Hi – I’m Dr Edward, a Holistic Home Visit veterinarian in Australia. I kicked off my career as a home visit vet some twelve years ago. I was living in Townsville (in the tropical north of Australia) and had recently split up with my wife. I was sick to the back teeth of working in hospitals, always seeing scared, stressed out pets (not to mention being bossed around by bosses!). I was also slowly recovering from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, so I didn’t have the energy budget to take on a full time, high-pressure hospital position.
In addition to these more mundane reasons, I had a burning passion to really dig into the holistic side of my practice, and step away from the corporate, big pharma end of town. Most of the hospitals I worked in weren’t very open to this “different” approach. I started my journey into being a holistic vet when I had to explore all sorts of alternative approaches to heal myself. The standard medical paradigm simply didn’t have the answers. I went and learned energy healing techniques, applied them, and then I felt better – and when I tried them out on animals, I could see that I got way better results than before.
My Traveling Vet-Mobile
It wasn’t long before I was rolling along the roads, tending to happy, contented pets, in the comfort of their homes. It was, and is, the best choice I have ever made in my life. Within only a few years, I was getting busier and busier. These days I have a specially fitted out Volkswagen Caddy van, with a fridge and shelves in the back. I can open the door up, and hop in, sit on a little fold up stool, and then make up any remedies or medicines my patients may need, staying warm and dry.
Near the foot of a Sacred Mountain, Surrounded by the Australian Bush
I didn’t love Townsville, and about four years ago, I and my new beloved moved to a little village in Northern New South Wales called Uki. It is nestled near the foot of an ancient sacred mountain (Mt Warning) – the core of a volcano, worn and weathered by aeons of time. It’s a powerful spot! We live on a few acres up in a valley looking out over the mountain, surrounded by the Australian bush. The calls of whip birds and laughing kookaburras echo in the early morning light, and tall eucalyptus trees sway in the breeze. Uki is a creative hotspot, full of musicians, artists, writers, and the odd new age guru.
I moved here because this is a region where I can really live my dream as a holistic home visit vet. Townsville just didn’t seem to have much of an open mind when it came to alternative and holistic treatments (not to mention being way too hot for me in summer.) Here, people are just so happy to have a holistic vet!
Whole Energy Body Balancing (WEBB)
In my holistic work, one of my main modalities is one I have developed myself over the last 17 years of my professional life. I call it Whole Energy Body Balancing (WEBB) – a combination of physical body release through massage and connective tissue and joint release and mobilisation. One of my main focuses physically is to release and mobilise the sacrum and the joint between the base of the skull and the spine, thus bringing the craniosacral system into a healthy balance. I ally the physical work with subtle energy healing techniques – Reiki is probably the most commonly known, but I also use a whole host of advanced energy healing techniques. This facet of the sessions helps the animals release old emotional and mental traumas from their energy systems.
I also integrate Australian Bush flower Essences, Bach Flower Essences, homeopathy and herbal medicines into my practice. And of course I stock all the standard veterinary medicines in my van, and use them when pets really need them.
The Types of Cases I Treat
I see all sorts of cases in my work. No week is quite like any other week. It ranges from the routine – disease protection, old pets with arthritis, a dog that got into a fight and has holes that need patching up, sore backs, hot spots and so on, right through to more interesting and difficult cases – flat out and unable to move after being bitten by paralysis ticks (a very nasty parasite only found in Australia), ruptured cruciate ligaments, weird and awful autoimmune diseases, post traumatic stress syndrome. The list could stretch out until tomorrow!
My favourite visits are those where I work hands on to ease pain and tension from pets’ bodies, minds, and emotions. One example is Benny, and ex racing greyhound. After he had about 3 WEBB sessions, he started playing with toys for the first time in his life, tossing squeaky balls about the house, all long legs and a silly grin. He also became the naughtiest geriatric puppy in Australia! He even chewed the bottom out of his grandma’s handbag to get at and eat some Easter eggs. All these behavioural changes only happened after he had hands on WEBB sessions. He had so much pain and trauma locked up in his body, waiting to be healed.
Owners and Their Pets Often Have the Same Ailments
One thing I notice more and more is this. When I dig into the history, and I’m finding out what’s going on with a client’s pet, nine times out of ten, the person will have a similar health issue to the pet! It is totally uncanny, and it often blows the mind of the owner somewhat. My theory is that our pets are so open and unconditionally loving, and so connected to us that they resonate with how we are, and so develop the same problems. It’s fascinating, and the regular scientific paradigm has big trouble trying to explain it.
And this is, for me, the real key to holistic veterinary practice. You can only go so far treating chronic health problems in people’s pets, before the people have to take action to heal themselves as well. This is more than a little confronting for some people!
Many clients remark that Dr Edward has a way with animals quite unlike any other vet they have ever seen. Pets who are normally fearful, or who would never approach a stranger are drawn to him. He has an intuitive ability to connect with and understand animals.
Apart from being a vet, Dr Edward is a singer/songwriter, loves gardening, and likes to paint. He is owned by Pearl (a very graceful, willfully disobedient Whippet), Mitzi (an out of control Shitzu/Silky cross), and Parvati and fred (2 lovely cats).
Latest posts by Edward Bassingthwaighte, BVSc (see all)
- Dogs in Pain Part 1: It can be Surprisingly Hard to Tell When Your Dog is in Pain! - July 8, 2018
- Dogs in Pain Part 2: Treating the Pain—What are Your Options? - June 24, 2018
- Back Pain is a Severely Underdiagnosed Problem in Dogs - April 16, 2018