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Equine

INTRODUCTION TO

EQUINE ACUPUNCTURE

Acupuncture has been practiced on both animals and humans for thousands of years in China, but has been introduced in the United States within the last century.  Acupuncture is defined as the stimulation of a specific point on the body with a specific method resulting in a therapeutic effect.  The acupoints largely fall along one of the 14 primary meridians and relate to the musculoskeltal system and internal organs.  Modern research shows that acupoints are located in the areas where there are a high density of free nerve endings, mast cells, small arterioles and lymphatic vessels.  Stimulation of these points induce release of beta-endorphins, serotonin, and other neurotransmitters resulting in pain relief and decreasing inflammation.

The Ancient Chinese discovered that the health of the body depends on the state of Qi (pronounced chee).  Pain is interpreted as the blockage of Qi flow and acupuncture stimulation resolves this blockage enabling the body to heal itself and restore the balance of Yin and Yang.

Acupoints may be stimulated in a variety of ways.   These techniques include dry needling, moxibustion, aquapuncture, and electroacupuncture.  Whatever the tool used, the goal is always to restore balance in the body.

INDICATIONS FOR ACUPUNCTURE

Research has proven that acupuncture is useful for pain relief, anti-inflammatory effects, immune stimulation, reproductive regulation, and regulation of gastrointestinal motility.  In the equine industry, acupuncture is most commonly used for enhancing performance in the competitive horse.

It is excellent at treating many conditions such as:

  • navicular disease
  • laminitis
  • tendon or ligament injuries
  • back or neck pain, or just overall decreased performance
  • neurologic disorders
  • diarrhea
  • gastric ulcers
  • anhidrosis
  • heaves
  • geriatric conditions
  • infertility
  • behavioral issues
  • prevention of disease
  • arthritis after navicular disease

 

TREATMENT

Your horse will have a thorough physical examination +/- a lameness exam.  A Traditional Chinese Medicine diagnosis will be made and certain acupoints will be chosen depending on that diagnosis.

Acupuncture needles range from 1/2″ to 1 1/2″ long and are very thin.  Most horses are very comfortable with acupuncture therapy.  Some will fall asleep during treatment and seem extremely relaxed.  Each session will last between 20 to 60 minutes, depending on the case.  The number of treatments depend on the nature, severity, and duration of the disease.  A single treatment may be enough for an acute condition, but some chronic conditions require a series of treatments followed by maintenance treatments.  In addition, Chinese herbal medicine may be chosen as support for the acupuncture or on occasion, in lieu of it.

When acupuncture is performed by a licensed veterinarian, it can be an excellent modality to allow your horse to live a happy and healthy life, whatever your expectations may be.

For more information on acupuncture or to schedule and appointment, please contact us at 860-946-0160

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Contact Info

PO BOX 1997, Mashpee, MA 02649
Phone: (860) 946-0160
http://facebook.com/litchfieldequine.com
Email: drpaula at litchfieldequine dot com