If you’re reading this, it’s likely that you or a loved one has been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis and you are looking for new ways of coping with this incurable disease. I know, I have been there and my heart goes out to anybody who has shared this experience with me. Other than getting my nutrition under control, one thing that (surprisingly) really helped me was Horse Therapy (also known as Hippotherapy).
I have been asymptomatic for many years now and one thing that has consistently helped me has been my daily dose of horses.
Here are 4 ways that I believe hippotherapy can help MS.
1) Increases muscle tone
Hippotherapy is a great way to improve your core muscles and heart health. It also works your arms and legs. It’s also a great way to get active and have fun. Most people, especially MS patients who are feeling lousy due to their symptoms tend to get bored of working out in a gym.
2) Improved balance and coordination
Riding a horse during hippotherapy requires your body to work on coordinating a few things at once! Leg pressure, rein pressure, and body position all at the same time. This keeps your body and rain trained in coordination.
3) Maintain a healthy mental state
The release of oxytocin (more affectionately known as the ‘love hormone’ when you touch or hug an animal (like in hippotherapy) can have a calming effect and can help lower anxiety and depression. It can also help lower stress levels. Studies also suggest that it can help lower levels of cortisol, which can also lead to lower levels of depression and general mental health challenges. MS patients feel calm and happy when they are around horses during hippotherapy.
4) Helps fight fatigue
A study conducted in Europe revealed that horse riding can help improve fatigue and increase the general quality of life for MS patients with disabilities. Hippotherapy has helped many MD patients to enjoy their mobility.
My wish is for you, your loved ones and any other person suffering with MS to find stability and peace of mind. Hippotherapy can help!