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Narrative by Chris Macri
I was introduced to the Infratonic machine in 1999, while working full time at the University of California - Davis Veterinary Teaching Hospital as an Equine Technician. My original impression was “here is another machine that can heal everything”. Based on that preconception, I put the Infratonic machine on the bottom of the therapy cart and forgot about it.
Several weeks later, I had a young horse in the barn with an infected stifle joint. He was very depressed, painful, in appetent, and stood most of the day facing the back of his stall. He was scheduled for euthanasia the next morning. I remembered reading the literature that came with the Infratonic and how it had been used in human hospitals on patients with prolonged and slow recoveries and where conventional treatments had proved ineffective, so I set the Infratonic up in the colts stall early that afternoon and went on about my treatments in the rest of the barn. I had forgotten about turning on the machine until the end of the day. When it was time to go home, I went to the colt’s stall and he was actually eating and appeared much brighter. I checked his medical record to see if there had been any change in his medication and there was none.
I wondered if this observable change had anything to do with the Infratonic machine. Unfortunately, this did not change the outcome for this colt but it started the process of placing the Infratonic machine on other equine patient’s stalls. Often, we just taped it to the steel bars of the stalls. I noticed several effects on horses we used the Infratonic on. It would have a noticeable calming effect on them and I noticed a change in their attitude and manageability. They would become more “cooperative”. Unsolicited feedback from students and staff was very interesting; I was being asked many questions about what it was and how it worked, because these people observed real changes in the horses they were treating. The Vet school ended up buying a second Infratonic machine because one was always hanging on a patients stall and now I wanted this machine in my hand to treat patients.
With the Infratonic machine in my hand and out from the bottom of the therapy cart, I became more convinced that it was having a beneficial effect, but I also had a growing number of questions as to what the mechanism of action was, how it was creating observable behavior changes, and how should it best be used. After using it on a filly that was a severe weaver and observing a dramatic change in her behavior (forty-five minutes after placing the machine near the horse, it was asleep - - this was from a horse that never slept at this time of day - - the owners were astonished) and we were able to replicate this phenomenon at other times of the day, eventually leading to the horse no longer weaving. After relating this event with the animal behaviorist group and the equine medicine group at UCD, I discussed the idea of doing a research study with Dr. Melissa Baines, Dr. Gary Hart, and Dr. John Madigan to document the effects of the Infratonic on weavers. We agreed to do a study and currently we are looking for horses. My questions about the Infratonic did not stop with its behavioral effects. I also remembered reading literature that stated it could increase joint production of Hyaluronic Acid. I had used it on numerous racehorse joints and gotten positive feedback from riders, drivers and trainers. I once again found myself discussing a research project with Dr. Melinda MacDonald to determine the effects of the Infratonic on racehorse’s joints. This project is already through the data collection phase and will hopefully have all sample tests run and analyzed by early summer.
The Infratonic machine’s effect on hospital patients and elite equine athletes has taken me down the road to fill the gap from what I (and other users of the machine) see and observe into the framework of the scientific arena and to be able to demonstrate the scientific causes of what we see happening.
As an equine therapist and equine technician, I have used and observed the effectiveness of Infratonic therapy as a stand-alone treatment and as an adjunctive treatment. Infratonic therapy alone has a repeatable relaxing and calming effect on nervous horses. When Infratonic therapy is added to Veterinary care instructions or other therapeutic modalities, patients respond positively. In addition to being effective, Infratonic therapy is one of the safest and easiest to use modalities available.
The Infratonic machine has become a main tool in my therapy practice and will continue to be an essential and effective treatment in equine therapy.