Animal Assisted Therapy


Animal Anatomy and Physiology

Knowledge of Anatomy and Physiology is essential as a foundation to many aspects of animal health care. From this knowledge evolves an appreciation of how disease and injury affect normal function, and in turn treatment can be designed to alleviate symptoms.

Animal Assisted Activities

Activities that have a therapeutic effect that improves people’s wellbeing specifically because they are carried out in active close contact with animals. AAA cover a wider range of settings, activities, scope and reach than Animal Assisted Therapies (AAT).

Animals involved may be small and cuddly, like cats, dogs, rabbits; may be larger, like donkeys or horses; or may be more exotic, like tortoises, dolphins or llamas.

Animal Assisted Activities may include Stroking, grooming, playing, walking, general bonding and care. AAA have proven therapeutic effects, but are not part of a specific ‘healthcare therapy plan’ and are probably not lead by health professionals.

Benefits are generally felt (and documented) holistically on a physical, emotional and social level.

Associated article: Meditation in Slow Motion in Cilento

Animal Assisted Therapy

Animal therapy predominantly uses dogs but the use of other animals is increasing. Animal Assisted Therapies (AAT) are generally goal-driven therapies carried out by Health Care Professionals as part of the clinical care of patients with physical, mental or social disabilities.

Animal Assisted Therapies involve gentle natured animals selected and trained to be co-therapists, playing an active therapeutic role, together with a psychologist in the recovery or development processes.

Dog Therapy, Equine Therapy, Hippotherapy (Horse), Onotherapy (Donkey), Pet Therapies are branches of AAT. Riding therapy or equine assisted therapy is probably the most well-known form of AAT in the UK as a recognised form of useful and meaningful therapy for children (and adults) with learning difficulties or physical disabilities.

Involves the training of an animal to become an helpful companion to disabled people.

Animal Care and Management

By studying a course in animal care and management, you can learn how to care for a number of different animals and become part of an industry which, with the growth in awareness surrounding animal welfare issues, continues to expand at an amazing rate.

Animal Communication

Animal communication, or interspecies telepathic communication, is a telepathic communication between individuals of different species. Many animals wish to communicate further with their owners than they already do. This technique of animal communication allows animals to open up and confess their feelings.

Associated article: Animal Communication and Reiki

Animal Essential Oil

In the wild and if domesticated environments allow, an animal would maintain its health and wellbeing by foraging on the natural flora and fauna in it’s immediate environment. This can include grasses, weeds, flowers, bark, algae, clay or essential oils. Practitioners can provide these essential oils to treat ailments in animals.

Animal Therapy

Animal therapy is the treatment of animals using natural, alternative or complementary therapies.

Animal Visitations

Animals are taken to institutions for children, elderly or sick people, to care homes, hospices, prisons, etc. to provide therapeutic outreach.

Bowen Therapy for Animals

Canine Massage

Massage is the manipulation of the soft tissues of the body and aims to strengthen and lengthen muscles, remove knots and adhesions and improve blood flow and the removal of toxins from the body. It is generally accepted that in the field of massage and soft tissue work if it applies to humans it can be applied to dogs too.

Related articles: Complementary Therapies for Animals

Canine Psychology

Canine psychology focuses on ‘why’ dogs behave the way they do and by discovering these issues it enables owners to understand and connect with their dogs in a more instinctual and fulfilling way.

Related articles: Canine Psychology – Happy Dog MC

Canine Touch

Canine Touch is a soft tissue therapy that aids both physical rehabilitation and sports therapy.

A gentle technique performed over muscles, fasica, tendons, and ligaments. Canine Touch increases suppleness and mobility, eases tension and tightness throughout the musculoskeletal system, and reduces swelling and inflammation to aid in rehabilitation.

Cat and Canine Muscle Release

Cat and Canine Muscle Release therapy is based upon Equine Muscle Release Therapy (EMRT), and aims to promote the healing process by signalling the brain to do so. Specific areas in a sequence have the moves applied over the muscles. This helps to give the signal to the body to take the muscle out of spasm, and helps the body to achieve balance – promoting the wellbeing of the whole animal.

Emmet Technique on Animals

Equine Assisted Psychotherapy

As the title suggests the therapy incorporates the use of horses in the treatment process. Horses can help people with physical problems, speech problems, behavioural and emotional issues and disabilities.

Equine Assisted Therapy

Riding therapy or equine assisted therapy is probably the most well-known form of AAT in the UK as a recognised form of useful and meaningful therapy for children (and adults) with learning difficulties or physical disabilities.

Rehabilitation therapy with horse (hippo) and donkey (Ono) produce long lasting improvements in motorial and spatial awareness, bonding, communication, autonomy, focus and behaviour with people with physical or psycho-social disabilities.

