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Your animal's body is an ecosystem

Updated: Jan 27, 2023

Traditional cultures saw the body as an ecosystem or garden: rivers flowing through lymphatics and veins, mountains constructing bones, lakes pooling in joints and kidneys, winds blowing through lungs and minds, fires burning in hearts and stomachs.

Whilst this traditional approach regarded the human body, the same approach can be applied to the animal body - indeed, humans are also animals. Using this approach, we can traverse your animal's ecosystem in order to bring about healing and vitality.

Ecosystem & symptoms

When we look at the body as an ecosystem, we see beyond the physical symptom and arrive at the animal’s unique expression of the symptom.

If, for example, your animal has yeast overgrowth, he won’t necessarily have it for the same reason as another dog with the same symptom. In other words, what’s causing the overgrowth won’t necessarily be the same.

Why does the animal have the symptom, what's causing it?

When we work out why the animal has the symptom, what’s causing the symptom, an appropriate remedy can be prepared.

How do we work out why the animal has the symptom?

Using a holistic approach, we examine the animal’s entire body, including their psychology and emotions, and their physiology (their constitution, tissues, organs and systems).

From a psychological and emotional perspective, a practitioner will examine the animal's psychological and emotional patterns - is the animal flighty, nervous, irritable, domineering, stubborn, jealous, resistant to change, and so on.

From a physiological perspective, a practitioner will explore the animal's constitution (structure, shape and form; coat, skin and nails; energetics; digestion, appetite and thirst; psychological and emotional patterns and disease tendencies), their tissues, organs and systems.

To give each of these perspectives their due, would take a series of blog posts. The purpose of this blog post, is to discuss the animal's ecosystem - the state of their tissues - and how the examination of the animal's ecosystem can result in a personalised care approach to bring about healing.

Tissues states - the animal's ecosystem

Each organ and organ system within the body is made up of tissues. The examination of the animal's ecosystem is an examination of the tissue states within the animal - the tissues that make up those organs and organ systems.

Remember what I said right at the very beginning of this post? Within the ecosystem, the rivers are the veins and the lymphatic system; the mountains are the bones; the lakes are the joints and the kidneys, the winds blow through the lungs and the minds and the fire burns in the heart and the stomach. And so by examining the animal's ecosystem, the practitioner explores:

  • how are those rivers flowing?

  • how strong are the mountains?

  • how full are the lakes?

  • is there an excess of wind?

  • is there a deficiency of fire?

Find the patterns, find the imbalance, find the remedy

Through the holistic exploration of the animal's ecosystem, a practitioner can discover where there is an imbalance within the body, how the imbalance is expressed and why it's being expressed in the body.

Ecological patterns of imbalance

The where, the how and the why of the imbalance can be observed by examining the animal's tissue states, and identifying the ecological or pathological patterns. These patterns are divided into categories - moisture, temperature and tone, which are then subdivided into excesses and deficiencies:

  • excess moisture = damp

  • deficient moisture = dry

  • excess temperature = heat

  • deficient temerpature = cold

  • excess tone = tension

  • deficient tone = relaxed

By identifying and assessing the patterns, the holistic practitioner can identify the imbalance / the cause of the symptom and select an appropriate remedy for the individual animal that will help to balance the pattern, and bring about healing.

The body is a sum of all its parts, and each part affects the other

The body is not a fragmented piece of machinery. It is a sum of all its parts, and each part affects the other. When the animal is treated like a machine, and only the symptom as it’s physically presented on the surface is being considered, true healing can never occur. Your animal will remain out of balance, be sick, will become dependent on the medications they've been given to control or mask the symptom and over the long term, have their health, vitality and longevity diminish.

How do you want to care for your animal?

As the guardian of your animal, it is up to you to decide how you would like to care for them.

  • Do you want to use an approach that acts like a bandaid, that never actually fixes the problem and has the potential to reduce their overall health, vitality and longevity?

  • Or would you prefer an approach that takes into account your animal’s entire being, their entire ecosystem, in order to return health, vitality and longevity to your animal?

If it's the latter, please contact me here or book a complimentary chat. I would love to support you and your animal to achieve a state of optimal health, vitality and longevity.


Warm thanks to Sajah Popham for his wisdom around evolutionary herbalism that inspired me to apply his teachings to animals and write this post.
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About Ruth

Ruth Hatten is a Holistic Animal Care Mentor with qualifications in animal naturopathy, pet nutrition and energy healing. She helps animals using holistic principles and natural remedies, including naturopathy, nutrition, plant medicine, energy and spirituality. Ruth believes that animals can thrive when they are supported in this way.​

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