As I explained earlier, Max is the horse in the photo on the cover of my new book. His registered name is Sir RH Maximilian. Max was the main model for my first book Acupressure Point Charts for Horses, which includes approximately 400 photographs that illustrate the locations of 128 acupressure points. Due to the number of photos I needed for that book, I worked for four years with Max and his owners Jesse and Ann Torrez during quite a few photo sessions.
Max is a well-trained show champion and breeding stallion. His muscular conformation and short palomino coat made him an ideal model for the photos. Max was willing to stand still during the photo shoots although he rarely relaxed completely due to the activity near the arena. He let me put dots on point locations for photos showing the anatomy of the area of the points. He also allowed me to stand next to him and touch him to pose for acupressure demonstration photos.
There were a few situations that tested Max’s patience during our sessions. For instance, when Max spotted a certain mare walking around the ranch, he would put his head up and stare at her. Jesse would shift Max’s focus by taking him for a walk in the opposite direction and putting him through ground work exercises. Once Max calmed down, the photo session would continue.
Head, Neck, and Belly Were Off Limits
Thankfully, Max was pretty tolerant about me touching most of his body. The exceptions were his lower belly, upper neck, and his head. If I slid my hands near those areas he would lift his head up high and give me a stern look that told me not to go there. Most of the time, I respected his wishes. Two years into our work together, during a photo shoot on a quiet, overcast day, I decided to give some points on his head a try.
When I reached up Max’s neck to touch a point on the top of his head between his ears, Max lifted his neck and head and strongly shook his head back and forth. Okay, I thought, I’m not going there today. I stopped trying to reach up to the point, petted Max on the shoulder, and talked with him before walking forward to the side of his head. I gently held his halter, touched his face, and then placed my fingers on his forehead, on the location of Governing Vessel 24 just below the forelock. At first touch, Max tensed up. He pinned his ears just a bit, but didn’t shake me off or stare at me in a way that told me to stop.
Since Max was allowing me to stay on the point, I relaxed my shoulders, deepened my breathing, and used the flat pads of my fingers to connect with the qi of the point. In response, Max’s tension softened. He lowered his head and turned his face towards me, joining me in a profoundly quiet space that lasted at least a minute.
The depth of our connection brought tears to my eyes. I felt truly honored. Max had trusted me to touch his forehead and he had allowed the influence of the acupressure point to relax him into a deeply peaceful place.
The Power of Acupressure on Governing Vessel 24
This experience with Max reminds me of a description of the influence of acupressure given to me by my teacher Sean Fannin, an experienced practitioner of Chinese Medicine. He said: “When you work at the level of spirit to spirit with the horse, profound healing can take place.”
The point Max responded to was Governing Vessel 24 (GV 24). Its traditional Chinese name is Shen Ting, which means Spirit Court or Spirit Palace. The name refers to the powerful calming influence GV 24 has on the horse’s shen (his spirit). The point is used during acupressure sessions to calm and relax the horse and support clear, grounded thinking.
Here’s An Excerpt from my new Book that Explains Governing Vessel 24
“The primary functions of GV 24 are settling the shen (spirit) and calming the Heart. These functions are quite valuable. They give the point the ability to calm horses in times of stress and relax horses who have a busy mind and difficulty focusing on their handlers. GV 24 is also useful in helping chronically fearful, anxious, and hyper horses adopt a calmer response to life. This includes the horse who is nervous, fussy, and not able to stand still, one that is fearful, easily startled, or the horse who looks for danger at every turn.”
I look forward to sharing more about Governing Vessel 24 and the 7 other points that are featured in my new book, Acupressure Methods for Horses. I know that by studying the step-by-step instructions and 55 photos in the book and watching the five online videos you’ll be able to use acupressure to calm your horse and address various issues. Satisfaction guaranteed or your money back!