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Healing Horses, An Alternative Approach Can Make The Difference

Unfortunately, people often seek alternative methods to medicine after they have exhausted the more traditional methods or might I say, traditional beliefs. A wise man would tell you that reality is not dependant on your belief. Ptolemy, the second century astronomer taught that the earth was the center of the universe. This was the accepted belief until Copernicus, the 15th century astronomer, discovered that the sun was the center of the universe. Until the 16th century, the world was believed to be flat. Not until Ferdinand Magellan, the Portuguese navigator who sailed around the world without falling off the edge, was it believed to be round. It’s not to say that traditional medicine is not valid nor that nontraditional medicine is invalid. Perhaps a wise man would say that to seek all available paths to good health would be a wise decision.

On June 2nd, Classicus is very honored to offer the knowledge and services of three practitioners of the healing arts: the renowned Dr. Marvin Cain - veterinarian and acupuncturist, Dr. Bertschinger – chiropractor, and Gwen Edsall – equine therapist.

Dr. Marvin Cain has been a veterinarian for 35 years, however; all of his work is now devoted to equine acupuncture. He studied at the Chinese Academy of Acupuncture and completed his studies with the “masters” in the orient. Of course, his studies were on humans not horses. Besides, the meridian points on horses had never been mapped out, yet. Dr. Cain undertook this endeavor using his own horses on his farm in Kentucky. He was the first person to map out the meridian system on horses. In 1974/75 Dr. Cain co-founded the International Veterinarian Acupunctural Society. He then began instructing veterinarians, and his training is now worldwide. Currently, Dr. Cain is working on a research project at the University of Vienna, Austria to show the academic community that acupunctural diagnosis is far superior to what universities are currently using to diagnose. Diagnosis with acupuncture can be made on a sub clinical level and is more accurate. For example, with acupuncture EPM can be detected before symptoms become apparent offering a much earlier awareness, thus bettering the chances for successful treatment.

Dr. Kerry Bertschinger has been a practicing chiropractor for 15 years. He received his Dr. of Chiropractic Degree from Life Chiropractic College in Atlanta, Georgia. He has a very successful practice in Martinsburg, West Virginia, and has expanded his business to treating horses four years ago. Beginning in June, He will be available once a month to treat horses at Classicus. Using the techniques of kinesiology and manipulation of the spine, Dr. Bertschinger can evaluate and treat horses not only physically, but nutritionally and emotionally as well. He has a vast knowledge and intuition of the interconnectedness of structural, mental, and chemical factors that contribute to health. Balancing these three factors is the approach that Dr. Bertschinger uses in treating a horse.

Gwen Edsall was motivated to begin healing work with horses 18 years ago because she owned a horse that had a lot of problems. Her first formal introduction to the healing arts was after reading a book by Jack Meagher which prompted her to receive instruction from him. However not until she met Dr. Marvin Cain did her “eyes open.” Mesmerized by Cain, she spent a lot of time watching and learning from him. Although she is not an acupuncturist, Gwen has used the principles of Dr. Cain’s along with her experience to develop her own technique. “The lady with the magic hands,” as Gwen has been called, begins her work by scanning the horse with her hands. She then uses several techniques to treat the horse: stretching, lasers acupuncture points, acupressure, and massage. Gwen resides in Millwood, Virginia and is currently constructing a place at home to do her work from.

All three practitioners come from a very different background in their training; however, they all share something very special. They are all gifted in the art of healing and have a passion for their work. The healing arts have been around for thousands of years and have been proven to be effective, but like any art, they can be very subjective. However, an art requires both skill and creativity, both of which are not acquired without a great amount of experience just as is required for more traditional healing methods. Alternative medicine does not offer a “quick fix,” but it does offer other paths to healing. Consider the words of Robert Frost in his poem “The Road Not Taken:” “two roads diverged in the wood, and I – I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.”

By Linda Bertschinger

Please e-mail Linda at: for further details

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