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Infrasound Therapy - A Sound Relief

BY G. DIANE VOLZ AND CHRISTINA MACRI

As printed in The Holistic Horse,
Winter 2003/2004, Vol. 9, Issue 36


**Few therapeutic modalities have moved so quickly from the bottom of the therapy cart to the stalls of some of the finest blue blood thoroughbred racehorses in the country like infrasound therapy. Infratonic technology is a patented chaotic sound wave in the range of 8.5-13.8 Hertz. It is highly effective in treating pain, inflammation and swelling, and also for calming therapies. The infratonic unit is small and very easy to use. The settings are high, medium, and low. We use the high settings to treat directly on the body, unless you get the odd horse who is too sensitive, but most horses love the high setting and relax immediately.

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**We have incorporated infrasonic into our daily therapy treatments. It is used in conjunction with other therapeutic modalities such as ultrasound, electric muscle stimulation, and photon therapy, or it is used as a stand-alone treatment. Over the years, we have found the infratonic machine highly effective in three major areas.

**The first is as a calming influence for weavers, stall walkers or nervous horses. We set the machine up in front of the horses stall or mount it in the stall (but out of the reach of busy lips) and let it run on the low or medium setting. With this setup, we have observed dramatic changes in behavior patterns. One example was a filly at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale, Florida, who weaved so badly that she dug up trenches in her stall. One hour and thirty minutes after turning the infratonic on in front of her stall, she had stopped weaving and was resting quietly. The barn help told us that normally she would weave all day. We repeated this treatment and had the same effect the next day. Since our experience with that filly, we have successfully repeated this treatment on numerous horses. These observations were discussed with staff Veterinarians at UC Davis and two research projects have been outlined to scientifically evaluate the infratonic's demonstrated effectiveness in this area.

The Equitonic is shown here with the treatment head protruding from the soft carrying case, supported on a bucket in front of a weaver's stall.

**In addition to its therapeutic value behaviorally, we have also realized its effectiveness when used on acupuncture points. We have been fortunate to work with some of the finest Veterinary Acupuncturists in the country and, as a result, discovered the infratonic is a valuable tool for follow-up treatments and for initial treatments until the Veterinarian is available to treat the horse. We generally hold the treatment head over the acupuncture points for three to five minutes and use the high setting. A particularly interesting case we worked on was a three-year-old Thoroughbred colt at Saratoga Race Course who, at the time, was one of the top ten horses in the nation. The trainer complained he was traveling poorly on the track and was bolting from other horses. We used the infratonic to treat his acupuncture points that related to the hock. Each treatment took one hour and after the third treatment the exercise rider said he was traveling much better. The next day a Veterinary Acupuncturist evaluated him and determined all hock points were quiet and clear.

**In the third area, we find the infratonic to be very effective in treating acute or chronic areas for pain or swelling. We utilize the high setting and treat directly on or over the area of injury for a minimum of twenty minutes, up to an hour. We will repeat this routine for three to four days and then every other day, depending on the horse and the nature of the injury. For a sore back we would treat directly on the muscles of the back as well as over the top of the spine, also stimulating acupuncture points for the sore area. Horses who are stiff are treated by stimulation of one acupuncture point for thirty minutes before they train. Riders tell us they feel a big difference in how treated horses warm up more readily. Horses prone to muscle spasms benefit from this treatment as well.

**One of the most memorable treatments involving pain relief was not actually one of our horse patients, but one of our favorite veterinarians. He complained of chronic elbow pain, and said he had treated himself with a variety of pharmaceuticals, but with no success. We treated directly over his painful elbow for 20 minutes. He thanked us and went on with his daily routine. The next day a car drove by us and man was yelling at the top of his lungs at us, "Girls!! It is a miracle, when can you do me again?" It was our favorite vet, flexing his elbow out the window of his truck. We see him frequently at various racetracks across the country and he tells us that his elbow is still pain free since that treatment, which took place three years ago.

**Infrasound therapy differs from therapeutic ultrasound in that the sound waves travel through the air. Therapeutic ultrasound must have transmission gel or water to transmit the sound waves. The infratonic produces a very low-level frequency sound, in the range of 8.5-14 Hertz. Therapeutic ultrasound produces a sound wave of 45 Kilo Hertz to 3 Mega Hertz. Ultrasound, if used incorrectly, can cause tissue damage. Therefore, they are two very different modalities, although they both use sound waves.

**The infratonic is one of our favorite therapeutic modalities because of the many effective uses we have described. Also, it is one of the safest and easiest modalities to use. We feel comfortable leaving our machines with owners or trainers to use. The infrasound therapy that we use is the Equitonic, made by the CHI Institute, located in San Clemente, CA. There are other machines being offered by other companies, but none seem to deliver the powerful results of the Equitonic. Of course, a diagnosis should be obtained from your veterinarian, before any treatment is performed. Overall, the infratonic is a great addition to any therapist's practice, or in any individual's hands to make our equine friends happier and more comfortable.
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G. Diane Volz has been practicing Equine Therapy - including therapeutic ultrasound, electrical muscle stimulation, photon therapy, iontophoresis, magnetic therapy and stretching, along with infrasound therapy - for 15 years. She has a Bachelor of Science degree, in Equine Science, from Morehead State Univ. Home base is in Louisville, KY, where she and her husband Ted spend the spring and fall months. Her work in the summer is in Saratoga Springs, NY, and the winter months in South Florida. Contact her at equinetherapy502@yahoo.com, or 502-802-3917.

Christina Macri has been working in the horse industry for 27 years. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Science from UC Davis. During the last 14 years she has worked as a Veterinarian Technician at the UC Davis Veterinary School with the Lameness and Surgery Department. She is involved with equine therapy and utilizes the modalities to treat horses at the University and in private practice. Contact Chris at 916-591-1456 or at unstable@softcom.net.

 

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