HOLISTIC METHODS AND PHILOSOPHY
Dr. Christina Chambreau
“Holistic” is an approach to thinking about health that focuses on the whole animal rather than a “disease.” The holistic approach uses both conventional and alternative treatments. Integrative practitioners are taught to use all the symptoms an animal has now and has ever had in the past to find and treat the individual’s underlying predisposition to illness. Each dog with thin hair, lethargy and obesity may need a different treatment – different homeopathic remedy, different acupuncture point prescription, different Chinese herbal prescription or conventional drug or surgery. Each itching cat may regain his or her health with one of the different treatment options available. When treatments are successful, the current symptoms resolve over time, never come back, the animal is more active, feels better and no further treatment is needed. Keeping a journal is the cornerstone of the holistic approach because it helps you evaluate your animal’s total health and response to treatment.
A palette of choices
Think of an artist’s palette with many different colors of paint as this holistic approach. The palette is the approach of focusing on the whole animal and paying attention to the response to each treatment. Each different color of paint is a type of treatment—conventional drugs, conventional surgery, conventional lab work, classical homeopathy, combination homeopathy, needle acupuncture, laser acupuncture, traditional Chinese medicine, chiropractic, network chiropractic, herbs, flower essences, massage and more. Your animal’s life is the painting. Some paintings need only one color and others need many different colors to be beautiful. Conventional treatments, or homeopathy, or herbs or another may be the only approach needed to maintain health, or many different treatment approaches may be essential.
The underlying philosophy of holistic medicine
Shifting how you view symptoms and illness is a key step to having your animal be very healthy. The premise (the palette) is to treat the individual who has the disease, not merely the disease. Since the underlying energy imbalance is being addressed, treatments will address all the current symptoms as well as previous symptoms at the same time. The itching, ear and digestive problems will be given a single energetic treatment. There is an initial energy imbalance that produces the first symptoms in an attempt to balance itself, then as the years pass, it makes new attempts to heal itself. From the holistic approach, these previous illnesses are as important as current symptoms or problems.
Animals first become ill on the energetic level (“My dog is sick, I just know it.”), then the functional level (itching, frequent urination, behavior), then if not treated in a curative way, the animal shows inflammation (heat, pain, redness, swelling, loss of function – red skin, bad odor, oozing; blood in urine, crystals, bacteria) and finally the tissues break down and we have overt pathology (black, lichenfied skin or thickened bladder wall with stones or tumors). This is important because it gives you an idea of how ill they are and how long it will take to recover.
General health building supplements, mild topical treatments to soothe the skin and ears and gentle energy techniques may be also used. The main treatment is to re-balance the energetic basis of the body so the symptoms never return and there is general improvement in health. Physicists have now validated this energy approach, so read some of their material. Just as no two snowflakes are the same, no two animals have identical underlying problems. The treatment is chosen for each animal, not for the disease. If you glance quickly at snowflakes they may appear the same, yet they are unique. The same symptoms in different animals seem to need the same treatment, yet to achieve true health each animal may need a different combination of modalities, different homeopathic remedies, chiropractic or acupuncture prescriptions. Pasteur said “the microbe is nothing, the terrain everything.” Terrain refers to the individual’s specific susceptibility to disease, including infectious agents. Where did the susceptibility come from? Can it be eliminated? Every generation and culture that looks at this deep level of “spirit” has different explanations for the cause of ill health. As you & owners explore different way of healing animals you will be sharing a journey followed by billions of people through the centuries.
Try something yourself or with professional help on your own animals or client animals, then evaluate its effect on the animal by carefully keeping a journal (The Healthy Animal’s Journal makes it very easy to track symptoms – order at www.healthyAnimalsJournal.com). You will then have more certainty when making suggestions for clients.
Keys to Great Health
1. Feed the best diet. 2. Vaccinate the least. 3. Use the fewest toxins (vaccines, drugs, pesticides on lawns, chemicals in the house). 4. Build up the individual animal rather than merely treating specific symptoms with holistic modalities you can be trained to use. 5. Understand how animals respond to any treatment – cure, palliation, suppression. 6. Recognize ill health when it is still at the energetic or functional level and know the current level of health. 7. Have, or be a part of, a complete team of healers – different for each animal.
