I called for my new PT appointment, and the receptionist thought I was being referred for hippotherapy. I wondered if my size was being evaluated ;-) even though I tend to be a tummy weight gainer, not hips.
It turns out I'm due for regular physical therapy (neuro problems), but in between I googled hippotherapy and was surprised at the results. It seems that therapy aimed at imitating and accommodating horse movements can be very helpful for balance issues, among others, and thus is quite useful in some MS situations. Try googling hippotherapy for some interesting facts, including comments from nih and others.
I've never heard of hippotherapy but the movement from horse riding is really good for all the muscles around the hip, lower back and thighs, its kind of like passive exercise. Its also very therapeutic for the mind. If my energy levels hold out, its exactly what I intend to do today.
Hippotherapy is a physical, occupational, and speech-language therapy treatment strategy that utilizes equine movement as part of an integrated intervention program to achieve functional outcomes.
Equine movement provides multidimensional movement, which is variable, rhythmic and repetitive.... Equine movement offers well-modulated sensory input to vestibular, proprioceptive, tactile and visual channels. During gait transitions, the patient must perform subtle adjustments in the trunk to maintain a stable position. When a patient is sitting forward astride the horse, the horse's walking gait imparts movement responses remarkably similar to normal human gait.
The effects of equine movement on postural control, sensory systems, and motor planning can be used to facilitate coordination and timing, grading of responses, respiratory control, sensory integration skills and attentional skills. Equine movement can be used to facilitate the neurophysiologic systems that support all of our functional daily living skills.
Hippotherapy - it's a great way to mimic the movements and muscle use similar to walking, without planting your feet on the ground. This was talked about quite a bit during the election campaigning and Ann Romney's horseback riding.
Some NMSS chapters actually sponsor riding and then there are stables who offer riding at a very reduced fee. You might give it a try, Ess. You might look like Lady Godiva sitting astride that horse. :-)
I think they should perhaps call this therapy something other than "hippo" therapy?! Would make me run the other direction, actually maybe not run, but a brisk shuffle? Hmmm, maybe I could use some hippo therapy?!
Couldnt resist. Been chuckling about this name on and off all day. Thx! I needed that ;)
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