deepak Chopra and Olivia Newton-John’s show, Healing Quest, on public television (PBS). Making its 2011 release was the Dr. ShowMore Calendar, an educational fundraiser from The Center for Integrative Veterinary Care. “The calendar,” said Mona Boudreax, DVM, AHVMA Council Elder, and Dr. December model, “represents the bond we as healthcare providers share with animals and their human families. This project provides scholarships to train more veterinarians in Integrative Modalities.” Each month represents a different modality, and each model is a practicing veterinarian tastefully posed au naturale with an animal client (Dr. Boudreax applies a cold laser treatment to Coco, a Shetland pony). The delightful and insightful calendar is available for $15 at www.drshowmore.org, or Main Street Animal Services of Hopkinton (MA), www.mashvet.com.
“Our 2010 Annual Conference was over a year in the making,” said AHVMA director, Dr. Nancy Scanlan. “We put a lot of heart and soul into each conference and always want to know how we can improve and help attendees get the most out of them as possible.” The 2011 AHVMA Conference is planned for San Diego, California. To learn more, email email@example.com, or visit