In Chinese medicine, treating young children is sometimes referred to as the treatment of mutes. This points to the fact that young children are unable to communicate their experience with words. Practitioners have to rely on signs, most often with the help of the parents. Does the child throw off their blankets at night or do they want more covers? Are they clingy or resistant to being held? Is their cry loud or whimpery? Treating animals is much the same. Though, as a practitioner, I try to hone my observation skills, like most practitioners, I also rely on the patient’s verbal articulation of their experience. Treating beings who cannot express this way can be quite difficult. This is why my confidence in treating animals is shaky.
A recent case in point: My horse Jasper has had a chronic cough. It was never a bad cough but enough that I noticed. Over time I have tried moistening his hay in case it was caused by dust and I’ve tried several herbal formulas. Admittedly, the formulas I chose were not well thought out. It was more of a “maybe I’ll try this” approach. I think this approach is common for practitioners when we don’t have a lot of confidence and part of the reason for […]