Hippotherapy

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Hippotherapy can help a persons muscle tone and balance. It also can give the patient a sense of freedom and something fun to do. Dr. Edward Hill tells us more about this method of therapy in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

For patients with mild to severe movement dysfunctions and cognitive or behavioral deficits, hippotherapy is a therapeutic treatment that may enhance or promote independence.

Hippotherapy is literally defined as treatment with the help of the horse. It is used as an integral part of a therapeutic program.

The gait of the horse simulates the movement of the human pelvis, providing a unique and valuable tool that aids in improving posture, motor skills, balance and mobility. An individual who receives equine facilitated therapy may gain other benefits such as increased attention span, motivation, improved self-esteem, better communication skills and increased confidence.

Hippotherapy is provided by a licensed health care professional and utilizes a team approach that centers around the horse as the therapeutic treatment tool.

The horses, their handlers and the therapists all have special training in this unique treatment. Hippotherapy can be a valuable tool to assist therapists as part of an individual treatment plan and requires a physicians referral.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.