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Equine Acupuncture

Acupuncture is part of Traditional Chinese Medicine and is recognised as a complete science of venerable origin. Acupuncture is a technique that identifies points in a pattern of meridians, it was developed in China 6000 years ago and has since been used to treat many different conditions.

During an acupuncture treatment, thin needles are inserted by the practitioner into the desired locations of the body, these locations are known as acupuncture points. In traditional Chinese veterinary the acupuncture points are known as Shu Xue. The word Shu denotes passing or communications, and Xue means a hole or an outlet The insertion of the fine needles is painless and most animals show no discomfort at all. The needles act to stimulate nerve impulses that travel via the spinal cord to the brain and their insertion causes a release of many different chemicals such as endorphins, muscle relaxants and histamines that promote healing and pain relief in the body.

Some practitioners use acupuncture in diagnosis and to assess the horse's condition. According to traditional Chinese medical theory, each acupuncture point (acupoint) communicates with a specific organ and reflects the conditions of that organ. If an organ is subjected to pathophysiolgic changes, the related acupoints may become tender and/or show other signs of abnormality. There may be colour change and/or the skin may show signs of hardening. When acupuncture is used here the effect will reach the communicating organ through the point and the meridian.

Today acupuncture is being used all over the world as a treatment on its own and in conjunction with Western medicine. It is a form of health maintenance that stimulates the body's ability to sustain and balance itself. In Eastern terms, disease is the result of an imbalance of Qi (energy)flow. Acupuncture works to promote better Qi flow that promotes natural healing in the body.

Black's Veterinary Dictionary quotes research (Martin, B.B. & others JAVMA 190 1177) where "Chronic back pain which did not respond to conventional treatments improved in from 2 to 8 weeks in 13 out of 15 racehorses. An injection of sterile saline at nine acupuncture points once a week enabled training and racing to be resumed."

To find out more about Acupuncture: Call around your local veterinary practices. The International Veterinary Acupuncture Society is the only accredited certification programme for veterinary acupuncturists and it will help you to find a certified acupuncture practitioner. You must contact a regular veterinary practitioner first to be referred to a veterinary acupuncturist.

Acupuncture Practitioners:

Greenway Veterinary Acupuncture 07952 536597
41 Hampden Avenue

Home Visit
Home-visiting acupuncture referal service for equine, canine and feline patients

Lone Star Veterinary Acupuncture 01594 530308
Timothy Lodge
St Briavels, Nr Lydney
GL15 6SW
In House
Vet certified by International Veterinary Acupuncture Society. We work with your family vet to ensure your animal receives the best combination of conventional medicine and acupuncture.

Recommended Reading:

Understanding Equine Acupuncture (Horse Care Health Care Library)
~By Rhonda Rathgeber

Veterinary Acupuncture
~By Alan M. Klide & Shiu H Kung

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