EARLY WARNING SIGNS OF ILLNESS FOR DOGS AND CATS
Most health problems are the result of an underlying energy imbalance, made worse from poor diet and vaccination. They are rarely acute diseases (except injuries). As we cure animals of “disease”, we find that certain other “NORMAL” things go away, too. Do not be satisfied until most of the following symptoms are gone. In young, apparently healthy animals, these apparently “normal” problems may be the only indications to start treatment. This is only the beginning of a list – as more animals are cured we will find new levels of health. Tracking these is easy when you use the Healthy Animal’s Journal by Dr. Christina Chambreau (www.HealthyAnimalsJournal.com)
SKIN: doggy smell; attracts fleas a lot; dry, oily, lack-luster coat;excessive shedding; not grooming, ear problems – waxy, oily, itchy, recurrent mites; eye discharge, tearing, or matter in corner of eyes; raised third eyelid; spots appearing on iris; “freckles” appearing on face; whiskers falling out; fragile, thickened, distorted claws that are painful or sensitive to trim.
BEHAVIOR: Fears(of loud noises, thunder, wind, people, animals, life); too timid; too rough or aggressive (even at play); too hard to train; barks too much and too long; suspicious nature; biting when petted too long; hysteria when restrained; clumsy; indolent; licking or sucking things or people too much; not using litter box or not covering stool.
DIGESTIVE: Bad breath; tarter accumulation; loss of teeth; poor appetite; craving weird things(rubber bands, plastic, dirt, cat litter, paper, dogs eating dog or cat stools, rocks, sticks…); sensitivity to milk; thirst – a super healthy cat on non dry food will drink at most once a week; red gum line; vomiting often, even hairballs more than a few times a year; mucous on stools; tendency to diarrhea with least change of diet; obesity; anal gland problems; recurrent parasites.
STIFFNESS when getting up, early hip dysplasia; tires easily in hot or cold weather; can no longer jump up on counters, or go up or down steps.
TEMPERATURE: Low grade fevers -Normalfor healthy cats and dogs is
AGE& REPRODUCTION: Should live a long life (Shepards 17 years, Danes 12, cats 24). should be able conceive easily, deliver normally, and not pass on “genetic breed” problems.
As a technician, you could offer to do these wellness exams in addition to the conventional veterinary exams.
HEALTH QUESTIONNAIRE (you could make up your own in addition to these)
1. Is your companion animal acting old, getting stiff, or having trouble jumping?
2. Has there been veterinary treatment more than one time per year?
3. Are there problem behaviors?
4. Does your dog smell “doggy” and need bathing every few months or more?
5. Does your dog or cat have mouth odor or tartar on the teeth?
6. Have you noticed that anyone in the family is becoming allergic to your animal?
7. As the years pass, is your companion showing less interest and happiness in life?
Definitions of Some of the Holistic Modalities
The following definitions are very brief and express my personal experience of curative ability versus merely palliative or supportive. . There are many more. There are healing techniques you can and should learn yourself. They will often soothe the symptoms while deep healing is occurring and some can cause deep healing. To find training in the following techniques first go to your local health food store, holistic health practitioners, call me or search on the web. Many are used primarily to treat people. Learn it as taught to treat humans, then apply to animals. Some are specifically for animals. Both approaches are the same, since we are all energy beings. InMaryland, we are blessed to have complete trainings in Tellington Touch and Healing Touch for Animals. Some of the other modalities have certification
programs with a year or more of courses, exams and evaluation of clinical ability that are usually open to CVTs as well as DVMs. If conventional treatment has not helped an animal, you could suggest one of the following treatments. If the animal’s symptoms are too vague for the veterinarian to prescribe any treatment except wait or rest, and the owner wishes to help the animal, you could suggest some of these. When you are working in a clinic, make note of problems you see repeatedly where clients would like some additional solutions -ACL, itching, vague lameness, not eating well, eating too much, stiff, urinating around the house, etc. Then pick one of the holistic modalities you would like to learn that could help these symptoms, learn it, then ask your boss if you could offer it. Or make a list of practitioners local to your practice and ask your boss if you could refer to them. There are many in the DC/MD/VA area.
Applied Kinesiology: It is the use of manual muscle testing as a functional neurologic assessment tool. The procedures are used to evaluate and correct functional imbalances in the structural, chemical, mental and energetic systems of the organism. College ofApplied Kinesiology (for people and can be used in animals with that training).
Ayurvedic: Ancient system of medicine from India that not only treats disease, but maintains health and wellness. It integrates the use of herbal supplements with diet, massage, exercise and meditation (our animals already do this, I think), to balance the three doshas. Prana (breath) is the energetic basis for health. Ayurvedic herbs simply mean herbs fromIndia and can be used independently of the entire Ayurvedic healing approach.
Bowen: Physical manipulation of the muscles based on “strumming” the muscle body to readjust the way it moves and connects with the body. Bowen trained veterinarians are few at this time and are reporting deep healing from this technique.
