WEST MILFORD, N.J. -- With a simple touch, April Stearns can massage away the aches and pains of her four-legged clients.
"I am not a vet, but I can help animals and make a difference in my small way," said Stearns, who lives in the Oak Ridge section of West Milford.
Stearns is a certified vet tech, a canine and horse therapist and a holistic minister.
She uses a holistic approach that includes using acupressure, Reiki, aromatherapy, and raindrop essential oil therapy.
Stearns, who also works at Holistic Pet Care in Little Falls, is also a black bear advocate, serves as a nutritionist for horses and dogs and makes and sells her own horse treats.
"I always was an animal lover," said Stearns, who recently became a vegetarian. "For half of my life I've been rescuing animals."
She got the idea for the massage business while caring for a rescued retired racehorse named Viandra.
"I was just massaging her and feeling around and she really enjoyed it," Stearns said. "She would turn and look at me and say, 'Do this leg' and stand still for 10 to 15 minutes to work on an area, and then turn to another part to massage."
"Vi" is now 27 years old and very rarely suffers from any physical aliments, she said, proudly.
"At first, people thought I was weird then they saw my success and then asked to do it on their horses," Stearns said.
The techniques also worked to help calm her rescue dogs, who can become hyper at times.
"My best reward and payback is when I get a text message or call from a repeat customer and they give me feedback and say the animal is walking better and breathing better," Stearns said, "it really is rewarding."
Steans's services can be found on Facebook for HORSES and DOGS in New Jersey and New York. CALL: (973) 897-9356 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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