BSc. KINESIOLOGY, REGISTERED MASSAGE THERAPIST, CERTIFIED EQUINE THERAPIST, L1 EQUINE FUNCTIONAL OSTEOPATH, HUMAN OSTEOPATH IN TRAINING
A holistic approach to therapy that seeks to restore vitality in all systems of the body.
HELPING HUMANS HEAL HORSES
As a dual licensed manual therapist with over 20 years of experience working with clients therapeutically, I bring a wide variety of modalities into my practice.
Whether you are a horse owner or therapist seeking more knowledge, my goal is to illuminate a path towards healing.
KNOWLEDGE EQUALS FREEDOM
While I enjoy my practice working one-one with clients, my true passion lies in education.
Through my online learning centre, EQ Therapeutics, I am able to share my education and experience in order to assist you and the horses in your life. I have spent the greater part of my career teaching, first as an Instructor of RMT, then as a Certified Equine Assisted Learning Instructor, and finally as a regular guest speaker for The Whole Horse Apprenticeship, The Equine Connection, and Josh Nichol Horsemanship members site.
The knowledge that Elisse has is amazing and her ability to deliver technical information is outstanding.
I HAVE BEEN BLOWN AWAY EACH TIME.
- Tamsin Holland, Equine Therapy Student
WHERE DID IT ALL START?
As a child, I wanted to be surrounded with all things equine. A birthday gift of riding lessons ignited what would become a lifelong journey of self discovery with horses.
When I was young, I began working at a stable to afford a life which included horses. As I grew older my dream was always to work with horses in a professional capacity. But as high school graduation approached there was uncertainty that I could make a viable living in the industry so I pursued a conventional Bachelor’s Degree in Kinesiology with a focus on Exercise Science then next manual training to obtain Registered Massage Therapy licensing. As my practice developed, I knew that I wanted to bring this understanding into the equine professional realm. But the horses in my life revealed to me that there was a very large missing link in my practice. Serendipitously, the study of Osteopathy presented to me. A fire was lit, finally an understanding and methodology that could integrate treatment of all systems in the body. As I began pursuing the study and practice of osteopathy, I had a many moments of enlightenment and I knew that my practice would never be the same.
Over the past two decades, I have worked with some of the top athletes in the world including International Rugby Sevens, BC Lions, Toronto Argonauts, Curl BC’s Olympic Teams, and multiple professional equine athletes. But what these experiences taught me was devastating at the time to uncover.
After so many years of successfully rehabilitating humans I came to realize a heartbreaking truth in the equine industry. The common management of equine pathology was not consistent with the current science applied to humans (also mammals). I loved working in athletics and human rehabilitation but I knew that I must use my education to facilitate change for the horses. This led to a full immersion into professional equine studies. To seek out answers where there previously were none and make an impact that could be felt globally for all horses. It was at this exact time, I fortuitously met a very special horse named Sparky.
A Twist of Fate
THE HORSE THAT CHANGED MY LIFE
We all have that one special horse who comes into our lives to reveal to us our own potential. And for me that horse is Sparky.
Little did I know at time, the relationship we would develop could end up facilitating global change in the industry. Sparky arrived in my life in a severely injured state that appeared, at times, to be almost beyond hope. Suffering from multiple pelvic fractures, he was extremely limited in functional capacity. I volunteered to rehabilitate him using all the therapeutic techniques I would have applied to my human patients. After a time the results were nothing short of incredible. But Sparky’s future was not yet secure so I purchased him in order to continue his rehabilitation process. Following further months of treatment, Sparky made a life changing recovery providing the world living proof what is possible with the right plan. We have since got on to become senior horse care advocates in the industry through education and embodied living.
So much more than just a set of techniques. Osteopathy is a way of being and thinking. A way of approaching therapy with both a global and specific understanding of the interrelatedness of all systems that make up the body.
Through complex study of both cellular and gross anatomy, an osteopath is able to evaluate the patient as a whole in order to facilitate healing. The practice of osteopathy may enable treatment for any type of injury from soft tissue to complex visceral issues. By way of specific evaluation and a distinct understanding of anatomy, a skilled osteopath is able to determine underlying factors and furthermore seek to resolve all perpetuations both internal and external to the body. The true essence of [whole]istic therapy.
Working with me means we assess and address the whole body.
TO FACILITATE HEALING FOR HORSES AND THEIR HUMANS
Through knowledge-based yet creative solutions, my goal is to improve and rehabilitate the physical capacity, form, and function of both horses and humans alike. This restoration of vitality both within and outside of the body is what enables harmonious living in all beings.
HONOUR THE PHYSIOLOGY
Promoting total well being for the horse requires species specific management practices. I am a passionate advocate for natural living as this is how a horse's body was designed to thrive. This means we honour the physiology of the horse by promoting a barefoot lifestyle, free access to forage, regular movement, and herd mates.
THE HERD, FARM, AND BUSINESS
When I am not working in the field, my time is spent with my own herd.
My horses guide me through each phase of my learning and serve as facilitators to all that come to my farm to learn. We spend our time working on our relationship whether that be horsemanship, therapy, or just simply be-ing together. My herd lives on a paddock paradise track system that we have developed together. It is an ever changing project with each step being guided by the horses. We are passionate advocates for natural living, especially for senior horses with over half the herd well into their thirties and even forty! We offer living proof of the longevity available when you honour the physiology of the horse which includes the three pillars of ethical care: friends, freedom, forage.
EQUINE & HUMAN
As a lifelong learner and the eternal student, I believe we must continually develop our craft by staying curious in the pursuit of excellence.
I place a strong emphasis on higher level education and as such bring many varied diplomas both human and equine sciences to my therapeutic practice.
Some of the dissections, I have had the opportunity to attend both online and live!
Cadaver learning is one my favourite ways to gain a deep and fascinating appreciation for anatomy and physiology.
If you are looking for someone to help you understand how to support your horse and improve their quality of life, Elisse is the person for you.
WATCH AND LEARN, YOUR HORSE IS COUNTING ON YOU.
- Michal Purchas, Equine Therapy & RMT Client
TUNE INTO PODCAST INTERVIEWS
To find out more about my therapeutic work, check out the latest informative conversations here.