Chinese Medicine (Acupuncture & Chinese Herbs): Acupuncture & Chinese Herbs: 5,000 year old system that treats the energy pathways of the body to remove blockages and rebalance the chi. Many conventional veterinarians feel comfortable referring animals for acupuncture. A lot of research has documented the various physiologic effects of acupuncture. It can be used in a conventional method that is very easy to learn – “Use these points for this disease”, which will palliate or even suppress. When practiced properly it can be one of the most deeply curative forms of medicine. Pulse and tongue diagnosis can be used to determine treatments when the animal is still at the energetic imbalance phase before symptoms have appeared. There is no condition that cannot be cured, though not every individual can be helped. Chinese herbs can be used independently (though not as curatively) of the whole Chinese medicine approach. Certification.
Chiropractic: Re-aligning the musculoskeletal system, especially the spinal column, relieves pressure on nerves, thus restoring function to the body. Certification.
Electrodermal Screening (Biotron II/Interro/MSA-21/EAV) – From an acupuncture point you can measure the flow of energy in the related meridian with a machine. By knowing if the meridian is weakened, balanced or stressed the treatment can be chosen and then tested against the animal to see if it will successfully balance the problem. This is a way to have some idea if your carefully selected treatment will help before waiting for the animal to demonstrate results.
Essential oils: aromatic, volatile extracts of plants to treat emotional problems in animals and people. By correcting the emotional imbalance, physical problems can be eased as well. Basil, Geranium and Lavender, among others, have a calming effect. Lemon has a cleansing effect. Use caution with cats as some essential oils can be toxic. Their smell is so acute that they may be bothered by the oils diffused in a room they cannot leave. Good sources are: www.8572768.myforevergreen.org, www.Aromaleigh.com and www.thePetWhisperer.com.
Flower Essences: Totally safe liquids extracted from flowers, these are wonderful support for healing of animals and people, never suppress or harm, and you can use your intuition to select the essences. They are especially good in emotional problems. Some books on treating animals are now available and there are a large number of web sites to help you decide on the company you want to use and the which essences for your individual animal. Green Hope Farms, Spirit Essences, Anaflora and New Millennium have combination flower essences that are very effective in preventing fleas and ticks on your animals. The “emergency” essences are great to have on hand. Remember that you may need to take the same essences as your animals. See appendix for companies.
Healing Touch for Animals: HTA/KHM uses bio-field therapies – recognized by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) – to integrate, balance and clear the energy body. It works by releasing endorphins to establish a deeper relaxation and state of being, allowing the body to function at a greater level. By allowing muscles to relax, circulation is increased, sending more oxygen, nutrients, and hormones into the body to support healing. HTA/KHM works on all levels of the body: physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. These techniques allow the animals to come into a deeper instinctual presence of their body. Courses taught around the country. www.HealingTouchForAnimals.com
Herbal: Use of the medicinal herbs in their material form to treat specific problems, conditions or to enhance overall vitality. Mild ones like slippery elm, burdock, dandelion, comfrey, dill, Echinacea, eyebright, garlic, ginseng, goldenseal, horsetail, kombu, myrrh, nettle, parsley, plantain, psyllium seeds, and others are fairly safe for you to try on your own. Remember that some plants can be toxic. Books by Tilford, DeBaircle Levy, Wood, Yarnall, Frazier & Pitcairn cover herbal treatment of animals. One of the problems is administration—especially in cats. Animals’ Apawthecary has glycerin extracts that are very good for cats and dogs since they are more palatable. Herbs can be toxic. (www.ChristinaChambreau.com)
Homeopathy: System of medicine started in 1800 that uses substances
(in their energetic form) to correct deficits in the vital force so symptoms resolve and overall health is enhanced. Remedies that produce symptoms in tests (provings) are given to ill animals (or people) who have the same pattern of symptoms. Remedies can be used by you with little training (See Homeopathy class notes) to treat specific acute problems like injuries. Using homeopathy for more serious or long standing problems is best left to trained professionals. Certification.
Intuitive Healers/Animal Communicators: A leap in faith for most veterinarians, these modalities can produce miracles. Fine as long as a veterinarian monitors the health status and you keep track of symptoms in a journal. I recommend an energetic reading at least once a year and preferably twice to identify early problems.
Trust me, communicators and energy healers can really work from anywhere in the world – they do not even need to be on the phone with you and you do not need to teach your animals to talk on the phone, either.
