How getting kicked by my horse proves contra-lateral healing.

by Donna Woods


In December, I sustained a traumatic hand injury.

1 day after impact

Ok-my horse
kicked me!


My hand was fractured in 3 areas, the entire hand was sprained, and I suffered several bone bruises. While I could write an entire article on what I learned from my horse from a horsemanship perspective, I would like to share with you one of the methods I used to accelerate my healing.

Immediately after the impact, I raced to the house where I immediately took off my rings (never wear rings, even when doing “just” groundwork) and my husband immediately used red light therapy and ice on the injured areas.
After assessing the situation, we went to the doctor. The diagnosis was in-it would take about 6-8 months to recover due to the severity of the injury. Fortunately, the breaks were in areas that did not require casting, so it was up to me to make the best of my recovery.

1 day after impact

Let the red lighting and icing begin!


During my recovery, I implemented a strategy that we teach in our courses. When treating acupoints, we work on both sides of the body-this is called contra-lateral stimulation. This helps to balance the system to allow proper energetic flow to compromised areas. We have had several students report that they used this strategy to recover from physical injuries, so I incorporated red lighting BOTH hands into my 2 x a day routine.
Recovery went amazingly well for the severity of the injury. Two months into my recovery, I had infrared imaging done on my hand. The hand on the left of the photo is not the injured hand. However, you will notice that it had more heat in it.
The hand on the right was definitely cooler. Immediately after the image was taken, I red lighted ONLY my uninjured with our standard light for a total of 5 minutes. We waited another 10 minutes, then re-imaged the hands. The results were in.
By red lighting the “healthy hand”, the images show that it made an almost 2 degree difference in the change of temperature in just 10 minutes. According to research, most therapeutic devices hope to achieve changes like this in 1-2 weeks.

As a result of my diligent red-lighting, my recovery went from an estimated 6-8 months, to 4 months.


When recovering from an injury, treat the contra-lateral side with red light therapy. This promotes healing from both sides of the body, increases circulation and keeps energy flowing appropriately.
To avoid injuries such as this, be impeccable with your horsemanship, leadership and communication and learn everything you can with the Parelli program.


White areas on hand on left indicate extreme heat; purple indicates coolness.

Taken 15 minutes later
Notice the white areas in the hand are diminished, there is more energy moving into the hand on the right side of the photo as indicated by the light blue & green in the fingers.


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