Is Equine Massage Veterinary Science?

DO YOU KNOW WHAT THE ARIZONA STATE VETERINARY MEDICAL EXAMINING BOARD IS UP TO?

Please read the article in the link provided. http://horsetalk.co.nz/2014/03/06/horse-massage-therapists-get-vet-degree/#axzz2vD56vFe5

 

The short of it is that the Arizona State Veterinary Medical Examining Board is claiming that providing massage therapy to horses by massage therapists is practicing veterinary medicine without a license.

BRIEF BACKGROUND ON MASSAGE AND ITS HISTORY

The art of massage has been around for thousands of years. Massage was considered a standard part of maintaining both human and animal athletes and soldiers. The Greeks had a saying, “The athlete that does not use massage is the common man”.

 

The Roman Army issued a massage manual when they issued soldiers their horses.  Julius Caesar used massage for both himself and his “war dog”. Massage therapy was performed by the person who traveled with him. That documented date was 2700BC.

 

If you use the internet you will find lots of information on this subject. I have not really even scratched the surface in my brief examples of the use of massage in history.

MASSAGE IS NOT VETERINARY MEDICINE – NOT IN THE LEAST!!!

The first school of veterinary medicine was started in 1865 at Cornell University and the subject was taught by Dr. James Law who received his education in Scotland. At this first school, the art of massage was not included in the curriculum, and it is still not taught in their program today, nor is it a part of the curriculum at other veterinary schools across the country. The obvious question is; if you don’t teach it in vet school, then how can the art of practicing massage on horses or other animals be restricted solely to licensed veterinarians?

HOW CAN YOU CLAIM A FIELD WHEN YOU HAVE NO EDUCATION?

What is going on here? Why are certain veterinary organizations trying to shut down massage therapists? Why do they have the audacity to claim massage as “theirs” when they have absolutely no education regarding massage in their curriculums, or on their licensing tests? What makes them think they even know anything at all about field of massage when they don’t have an inkling of what it is about? Frankly, most would not know a good massage from a bad one.

VETERINARY COMMUNITY – A SELECT FEW ARE GOVERNING THE REST

Unfortunately, this is not a new situation, it has been ongoing and I have been involved with some organizations to stop it over the years. For example; about six years ago when this issue reared its ugly head in a different state the Institute for Justice (IJ) stepped in and fortunately, they successfully defended the case, but it was at the expense of the innocent. Prior to that, a group tried to pass a bill that would strip away owner’s rights to make decisions about the care of their animals, and place all of the decision-making power into the hands of veterinarians. This was successfully thwarted by the efforts of a group I founded with Craig Denega, called the Ancient Healing Arts Association (AHAA).

 

I have a great deal of respect for the veterinary community, and have good working relationships with a number of veterinarians around the country. I am not saying that all veterinarians agree with this move by the Arizona State Veterinary Medical Examining Board. However, in the cases of veterinary boards working to stop the practice of massage on animals, the bottom line appears and has appeared for a long time to be driven by money.

 

Why do I say that it is related solely to money? The article makes it clear, the Arizona State Veterinary Medical Examining Board issued a statement that non-veterinarians could perform massage on horses as long as there is no exchange of money for those services. That is ridiculous. With that argument I could extrapolate and say, “So, based on your order, anyone can deliver veterinary medicine to animals for example, administering drugs, and performing surgical procedures as long as they don’t charge for it”. Yes, something smells here. Think about this, medical doctors recommend massage for their human patients and do not try putting massage practitioners out of business.

HOW WILL THIS EFFECT HORSE OWNERS

If the Arizona State Veterinary Medical Examining Board gets away with this, it will have a far-reaching impact on horse owners and the whole industry. Here are just a few points to consider:

  1. Veterinarians are not trained in massage. The majority of veterinarians are not interested in learning how to do it, or taking the time out of their busy schedules to make 2 +/- hour appointments per patient for massage. They will kill a field and replace it with a quick but unhealthy and temporary fix, drugs!
  2. It will set precedence, making it easier for other veterinary medical governing entities to make a case for restricting the art of massage.
  3. You will not have a say about your animals any more as their care will now be out of your hands. This was the wording of a bill a veterinary group tried to sneak into law about 10 years ago. In this bill, veterinarians were laying claim to all animals. The bill would have allowed them to strip the rights to make decisions about the care of all animals away from their owners.
  4. The cost of owning a horse will definitely go up and you will be paying more because you will not be able to choose preventative alternatives.
  5. How can we expect top performance out of our horses without massage? Without the option to help a sore or stiff equine athlete with massage, performance at shows, races and other equine activities will decrease.
  6. Worst of all…you will not have any say in the matter, unless you speak out and stop the lawless vets from taking total charge of your horses.

 WHAT CAN BE DONE?

If I were a veterinarian, I would be very upset at this circus sideshow which is taking away the dignity of the profession, and I would make two calls:

  1. To the board behind this nonsense, telling them to stop sticking their nose where it really does not belong. Let them know what you think and that you will be calling the Institute for Justice in support of their defending the massage profession.
  2. Call IJ and give them your support at 703 682-9320. I would encourage you to support them financially as well as they do this work at no charge.

And for horse and animal owners reading this, I would let your voices be heard too. The Institute for Justice is made up of a group of very fine people who dedicate their time to preventing groups like this from taking away our rights. By the time you read this, I will have already contacted the Institute for Justice to offer professional and financial support.

IN CONCLUSION

This situation in Arizona is not the first occurrence, nor will it be the last where there are governing groups looking to take away your rights and lay claim to practices they have no right to claim. The ball is in each and every one of our courts, I for one will continue to speak out and I hope you will too.

Contact Us Today!

Geary Whiting’s Equine Massage Therapy School for Horse & Rider

HC67
P.O. Box 1836
Big Sur, CA  93920

Phone No.: 530-410-5270

Email: info@gearywhiting.com

                                               

 

 

 

 


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