Equine Kinesiology

Kinesiology is an energetic and holistic treatment, which looks at the horse as a whole, according to the precepts of traditional Chinese medicine. Thus the balance of wellness can only be achieved if all aspects of the horse are in balance ie Mental, Emotional, Physical and Bio Chemical

Equine Muscle Release Therapy (EMRT)

Equine Muscle Release Therapy works in a very gentle and non-invasive way by releasing muscle spasm. When muscles go into spasm, they not only restrict free movement but they also trap nerves and compromise the circulation.

Equine Myofascial Release

Myofascial Release is a hands on, whole body manual therapy technique addressing the fascial system. MFR is used to elongate the fascial tissue with a 90-120 second gentle pressure into the restriction or tissue barrier. After releasing through several barriers the tissue will become soft and pliable. The pressure will be taken off pain sensitive areas and motion restored.

Equine Podiatry

Equine Podiatrists are highly trained specialists in shoeless hoofcare who work closely with owners to achieve the healthiest hooves possible for their horse. The approach is somewhat different to traditional farriery, educating owners so that they can understand how different factors influence the health of the hoof, helping to develop hoof-friendly horse management practices and providing close support and guidance as the horse’s hooves change.

Equine Raindrop Technique

Equine Raindrop Technique is a home remedy for horses modality that uses a combination of essential oils and holistic modalities to bring harmony back to the horse’s body.

Raindrop technique is a powerful technique using essential oils that was developed by D. Gary Young in the 1980s. It combines several modalities to bring balance and transformation. It also supports body systems on a physical and emotionally level.

Equine Shiatsu

The basic premise of all Oriental Medicine is that the body (whether human, canine, equine, etc) is an energetic entity whose health and wellbeing are dependent on a smooth flow of energy (“Ki” in Japanese) to all the internal organs, muscles, and body tissues. “Ki” flows throughout the body, but condenses more strongly in certain spots and channels which are often near to nerves, joints or major arteries. These spots and channels are known as acupoints and meridians, and it is here that the Shiatsu practitioner or Acupuncturist can most easily access the body’s “Ki”.

Equine Sports Massage

Equine Sports Massage is the therapeutic application of professional sports massage techniques applied to the horse. A thorough understanding of anatomy and the interactions of bones, joints and muscles are the basis of this proven physical & mental therapy that is the art of massage.

Equine Touch

The Equine Touch is a non-diagnostic, non-invasive Equine Bodywork system which is an holistic soft tissue address, effecting mostly connective tissue – muscles and tendons, joint capsules and ligaments using a very specific move.


It is a passive form of riding in which the person benefits from the movement of the horse. Horse’s pace and rhythm break the pathological patterns such as stereo- typed movements, isolation, postural rigidity and aggressive behavior. During this activity, the instructor can relate with the person and integrate the riding with movement on the ground, i.e. horse handling.

Holistic Equine Release

Horticultural Therapy

Horticultural therapy is a time-proven practice. The therapeutic benefits of garden environments have been documented since ancient times. In the 19th century, Dr. Benjamin Rush, a signer of the Declaration of Independence and recognized as the “Father of American Psychiatry,” was first to document the positive effect working in the garden had on individuals with mental illness.

Masterson Method

The Masterson Method® is an integrated, multi-modality method of equine massage. It is a unique, interactive method of equine massage in which you learn to recognize and use the responses of the horse to your touch to find and release accumulated tension in key junctions of the body that most affect performance. In contrast to most traditional modalities, it enables the horse to actively participate in the process of releasing tension. It is something you do with the horse, rather than to the horse. This participation and interaction are what makes the method fascinating for those who use it. In fact, if you do not allow the horse to participate, it does not work!


Onotherapy uses the gentle nature of the donkey to facilitate the recovery of spontaneous communication. This makes it an effective treatment especially, for people with affective and emotional disorders.

Physiological benefits such as improvement in balance, strength, trunk and head stability, spasticity, coordination, and posture gait in patients with spinal cord injury, mental retardation and multiple sclerosis. Equestrian rehabilitation improves posture, balance, and overall function by decreasing muscle stiffness, improving head and trunk postural control, and developing balance reactions in trunk.

Associated article: Meditation in Slow Motion in Cilento

Pet Therapy

See Animal Assisted Therapy

Reiki for Animals

Reiki works by initially making contact to the animal with my hands, gently hovering above them and drawing them to where they need to go. This enables me to heal the animal on not just a physical level, but an emotional and spiritual level too. See Animal Communication also.

Associated Article: Animal Communication and Reiki

Riding Therapy

See Equine Therapy

Tellington Ttouch

A specialised therapy for caring and training our companion animals, horses and exotic animals. It can also be used to improve the physical and emotional well being of humans.


Domesticated and captive animals are offered plant extracts found in their natural environment in order to enable them to self medicate and assist with their own health. The animal is allowed to select the remedy and this guide the healing process.

Find Animal Assisted Therapy Practitioners by visiting the associated Foyht Business Directory.