Treatment for Animals
Treatment for animals was begun in 2002 during a LENS training for Professionals at Stone Mountain Farm in New York State. There was a high population of human services providers who also had veterinary experience, and were looking for alternatives to help animals with mental/emotional problems. A lot of vets, not knowing what to do, use drugs that are efficacious for humans.
(Hence our joke, delivered at the first presentation of our work with animals at the American Association for Applied Psycho-physiology and Biofeedback in 2003–that “we would not think of doing something to animals that hadn’t been thoroughly tested on humans first!”)
Moondog: Moondog, an old Aussie, had numerous injuries, concussion (from being trampled by horses) spinal injuries (same reason), old age, and what seemed to her caretakers (us) a clinical depression. So Moondog was the first animal subject to receive the LENS treatment. An old dog, she sat fairly patiently while electrodes were attached to her. After treatment, it was noted by all the assembled therapists that she was much livelier, more sociable, tracked straighter in her walking, and over time, Stephen and Robin observed that she seemed far less depressed.
The effect was so notable that Moondog was scheduled for regular treatments. Thus, among the patients at Stone Mountain Center, was an old female sheepdog, sitting, docile and expectant, in the waiting room. (High profile clients, arriving in their Mercedes, would just have to wait until the old–much loved–dog had her scheduled appointment!)
Dancer: As is told in The Healing Power of Neurofeedback, after a single treatment was begun with Dancer, a purebred Morgan horse (left), a skilled riding instructor instantly noticed the change in the horse, and commented on it to the student sitting on Dancer: “Why is this horse suddenly listening to your (appropriately applied equestrian) instructions,?–when he’s never done so before. He’s really listening now, and responding, to the (very subtle, Dresssage type) instructions.”
Dancer has now received a half-dozen LENS treatments for his hysteria and obstinacy, and is a very nice (dressage) horse to ride
The University of California at Davis has adapted the human International 10-20 system for Animals. With horses such a map will have around 12 sites (as opposed to the conventional 19 or 21 sites for humans). A map of Silver, a horse with depression and a variety of visual and coordinational problems is shown.
Silver: Silver was often grumpy (see below), refused to get along with other horses, and stumbled so often on the trail that riders felt endangered–particularly on our hill trails (people were afraid his dyspraxia (clumsiness) would pitch them over his head.
After a mapping, and couple of LENS treatments, he was more affable, easier with both the other horses–and the humans–and a better ride (especially for a romantic white horse who looked like his namesake–the Lone Ranger’s Silver).
Subsequently, treatments for Cats, Horses, and a single Rooster were undertaken. (Our single treatment with a rooster, named “Gustave Klimt” is described below, perhaps for comic relief.)
Dizzy: The cat named “Dizzy” has been described in our article on the LENS with animals published in The Journal of Neurotherapy. Dizzy was the cat of a temporary tenant on our farm, and thus had a lower territorial “rank” than our farm cats–who mercilessly stalked and overwhelmed Dizzy easily, while he cowered.
As Dizzy received his neurofeedback treatment, the oppressing cats came and glowered on the other side of a picture window. Dizzy was anxious. The anxiety shows up on his EEG as seen below: Hi Beta is suddenly very high (he sees his death in those glassy eyes). Then after the treatment, his EEG suddenly normalizes (note the change in the raw EEG below about two thirds across.
After the Neurofeedback treatment Dizzy looks calm. Robin is no longer holding or restraining him and he is physically relaxed. A few days later a remarkable transformation was observed as one of the dominant cats was seen visibly avoiding a new and formidable menace that was stalking her. The stalker was Dizzy, Stalkee having become stalker!
Gustave Klimt the Rooster: Luisella, a Veterinary Assistant who ran a domestic and farmyard animal shelter, saw us doing neurofeedback with a horse and asked the kind of question for which there is only one answer: “Do you think it would work on a Rooster??”
She explained that her new Rooster, who hailed from Brooklyn, and was named after the Austrian symbolist painter Gustave Klimt, had killed their established old farmyard rooster in an afternoon, and then gone on to attack beast and human with a comparable ferocity, ever since. Nothing too large or formidable could escape, including Luisella’s boyfriend, and numerous house guests.
Gustave arrived in a strong cage: a dog crate: so that innocent bystanders would be protected. When Luisella removed him from the crate she had protective apron and gloves all ready.
The answer would await the experimental situation: Lacking ears, the usual place to attach the reference and ground, Stephen Larsen attaches both to the comb–an indignity that Gustave found almost unbearable! The next task was to find his brain! This was no small task, in fact it seemed as large as Gustave’s brain was small (perhaps like a largish pea). The brainwaves that were visible, however, were in the hi-beta, hypervigilant range. Gustave was given 2 seconds of the LENS.
treatment on each hemisphere (approximately C3 and C4, a more precise mapping seeming impossible under the circumstances.
When Stephen was done, with the treatment, he thought he saw a familiar softening (the effects of treatment) in Gustave’s beady eye. “Take your hands off him and see what he does, ” he suggested to Luisella.
She reluctantly did so, and to the amazement of all, Gustave simply sat there going “Braawk?”and looking around curiously.
He went easily back into his cage, and Luisella phoned in with news of a remarkable transformation. During the week Gustave failed to chase or menace anyone.
However, he did miss his next treatment, because Luisella couldn’t get Gustave to come down off the roof!–even for his neurofeedback session!
See also Scientific Research page–condensation of published article in for Journal of Neurotherapy Vol 10, 2/3