Customized Holistic Veterinary Services
Sea to Sky Holistic Equine is a farm call only holistic exclusive veterinary practice offering high quality personalized holistic veterinary service tailored to the unique needs of your horse.
Learn more about some of the different holistic treatment options offered by Dr. Aja: Rehabilitation & Sports Medicine, Acupuncture, Laser Therapy, Massage, Chiropractic, Herbal Medicine, Nutrition & Food Therapy, Aromatherapy, Supplements & Nutraceuticals
Sea to Sky Holistic Vet is focused exclusively on holistic care so all vaccines, Coggins, pre-purchase exams, xrays, diagnostic ultrasound, bloodwork, and emergency/urgent care is referred to your regular primary care vet and/or emergency facilities if needed. A partial list of emergency clinics in western Washington can be found at the bottom of this page.
Rehabilitation & Sports Medicine
Veterinary physical rehabilitation (what we would call Physical Therapy, PT or Physio in people) aims to restore and improve fitness and function. While rehab is extremely beneficial for reducing inflammation and pain and aiding in return to normal function and performance after an injury it’s also a powerful tool to help prevent injury and optimize health, well being and performance. As part of a holistic, integrative treatment plan techniques used can include therapeutic exercises and stretches, exercise and conditioning programs, as well as acupuncture, chiropractic, laser therapy, electrotherapy (TENS, NMES), massage and body work, and therapeutic ultrasound.
Acupuncture is part of Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine which looks at the whole patient and tries to treat underlying issues rather than just focusing on symptoms. Acupuncture is a technique using very small needles to stimulate points on the body. This causes pain relief, decreases inflammation and normalizes blood flow and nerve function. Acupuncture can help in the treatment and prevention of many diseases including allergies, arthritis, kidney disease, gastrointestinal disease, lameness, cancer, and behavioral problems. It can also be a tool to optimize the health and performance of equine and canine athletes. Techniques available include 5 Elements, Zhang-Fu, and Ting Point, aroma acupuncture, electroacupuncture, and aquapuncture as well as special gentle but powerful Japanese non-insertion techniques Teishin and Sanshin. Dr. Aja is a Certified Veterinary Acupuncturist with advanced training in Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine including acupuncture.
Sometimes called "Cold Laser" or "Low Level Laser Therapy" the scientific term is Photobiomodulation. Laser therapy uses near infrared light wavelengths (not visible to the human eye) which go into the tissue and change what the cells are doing. Within the cells it essentially "turns off" the pathways that are causing inflammation and pain and promotes healing and return to normal function. It's painless and doesn't even require direct contact to work so it's an effective option for animals that prefer minimal touching or don't enjoy acupuncture as we can stimulate acupuncture points with it as well.
Massage & Body Work
The therapeutic benefits of massage have been known to cultures throughout history. It's beneficial for animals just as it is for people. Massage is helpful for reducing pain and inflammation as well as normalizing blood flow and nerve function. In addition to massage during the appointment Dr. Aja will teach you some simple but effective techniques that you can use to help your animal between appointments. Dr. Aja has advanced training in massage including Tui-Na a Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine technique which combines massage and acupressure to get many of the benefits of acupuncture without the use of needles. She’s also one of the only veterinarians to have successfully been certified by the Board for Myofascial Trigger Point Therapists as Certified Myofascial Trigger Point Therapist.
Bodies are meant to move. There's actually over a hundred joints in the body, mostly in the spine, which allow normal movement. When joints aren't moving correctly then other areas of the body have to compensate and they start moving incorrectly because they're overworking, the muscles get tight and painful from overwork, the nerves get irritated by the abnormal movement and blood flow is altered. All of these changes lead to inflammation, altered function of the body and pain. With chiropractic treatment a trained practitioner checks every joint in the body to make sure it's moving correctly. If it's not moving correctly an adjustment is done which allows the joint to then move normally again restoring normal blood flow and nerve function and reducing inflammation and pain. Dr. Aja is Certified in Veterinary Chiropractic by the International Veterinary Chiropractic Association.
