Over 20 years ago, Nancy Zidonis and Marie Soderberg began Equine Acupressure. They were offering acupressure to dressage riders. One day a rider asked if they could work on her horse since he needed it as much as she did. This was the beginning of research, study and the development of their first two handbooks on equine acupressure and later another on canine acupressure.
In 1998, Nancy Zidonis and Amy Snow joined forces with the intention of expanding Equine Acupressure and writing new books on equine, canine and feline acupressure. Within two years, three books were written and published by Tallgrass Publishers, LLC, Nancy and Amy’s publishing company: Equine Acupressure: A Working Manual, The Well-Connected Dog: A Guide To Canine Acupressure and Acu-Cat: A Guide to Feline Acupressure. They went on to create new meridian charts and DVDs for horses, dogs, and which are now offered on their website: www.animalacupressure.com
The new books and articles in publications generated a lot of interest in animal acupressure. Nancy and Amy spent the next few years developing a comprehensive acupressure training program. Tallgrass Animal Acupressure Institute offers both online and hands-on courses worldwide. Participants begin with introductory courses and build their depth of knowledge moving through the 320 hour Practitioner Certification Program. This program delves deeply into Traditional Chinese Medicine and graduates are adept at utilizing eastern assessment tools, point selection, and the acupressure session protocol.
Rather than building a “brick and mortar” training facility, Amy and Nancy decided to invest in traveling to a geographically diverse market. Hands-on courses are offered throughout the United States, England, Australia, Canada, and Israel. There are Tallgrass Animal Acupressure Practitioners all over the world. Thankfully, animals are benefiting from this ancient healing modality and the pace of people joining in this life-long learning adventure is constantly increasing.
As the pioneers in the field of animal acupressure, Nancy and Amy felt a strong commitment to providing the most in depth education possible so that the Tallgrass practitioners would be recognized as skilled and knowledgeable. Both Nancy and Amy went to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) School and have built their training program on the Chinese model of acupressure, not on other forms of bodywork. They felt that going back to the basics to grasp the concepts underlying acupressure would yield a well educated practitioner. The 330-hour Tallgrass program is demanding, but all participants that become practitioners are grateful for truly understanding the work that they are performing.
It has taken years to develop the Tallgrass highly interactive program. From the first introductory level courses through the advanced Acupoint Energetics and Landmark Anatomy, Tallgrass continuously strives to provide the highest level of education for our participants. As the demand for animal acupressure continues to increase, Tallgrass continues to meet needs by offering more advanced courses in Equine and Canine Pathology, Tui Na, Acupoint Combinations and other courses in the development stages.
The Tallgrass instructors in the US, Australia, and England are actively involved in continuous education by attending TCM schools, internships, or working directly with TCM Doctors. Our instructors all need to have a teaching background as well. Furthermore, we require that all instructors are fully trained by spending a year assisting in Tallgrass courses and participating in our instructor training program. Once they attend the Instructor Training course, they spend the following year serving as an instructor-in-training in order to teach the introductory hands-on course and then another year to be able to teach the intermediate courses. It is a rigorous program, but there is so much to learn, and we would not be serving our participants nor the animals if we did not provide a firm grounding in teaching and acupressure.
The future calls for continuous learning tools, expansion of courses, and new instructors worldwide. The founders of Tallgrass, Amy and Nancy, look forward to seeing their legacy in offering health through acupressure for animals become the legacy of many people to come.
All of the Tallgrass courses are approved for Continuing Education (CE) by the National Certification Board of Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB). The online courses are approved for CEs by the United States Dressage Federation University. Additionally, Tallgrass is an approved Higher Education Vocational School by the State of Colorado Department of Education, DPOS