Magnets: Medical benefits work via bio-electrical (electro-biochemical) effects at the cellular level. The electro-motive force exerted by the magnetic field will re-organize molecules within the cell and thus affect biochemical processes. Magnets have been particularly effective in pain management from arthritis or old age. They have been effective in many other illnesses as well. Nikken is a great source of good magnets.
Massage: This is always nice for all beings. It stimulates the body to heal by relaxing muscles holding the bones, joints and organs in improper position and everyone can do it. Michael Fox’s Healing Touch is one good resource. His other books, some now out of print, are excellent and will soon be available on his web site —Touchlings and One Mind, One Earth.
NAET: Nambrudripad’s Allergy Elimination Technique uses applied kinesiology to slowly desensitize animals to allergins.
Network Chiropractic: A more gentle modification of chiropractic uses light pressure and energy techniques for a more gentle chiropractic treatment. Training.
Nutraceuticals and food supplements: Nutritional substances used to enhance the body’s function. Again, the problem is often in how to administer these to cats or small dogs. Glandulars are animal tissues are harvested, preferably from organic, free range reared animals and are prepared by freeze-drying and defatting, then using a vacuum process to dry the glands after freezing. No heat or chemicals that can destroy the enzymes are used. These protomorphogens, or extracts of tissues from glands such as adrenal, pancreas, pituitary, thyroid, and ovary, are given orally to help support those particular tissues in humans and animals by offering the precursor substances that the glands can use to enhance their functions. The glands, like foods, supply basic nutrients, such as amino acids, oils, vitamins, other active ingredients, and a potential “life force,” where a drug will not. Some evidence from radioisotope studies suggests that glands, when eaten, do in fact get to the human glands and influence them.
Pressure point therapy: Chinese medicine is based on the principles of energy flow throughout the body on meridians. There are specific points that access these meridians. Anyone can learn how to press on these acupressure points to relieve symptoms or assist with healing. Four Paws, Five Directions by Cheryl Schwartz is a wonderful guide to this therapy. Learn from your acupuncture veterinarian specific points to help your animal’s problem.
Reiki: The practitioner places her hands upon the animal (or it can be done from a distance as some animals are too sensitive for direct touch) with the intent for healing to occur. The energy flows through the healer into the animal. This is based on directly applying Chi (energy) to rebalance the energy field so it no longer needs to produce the physical symptoms. It is a very good adjunct to any healing modality, especially to relieve pain and inflammation. You can use Reiki to “take the bad” out of a substance, like a vaccine. By using Reiki on the site of the required rabies vaccine, your pet may not become ill from the vaccine. Different levels of training enable you to do hands on, long distance (thousands of miles away), just physical, just etheric body or both. www.reiki.org is one site.
Tellington TTouch: Every owner and person working with animals will love this easy to learn healing technique. TTouch is a method based on making gently circular movements of the fingers and hands all over the body, including the face and even the gums. The intent of TTouch is to activate the function of the cells and awaken cellular intelligence. TTouch can help animals learn better, relax, pay attention and can heal many ailments. www.Tteam-ttouch.com 800-854-TEAM
Healthy Animal’s Journal – Christina Chambreau www.HealthyAnimalsJournal.com
Natural Health for Dogs and Cats ‑ Richard Pitcairn (Rodale Press)
The New Natural Cat ‑ Anitra Frazier (Plume) Excellent for nursing care of cats – I think it should be required reading for that alone.
Cat Care, Naturally – Celeste Yarnell and Dr. Hofve(Tuttle)
Nature of animal Health – Dr. Marty Goldstein
See Spot Live Longer – Brown and Taylor
Real Food for Dogs and cats – Taylor and Becker
Ultimate Diet – Kimythy Schultz
The Healthy Cat (Dog) Book – Wendell Belfield (McGraw Hill)
Complete Herbal Book for the Dog ‑ Juliette Bairacle‑Levy (herbs & food, cat,too)
Pottenger’s Cats – a study in nutrition proving raw meat the best. 800-862-6759
Stein, Diane – 2 books.
Zucker, Marty – 2 books.
Homeopathic Care for Cats and Dogs – Don Hamilton A MUST for the philosophy and vaccine comments.
Four Paws, Five Directions – Cheryl Schwartz Excellent. Chinese medicine
Bach Flower Remedies for Animals – Graham & Vlamis
Dictionary of the Bach Flowers – Jones
Tellington touch – books and video – great hands on healing – 800-854-team
Rationale for animals Nutrition – Randy Wysong
What Vet’s Don’t Tell You about Vaccines – O’Driscoll
How to Afford Veterinary Care Without Mortgaging the Kids – Busby , DVM