Part 1 of a SPECIAL Series
By John Faherty, DC—HBI Board President
Dr. John provides animal chiropractic care in the Asheville, NC region. Learn more about his full-service holistic practice at Animal Movement.
Over 20 years ago, a new “occupational calling” naturally found its way to me. I had already been a practicing chiropractor for more than 15 years when one of my clients asked me about working with their dog, who was having a similar problem.
“Dr. John, would chiropractic help my dog with his disc problem, like it has for me?” he asked.
“Sure, it probably would,” I instinctively responded.
“So, would you be willing to work on my dog then?”
I hesitated. “Well…no, because I don’t really know the anatomy and other things that would be important to know.” Although I initially declined my patient’s offer, this conversation certainly sparked my interest. I took action.
I called some colleagues that I knew were working with animals and found an organization that taught Animal Chiropractic to licensed DCs and DVMs. I attended one of their post-graduate modules and was instantly hooked. I not only enjoyed the application of chiropractic principles and practice to animals, but I was fascinated by the success stories shared by the many doctors I met, veterinarians and chiropractors alike, who had been doing this work for some time. I took the next year to complete my certification and soon began working with animals. I loved it so much that animals are my only clients—I no longer treat humans!
So how does my work relate to heart-centered living exactly? After taking some Open Heart Meditation workshops and living more from within my heart, my animal clients helped me realize that what I thought was using intuition and experience in knowing what to do/not do with an animal, is actually using the heart and that key connection with the animals. Animals are very sensitive and connected to the earth and the environment around them.
I have worked with horses, dogs, cats, goats, donkeys, and one bearded dragon, which is a story in itself! When I was coming from my heart—that is, using my heart as a guide instead of my brain/intellect—I found surprising results starting to happen. Even for animals I wasn’t sure would benefit from care, their conditions improved!
I feel what’s really happening is that I am connecting to the critters on a heart-to-heart level. Not exactly consciously trying to get ideas of what the animals need, but by being still and using my heart as a guide, which I learned through Open Heart Meditation, I am able to just relax and naturally let my hands feel and know what to do.
As I continue to let my “fingers do the walking” and rely on my heart and that connection, there is more peace and joy even working with the more difficult animals. I also find that this connection often helps calm them so they are better able to allow the changes to happen. Whether for bearded dragons or humans, a connected heart enhances calmness, peace, joy, and health.
Part 2 is coming soon! Dr. John shares his extraordinary experience treating the first horse and dog he saw after attending his initial 4-day training. Both animals were set to be euthanized and after adjusting them, they had huge improvements for many more years!