Tel: 613-762-4979

Happiness is a Yawning Horse

It is my pleasure to introduce you to Robyn Elliott, a Bowenwork colleague who not only works with two-legged clients; she also has many successes working on horses, dogs and other four-legged clients!

If you are fortunate enough to have an animal companion in your life and care about their well being, please take the time to read her article that I am featuring below.

Or you may want to pass it along to someone you know who has an animal companion that would benefit tremendously from Robyn’s magic touch.

Wishing You and Yours the Best Health Always!
Lyn McCuaig
Bowen Therapy Ottawa


I had never even heard of Bowen Therapy until I had exhausted all of the usual veterinary, massage and chiropractic help to solve my horse Kirby’s chronic pain after he had surgery to remove a bone chip from his right rear fetlock. The fetlock healed beautifully but he had chronic lumbar pain probably from his back being twisted while being hoisted on and off the operating table. His personality completely changed from a very sweet and willing horse to one who would bite, kick and try to pin you against the wall while you were handling him. Also, he was in too much pain to be ridden. He was becoming more dangerous each day and I had to find a solution or face the prospect of putting him down at only 6 years of age.

My farrier suggested I investigate Bowen Therapy. I did feel that I owed it to Kirby to try everything to relieve his pain before making the big decision, so I made an appointment for his first session with a Lynda, a Bowen Therapist.

I watched as Lynda applied a couple of Bowen moves then step back from Kirby for a couple of minutes.  She explained that the pauses were to allow the brain and the body to start to work together again to help start the healing. I watched as Kirby had started to change. He went from trying to bite and kick Lynda to standing with a relaxed body and soft eye. Whatever was happening was having a profound effect on Kirby.

The first session ended there and a second was booked. The next day Kirby could move better and was in a better mood. The second session went much like the first but deeper. It was like peeling away layers of pain.

The third session was a “clean up” and Lynda said that Kirby would only need “tune ups” as required after that. After that third session I had my horse back! No more biting or kicking! He was relaxed and happy to be groomed again. Best of all, we could begin to ride again! I became a Bowen believer!

Animals can only express their pain by acting out or shutting down.The once playful dog or cat that suddenly starts to bite or run away and hide probably has a pain issue. The horse that suddenly hates being groomed, won’t come in from the field, or becomes balky under saddle probably has pain issues. Bowen Therapy works to restore their comfort. Animals have no placebo effect. They live in the moment so it is very easy to see the changes after a Bowen treatment. The ability to lessen or eliminate their pain is what led me to learn Bowen Therapy for not only animals but for people also.

I have had the opportunity to work on a diverse group of horses as well as some dogs. Generally, owners turn to me when they have exhausted the usual modes of treatment without good results. I have been able to resolve their horse’s issues or to give them a greater degree of comfort than they had previously, usually in only a couple of treatments. The owners are as amazed and grateful as I was with Kirby’s recovery.

One of my favourite clients was a large warm blood gelding who was always very short strided with his right hind leg and very stiff through his low back when he moved. This caused him to be very stiff and resistant under saddle during his training. I did a combination of Bowenwork and leg stretches over 3 treatments, which unlocked his low back and allowed his right hind leg to move properly. This allowed him to be more supple and relaxed. He went on to earn many prizes in both eventing and dressage where the judges just loved to give him high marks on his movement.

Another favourite client was a Thoroughbred gelding who was a confirmed weaver. Weaving is a side-to-side swaying movement a horse will do as a nervous or OCD habit. Weaving can become a habit in racehorses living in the stressful atmosphere of the racetrack. It had been years since this horse was at the track. He had been retrained as a hunter/jumper but still continued to weave. The repetitive action of the weaving was hard on his body and dangerous to anyone trying groom or saddle him. His first Bowen treatment went well with him relaxing and slowing, sometimes stopping the weaving. He also had trouble yawning and would only open his mouth a centimetre or two. The second treatment started much as the first but when I was about 2/3 done he began to release the anxiety he had been carrying around for most of his life. I watched the release move through his body from his tail, through his back and into his neck. The release got stuck at his poll but after about 20 seconds he fully released and he began doing full yawns like the horse pictured above. He continued to yawn for a couple of minutes. His whole posture changed and a sense of calm came over him as his body and brain processed the Bowenwork. Most importantly he stopped weaving! I did a third treatment on him a week later as a clean up. After that he rarely weaved. The owner, farrier, vet and all who handled him were thrilled. Needless to say, he was a much happier horse.

I have also worked on an Australian Cattle Dog who started to give little yelps when her owner give her a pat on the top of her hips or as she laid down on her right side. She had also started to be reluctant to jump up on the bed or into the car. I did one treatment on her and by the next day she was back to jumping up onto the bed with ease and no more yelping. She too yawned widely during her treatment.

Bowen Therapy is a powerful yet gentle form of hands on therapy that is beneficial to people and animals. I see my human clients in my home clinic as well as making house calls for people who have mobility issues.

I work on the horses at their home barn and dogs at their home where they are most comfortable. Contact me to find out about my special packages comprising a treatment for the animal and the owner.

Together we can get you, your horse, dog or other animal yawning for the better.
Robyn Elliott
Certified Bowenwork® Practitioner
Phone: 613-924-1555

About Bowen Therapy

The ideal time for a Bowen Therapy session is immediately after an injury. That way, your body can overcome the trauma before it begins to compensate for it. (The compensations […]

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What to expect?

During the session Your practitioner will ask you about your health history and reason for the visit so as to find out if there are any moves or procedures that […]

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About Lyn

Lyn McCuaig is a Professional Bowenwork/Bowtech Practitioner and a Registered Holistic Nutritionist. She enjoys working with people using a holistic approach for pain relief and to meet optimal wellness goals. […]

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1. What is Bowenwork?   Bowenwork is hands-on healthcare. It consists of sequences of rolling movements of the practitioner’s thumbs or fingers over precisely located sites on the body. These movements serve […]

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Bowen Therapy Videos

Below are several Bowen Therapy videos explaining the origin, nature testimonials and practical applications of the Bowen technique. Good Morning New Zealand Interview with Oswald and Elaine Rentsch. KRBC Newscast: […]

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