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Cancer patients ride high on horse therapy at Mahalaxmi Race Course

Published : Feb 4, 2017, 1:51 am IST
Updated : Feb 4, 2017, 7:20 am IST

Equine therapy or horse therapy is a form of experiential therapy that involves interactions between patients & horses which enhances skills

A number of patients have already experienced the positive impact of this activity.
 A number of patients have already experienced the positive impact of this activity.

Mumbai: In a bid to boost confidence of cancer patients, a NGO associated with Tata Memorial Hospital (TMH) has started imparting horse-riding lessons to some of them at Mahalaxmi Race Course. A few patients who underwent the training told The Asian Age that it was a pleasant diversion from the painful experience associated with the disease.

On the occasion of World Cancer Day on Sunday, the NGO, India Cancer Society, allied with TMH, will impart more such lessons to cancer survivors with a view to upping their confidence. A clutch of patients have already experienced the positive impact of these lessons. Shekhar Jha, 30, shared his experience with this newspaper saying, “When I was six years old, I was detected with Hodgkin Lymphoma, a type of blood cancer. I was shattered and lost all confidence. After undergoing this therapy, I felt light and confident. Everyone should undergo this to get rid of the fears they face during cancer treatment.”

Dr Vandana Dhamankar, assistant director, cancer survivorship, said, “This is known as ‘equine therapy’ or ‘horse therapy’. The physical and psychological benefits of this therapy are countless. For instance, physically, patients improve their balance and coordination.”

“Rebuilding strength and muscles that may have weakened during cancer treatment and prolonged inactivity is of tremendous value. Patients go through trauma while taking treatment after treatment, they need emotional support, love and care, and this therapy works well,” she said.

Sheila Nair, director general, Indian Cancer Society, told The Asian Age, “Equestrian therapy can help enhance physical, emotional, behavioural, and cognitive skills of persons with disabilities. We have seen tremendous changes. Currently, we are taking baby steps but in the coming years, it will be full-fledged. This therapy is eligible for age groups of 17 to 45 including women.”

Tags: tata memorial hospital, ngo, mahalaxmi race course, world cancer day