On this site:Buqi for Horses
(Dorset & Surrey, UK)
Each and every horse is different. There are some common patterns that may be observed and some common reactions, which may or may not be seen. The horse is usually worked on in his normal stable environment or where he feels secure. Horses are very sensitive and can quickly feel the effects of Buqi. Mostly the process is an enjoyable one but it can be challenging if there is a lot of emotional or physical tension or pain.
Mostly horses will drop into relaxation quickly, sometimes they will move in and out of relaxation before becoming very still and sometimes they will try many kinds of distraction techniques to avoid relaxation and the inevitable ‘going into themselves’.
There is a particular gesture that horses regularly make and seems to be a ‘checking in’ with the practitioner. They will often look round as they feel the sensations of the vibration force and seem to need some reassurance that it is OK to be with that and to ‘let go’. I usually offer my hand for them to smell as many times as they need which is usually enough to reassure them.
The horse may feel the vibration frequencies and he can often feel binqi when it moves; he can often be seen to adjust the body, he may shift from one leg to another with some regularity, he may stretch in order to release tension and he may yawn or scratch amongst other things. His main job is to ‘release’ and allow himself to be worked upon; for anyone who has received bodywork therapy that involves ‘release’ they will know how tiring and sometimes difficult it can be – the results are always rewarding.
At the end of the session some horses will return to a normal level of vibrancy whilst others will remain very relaxed and will take further rest. The days following are always interesting to observe and usually the normal exercise routine can be employed the following day. In some cases it is clear that the effects of the treatment are ongoing and light work is necessary for a couple of days.
During a Buqi session the horse can be seen to have a multitude of reactions which may include any or all of the following:
The reactions will depend upon the temperament of the individual, the reasons for the session, distractions in the immediate environment and the sensations that are being felt internally by the individual horse.
Deep Relaxation - Most horses will relax deeply although there are exceptions to the rule. Some horses relax so deeply that the bottom lip droops, the head lowers, the breath slows down and the muscular tone of muscle and skin visibly changes. Some horses will even lie down mid session, although this is unusual. There are horses that refuse to relax or ‘let go’ immediately and there is usually a reason for this, which will be taken into account with the individual. Ultimately every horse will reach a place of deep relaxation at some point - usually that is in the first session but sometimes it comes more slowly.
Scratching - Some horses will scratch a particular area of the body by pushing up against a wall, post or other object. Some will itch all over and will use their teeth to scratch. This indicates that binqi is moving inside the body, which may relate to physical and/or emotional binqi.
Yawning - Copious yawning is another common reaction. These full facial yawns look immensely satisfying for the horse and denote the breath changing, the diaphragm releasing and the ‘letting go’ of emotional tension. Some horses carry an amount of tiredness, either because they are generally anxious and are finally relaxing or because they are genuinely tired and have been working hard; i.e. if they have a demanding routine.
Muscles twitching - Sometimes it is possible to observe small muscle tremors and muscles twitching during the Buqi session, which is a sign of the movement of internal fluids and the associated clearing of binqi. Micro-movements or twitches of the skin and/or the fascia (membrane beneath the skin) can be seen. The joints can also be seen to make mini adjustments as the muscles and surrounding structures release. The physical body is self-adjusting and self-correcting – a phenomenon which is developed in the healing art form of Buqi.
Swishing and stamping - Some horses will display moments of discomfort by swishing their tail, stamping a foot or pawing the ground - this is also an indication of binqi moving.
Spontaneous stretching - Some horses will make a spontaneous stretch/es through the body which happens in perhaps 20% of cases. This can be a stretch through a limb, up towards the body or out behind, a neck stretch and some make full body stretches that involve the neck, back and a hindleg at the same time. These are very satisfying to watch, are usually preceded by deep relaxation, sometimes muscular twitching and then a strong spontaneous movement. This is visible evidence of the self-regulating function of the body engendered by Buqi; the stretches come from the horse’s need to open or lengthen an area of the body that has become physically contracted and energetically stagnant.
Different types of stretches have been seen to include an upward cat-like stretch through the back, the front legs being placed out in front followed by a downward stretch through the withers and shoulders, a strong upward arching of the neck and a full body stretch with the neck arched, the back lengthened and a back leg lengthened out behind.
Other reactions Other reactions include flehman position with the top lip, looking round at the practitioner, continuous blowing through the nose, breath changes, muscular pulsations and skin twitching.
During the session we observe the reactions of the horse as evidence of internal movements of the energy system, of the body fluids and of the musculo-skeletal system.
After the session we can see or feel the direct changes through ridden work, observation and the demeanour of the horse.