People have been using herbal medicines for thousands of years across cultures. Herbs contain many active ingredients which have physical effects on the body and mind. Today we mainly use herbal medicines from Traditional Chinese Medicine, Ayurvedic Medicine or from Western traditions of herbalism. Each of these types of herbal medicine use a different medical framework for diagnosing, preventing and treating disease with herbal medicine. Traditional Chinese Herbal medicine typically uses herbal formulas with 2-20 different herbs which all work synergistically in a balanced and holistic manner to treat the underlying disease. Ayurvedic Herbal medicine uses more single herbs than Traditional Chinese Medicine but some formulas with multiple herbs as well. Western herbal traditions typically use a single herb at a time. Dr. Aja has advanced training in herbal medicine and is able to prescribe Traditional Chinese, Ayurvedic or Western herbs based on the individual, unique needs of each patient.
Nutrition & Food Therapy
Nutrition is one of the most important things we can do to optimize health and to prevent and manage disease. In fact in Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine the power of food to help the body stay balanced and heal itself is recognized with Food Therapy being one of the 4 branches of treatment alongside acupuncture, herbal therapy and Tui-Na (Chinese massage and acupressure). Every animal has unique needs for nutrition based on their species, breed, age, history and lifestyle. We can develop a nutrition plan targeted to you horse's exact needs to optimize health and well-being to prevent and manage disease. Many conditions can be improved with just targeted nutrition and food therapy.
This technique uses essential oils and is similar in many ways to herbal medicine in that each oil contains many active ingredients which have physical and emotional effects and they act to balance the mind and body. They are usually very short acting but this means they act more quickly than herbal medicines and they are very effective for behavioral and emotional/mental issues. Essential oils are very powerful so they need to be used very carefully but with appropriate training they are very safe and effective.
Supplements & Nutraceuticals
There are many conditions that can benefit from certain supplements. Unfortunately there are also many supplements available which are not helpful. Dr. Aja will help you understand what these supplements are actually doing and recommend those that would be beneficial based on the unique needs of your pet.
Performance Animal Care
Whether you’re just starting out in a discipline or already competing at a high level Sea to Sky Holistic Equine can help your horse stay in top condition. We'll create a comprehensive, custom, holistic treatment plan to optimize health and well-being which will also optimize performance. This may include a combination of many holistic treatments like rehabilitation and sports medicine, acupuncture, laser, massage, chiropractic, nutrition, herbal medicine and supplements tailored to the exact needs of your athlete.
Is your horse slowing down? Many people think that this is "just old age" but age is not a disease. Decreased energy, decreased mobility, arthritis and "old age diseases" are all treatable conditions that we can manage with a combination of Western medicine and holistic treatment options. Animals age much faster than people. Many conditions common in older animals like arthritis, mobility issues, thyroid issues and metabolic issues can be managed holistically with excellent results. Even for healthy older horses as they age they have different needs for exercise, nutrition, and healthcare than young animals. We can come up with a plan tailored to your horse's unique needs to help them age gracefully.
Palliative Care & Hospice
For horses with chronic and terminal diseases Dr. Aja offers palliative and hospice care with a focus on pain management and Quality of Life. We will discuss quality of life and options to give your horse the best possible Quality of Life. We'll also talk through your horse's disease process, what to expect, and how to plan for end of life decision making. Dr. Aja integrates all the best treatments available in conventional Western medicine and Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine techniques (acupuncture, massage, food therapy, herbal medicine) plus chiropractic, laser therapy, and aromatherapy to help your horse have the best Quality of Life possible.
SOME EMERGENCY AND URGENT CARE PROVIDERS IN WESTERN WASHINGTON
Unfortunately due to high demand and the limited nature of holistic exclusive practice Dr. Aja can't be available on an urgent or emergency basis. For urgent and emergency situations contact your primary care vet or any emergency veterinary clinic. A partial list of emergency clinics is available below. If you're unsure if it's an emergency it's best to call an emergency clinic to discuss the situation.
Pilchuck Veterinary Equine Hospital (360) 568-3111 11308 92nd St. SE, Snohomish, Washington 98290
Mount Vernon Veterinary Hospital (360) 424-4054 14110 Bradshaw Rd, Mount Vernon, WA 98272
Tacoma Equine Hospital (253) 535-6999 3112 156th St E, Tacoma, Wa 98446