While most of us don't need a guide dog, making a deeper connection with animals can improve the quality of life for many people.
This Saturday, equine-assisted therapist and spiritual counselor Alecz Adams will present a two-hour class on animal-assisted therapy, altered state work, Buddhism and energy work, as they apply to healing with animals.
Adams, an Eagle resident, has witnessed dramatic improvement in patients who participate in animal-assisted therapy.
"I had an individual who was a level nine with multiple sclerosis," Adams said. "Level nine meant he spent most of his time in a walker, could occasionally use a cane and was in a wheelchair most of the time at home. When he first started equine-assisted therapy, he had tremors in his legs every five minutes. After about three years of therapy, he was able to ride for an hour and a half, and could ride bareback up a 60 degree angle hillside at a trot."
The class will introduce some of the methods Adams uses with her equine-assisted therapy patients, and will include a guided meditation exercise. The 15- to 20-minute "dream story" will enable students to enter a light meditative state, Adams explained. Because she can't bring a horse into the classroom, part of the meditation will include the introduction of a "vision horse."
"The vision horse is a vehicle of transformation to be able to see more deeply inside yourself, to see a part of what [the students] would like to be in the future," she said. "Say, for instance, someone is an addict. This [meditation] is set up to help them see what it would be like to not feel addicted to the substances they are addicted to. Or for someone to experience having the confidence to get a new job through the vision state. Or to find the security and relaxation to deal with a problem child without reacting."
The class will also include simple meditation tools students can use at home to clear their minds and improve their ability to relax, with or without an animal, Adams said.
"For anyone who has behaviors of their own they would like to change, this class will give them some ways to change and resolve problems," Adams said. "And anyone who has a pet at home that they would like to connect with more deeply, this would be a great class for them to come to."
For more information about the class or about animal-assisted therapy, call Adams at (970) 376-2770 or go online to soaringspiritinc.com.