A natural path to healing
By Margaret Evans
The sheer beauty of high performance is that it all looks so deceptively easy. But whether it is a grand prix level horse and rider executing the minutely accurate steps of canter pirouettes, passage, and piaffe in the dressage ring, or ballet dancers executing the complex flows of demi-pointe, frappe, or tendu on stage, both performers know the degree of sacrifice, dedication, pain, and setbacks it may take to get to that flawless peak.
For dressage horses, lateral movements place strain on the back and pelvis as well as on leg joints engaged in twisting steps. Hind suspensory and ligament injuries can show up as lameness or a loss in performance, stiffness, or resistance. And like many sport horses they are prone to muscle soreness, microscopic tears in ligaments, and joint pain.
While studying in Europe for a doctorate in nutrition, Jason Watkin worked with high performance ballet dancers who were subject to overwork injuries and inflammation in their joints and connective tissue. Few people realize that the level of precision demanded of a professional dancer is comparable to that of an Olympic gymnast. In a study published in 2000, University of Washington researchers tracked dancers with the Pacific Northwest Ballet Company and found that their injury rate over an eight-month period was 61 percent, which is comparable to athletes in high impact sports such as football and wrestling.
That high rate of injury was not lost on Watkin.
“Jason realized there was a void in the area of natural products to help these kinds of conditions,” said Trevor Watkin, Jason’s brother. “That’s what really inspired the creation of Purica and our flagship product, Recovery.”
Recovery is a carefully researched formula using natural ingredients that have a proven track record and value over hundreds of years.
“We’ve built on the ancient wisdom surrounding ingredients such as MSM (methylsulfonylmethane), vegan sources of glucosamine, inulin, vitamins C and E, magnesium, and hyaluronic acid, and developed the proprietary blend of Nutricol, a grape seed and green tea extract, that serves to help deliver the full benefit of the nutrients contained in Recovery,” said Watkin. “The due diligence of science has validated the effectiveness of the ingredients and helped us understand how they work. We like to say that we’re ‘inspired by nature and backed by science’ and that certainly applies to Recovery.”
Jason Watkin (above) and Trevor Watkin (below) of Purica, based in Duncan, BC.
The equine formulation for Recovery EQ to help horses suffering from pain was developed over 15 years ago for surgical and injury recovery. Then, Watkin said, in 2002 a group of veterinarians studied it in comparative trials on horses with arthritis, growth issues in young horses, and back pain. After it was rated as the top product to yield results, the brothers launched Recovery EQ into the US market, tripling the size of their company in months.
“I used Recovery EQ on Mosie, my Appendix Quarter Horse,” said hippotherapist Judy Todd of Abbotsford, BC. “He was active all his life and, even though he wasn’t arthritic, I started him on it at age 25, more as a proactive therapy. He was on it for a year and a half until he died of colic.”
Watkin said that some of the biggest responses in their early years came from within the horse industry where Recovery EQ was having a major positive impact. The feedback they received from horse owners and trainers was especially gratifying.
All Purica products are vegan, organic, and non-GMO, and deliver the same level of results for humans, horses, dogs, and cats.
“Recovery SA (for small animals) is similar to Recovery EQ,” said Watkin. “It helps with many different conditions from skin allergies to arthritis, and again, surgical recovery for small animals. The main attribute of this product is how quickly one will see the results in dogs and cats. We encourage people to visit our website (www.purica.com) for more information on a full breakdown of its ingredients, how they work, and the benefits to be gained from usage. We like to say that we’re all about ‘Nature. Science. You.’ but that also applies to your horse and your pets.”
Beautiful performances look deceptively easy, but maintenance of peak fitness and high levels of athletic performance require careful management and attention to nutrition, sports medicine, and injury prevention. Photo: ©ThinkstockPhoto/AYakovlev, Photo: Robin Duncan Photography
Of particular importance is the fact that the products work without conflicting or compromising prescribed medications for animals and humans.
“There have been no contraindications with other medications for either short term or long term use,” said Watkin, adding that the success of Recovery has led to a variety of new products. “Recovery is still our flagship product, so to speak, but we’ve added formulations such as our new natural heart health supplement Provascin, our Menopause Relief hormone balancer, and Immune 7, a blend of medicinal mushrooms designed to work as an immunity optimizer. We carry a full line of medicinal mushrooms such as Red Reishi, Cordyceps, Lion’s Mane, Chaga and others, and we’re now in the process of introducing single-ingredient products meant to allow people even more flexibility in how they use our natural supplements.”
Recovery first became popular as a solution for joint pain and inflammation, and in the intervening years it became a go-to natural product for people who have been injured or who are recovering from surgery. But more recently, said Watkin, a growing segment of their customers have been athletes and people who love active living. They are not necessarily injured or undergoing rehab from surgery; they just want to perform at the top of their game. Athletes are using Recovery and other Purica products for maintenance and prevention. As a result the company created a team of Purica ambassadors including trainers and professional athletes, and they recently struck an educational partnership with sport science expert Dr. Cory Holly.
“It’s an important thing for us to provide access to experts in the field and we’ll continue to grow those resources for our customers,” said Watkin. “Our mission is to create new horizons in health and wellness by empowering you with the finest whole foods, supplements, and lifestyle solutions.”
They are clearly committed to product education and to helping their customers understand how their products work so they can get the most out of life.
“We’ve always taken that seriously, but in recent years, as our customer base has grown to include athletes and active people looking for natural solutions, we’ve adjusted accordingly in terms of some of the expertise we’re making available on our web site and in our social media channels. It’s been an evolution for us.”
All their products are registered and licensed by Health Canada and are produced in the company’s new manufacturing facility in Duncan BC.
For more information, please visit: www.purica.com.
This article was originally published in the September 2015 issue of Canadian Horse Journal.
Main Photo: Recovery EQ was developed over 15 years ago to help horses suffering from pain, for surgical and injury recovery. Photo: ©CanStockPhoto/Olgait