I was happily munching away on my hay, when I saw Kathryn walking towards the barn. She was rolling along what appeared to be a suitcase. My first thought was: girls trip to Vegas! I immediately began mentally planning my outfits when buzzkill Andrea fastened my halter and led me to the wash stall. “This isn’t the way to the airport,” I thought, looking helplessly back at Kathryn.
Turns out Kathryn was not rolling a suitcase full of LBDs and Jimmy Choos. Instead, she had what she referred to as her PEMF machine. Kathryn and her business partner, Laura, turned the machine on and prepped for what I imagined was some new torture method Andrea was going to put me through. As if her riding me in purple polo wraps isn’t enough for me to endure...
Attached to the PEMF machine was a loop, which Kathryn gently placed on my left side. She slowly took the loop attachment over my hip area and I could feel my muscles vibrating in response. She continued to move the loop over my hip, then a few minutes later back towards my rump, and then after a while to my saddle area. She next took the loop across my shoulder and then to my neck and finally my poll. My muscles continued to vibrate and relax. I could feel my bottom lip hanging lower, lower and lower. Maybe this was just as good as Vegas after all!
Kathryn and Laura jointly own Piedmont Pulse PEMF (Pulsed Electro-Magnetic Field). The PEMF machine converts electrical current from an outlet into a series of electromagnetic pulses. These pulses quickly travel from the machine to the loop attachment and create a large magnetic field. This magnetic field can measure up to 18 inches from the loop, meaning that the loop does not have to be directly on the area needing treatment. Pretty convenient when you are working on a 1200lb animal (not me, but I hear some horses weigh that much!).
As the loop is placed on the body, the magnetic field painlessly stimulates the body’s cells by (in simple terms) boosting the electrical charge found within every living cell. This boost rebalances the charge of the cell membranes so that the cells properly separate from other cells. When red cells are separate from each other (not clumped together), their membrane channels open. This openness results in improved blood circulation and an increase in the amount of oxygen delivered to the cells. An increase in blood/oxygen circulation better enables the cells to receive the nutrients they need and more effectively dump the waste they produce. This helps to rebalance and restore optimum cell function and means that the tissues, organs and hence entire body can function better. It is easy to see that even the healthiest and sound working horses can benefit from regular PEMF treatment.
The magnetic field not only helps to promote healthy cell growth, however, but it can also aid in the healing of sick cells. Additional results of better circulation are: a reduction in swelling and inflammation, an increased range of motion, muscle relaxation, decrease in pain and stress reduction. In some cases, treatment can be used to repair damaged or fractured bones. These benefits are pretty awesome when you live your life carting a human around on your back and jumping obstacles, while they just sit there bouncing around and messing up your distances!
Kathryn continued to roll the loop over my entire body, commenting as the loop seemed to bounce off my right hip and back area. Apparently it was going bonkers compared to my left side. Laura explained that there must be more tension or inflammation in that area which was causing the machine to respond in such a way. Andrea confirmed that my right hip and back have always been an issue for me and earlier that month the chiropractor had commented on its increased tenderness and misalignment. Kathryn and Laura are careful to make known that they are not vets and PEMF is not to be used as a diagnostic tool. However, it is beneficial to make note of areas the machine shows as more sensitive so that as trainers, riders and/or horse owners we can keep an eye on these potential problem areas.
As you can see from the pictures and brief video, I thoroughly enjoyed my PEMF treatment. Do I think it was a good substitute for Vegas? Hmm, that is a tough call as I do love some Britney Spears! I can tell you that Andrea must think so because I already have my second PEMF treatment marked on the calendar. And I am not complaining about it. For once.