Coping with Epilepsy
Despite all the modernization, broad-mindedness, and advancements in the field of science and medicine, the way society treats a person suffering from an illness of the brain is heart-wrenching. Although people seem to have overcome superstitious beliefs over the years, most people however haven’t quite got adapted to scientific reasoning. Epilepsy is one such neurological disorder that affects the activity of the brain and the person experiencing this gets treated like an alien, or a person possessing an evil spirit. Equine-assisted therapy helps the epileptic patient cope with life and other emotional difficulties.
What is epilepsy?
Epilepsy also called seizures or fits is a neurological disorder caused due to a sudden rush of electrical signals in the brain.
Two major types of seizures are commonly seen.
Generalized seizures – which affect the whole brain, may cause subtle movements of the body, stiffen the muscles, loss of control over the body, and loss of consciousness.
Focal, or partial seizures – which affects just a part of the brain and may cause involuntary twitches of the body or the parts, sudden sensory symptoms, and may also change the emotions.
Whilst stronger seizures show visible symptoms such as spasms and unmanageable muscle twitches that last for a few seconds to a couple of minutes. A mild seizure on the contrary cannot be recognized easily as it lasts just for a few seconds during which one lacks awareness.
Sudden change in the electrical activities in the brain leads to abnormal behaviour, confusion, and loss of awareness. In some cases, one may not recollect the memory of its occurrence.
What causes epilepsy?
Epilepsy has no specific recognizable cause in most people. The cause of the condition may however be traced according to numerous factors.
- Epilepsy can be rooted as a genetic disorder if it runs in the family. Genes can play a pivotal role in altering a person’s emotion and making the person sensitive to changes that cause seizures.
- Infectious diseases caused by a virus, bacteria, or fungus can also cause epilepsy.
- Head injury due to a vehicle accident or any other direct physically traumatic injury to the head can also trigger seizures.
- Brain conditions such as tumors or stroke can lead to epileptic seizures in the patient due to abnormal electrical activity in the brain.
- Developmental disability such as autism or cerebral palsy can be associated with epilepsy.
- In some cases, lack of sleep, fever, excess stress, very low blood sugar can be a lead.
What is equine therapy?
Equine therapy is a therapeutic healing process with the association between a horse and a patient. The therapy involves equine-assisted activities such as grooming, feeding, and haltering in the presence of a mental health expert and facilitator.
Equine-assisted therapy is used as a treatment tool for helping patients of different ages with neurological disorders, behavioural disorders, and psychological disorders. Equine therapy allows people to spend time around the horses to foster a healthy change.
It enhances the mood, helps people overcome depression, anxiety, and develops self-confidence.
How equine therapy helps epilepsy?
Horses the most loving and empathetic beings. They are sensitive to human emotions and energies. The quality of inherent honesty helps people overcome distress.
People struggling with epilepsy are often met with revulsion or ostracized from society, and having a seizure is considered shameful. This leads to isolation and depression in people experiencing epileptic seizures. While people judge them differently, horses accept them lovingly.
Horses are non-judgmental and have the ability to sense the suppressed emotions in humans. Although equine therapy does not involve verbal communication with the horse, they are proclaimed to be exceptional communicators.
What do you undergo during equine-assisted therapy?
Equine-assisted therapy is a remedial therapy for helping patients struggling with psychological, emotional, and neurological challenges.
The therapy is performed in the open horse farm amidst nature with the guidance of a certified therapist and the support of the horse. The therapy activities are closely performed under the supervision of expert horse trainers to ensure safety.
Equine-assisted therapy involves performing equine activities to bond with the horse. The therapy does not require riding skills and does not involve riding.
The activities are curated to help people discover themself and enhance their way of thinking. The therapy takes place in groups or as a one-on-one session.
As the patient bonds with the horse, the mental health expert monitors and analyse the behavioral patterns of the person to gauge the thought process. The therapy session helps the patient to learn self-acceptance and self-esteem.
Why are horses used in equine therapy?
As majestic and noble horses are, they have the ability to help humans in more ways than one knows. They provide peace and comfort to the person struggling to cope with life and responsibilities. Their companionship and love are capable of healing people through both emotional and mental disabilities. They act as a mirror to human emotions.
Equine therapy can help people in controlling their fears and develop a sense of resilience as they bond with them. Equine-assisted therapy is also psychological and physical therapy. The innate qualities of the horse are utilized in the therapy to develop the same qualities in humans including acceptance, tolerance, kindness, respect, honesty, compassion, and forgiveness.
For someone dealing with epileptic anxiety and depression, spending quality time with the horses opens a new dimension in their lives.
The healing power of a horse can undoubtedly help just about anyone having difficulties coping with mental, physical, or emotional distress.
At Healing Hearts and Minds, the holistic therapeutic approach of equine-assisted therapy can help people explore their feelings and are suitable for people of all ages with diverse disabilities. The therapy promotes mindfulness and enhance the quality of life.