Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Equine masseuse practicing in Warren County

Desmoinesregister.com - Full Article

Paige Godden, pgodden@registermedia.com
November 9, 2015

Martha Becker slowly ran her hand down the neck of a mild mannered horse named Chevy at the Ridgetop Horse Ranch in Milo one recent weeknight.

When she hit just the right spot, the horse blinked. The simple action told Becker Chevy had some tension built up at that spot in his neck.

Becker kept her hand still and waited. It tells the horse where the tension is so he can release it. This time, Chevy let out a heavy sigh.

Other times the horse will start licking its mouth or chewing, which is another signal of release according to Becker.

"All horses carry tension," Becker said. "It doesn't mean they hurt or are in pain, it's just because they're prey animals and they're thinking everything is trying to eat them."

In fact, if the horses are hurt, Becker won't work on them because she's not a veterinarian. She's a masseuse.

Technically, Becker is a Masterson Method Equine practitioner.

The city clerk for Melcher-Dallas said she's been practicing the technique for more than two years, and became certified through classes with the man who developed the Masterson Method, Jim Masterson, in Fairfield.

Becker said Masterson stumbled on the technique by watching other massage therapists and acupuncturists work on his horses.

"He noticed the horse would start blinking when they got to a certain spot, or get fidgety and decided it was interesting," Becker said. "So he started mapping out all these different techniques and over the course of the years he has just put it all together."

Now, Becker said, Masterson works as the massage therapist for the United States Equine Endurance team and has programs in Australia, Ireland, England and across the United States...

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