Medical acupuncture is a therapeutic method that usually involves the insertion of fine, sterile needles. Modern medical practitioners developed medical acupuncture as an adaptation of Chinese acupuncture.
Instead of relying on inexact metaphors to describe the body’s responses to treatment, we employ current knowledge of anatomy, physiology and pathology, all in keeping with evidence-based medicine.
The main therapeutic effects of needling begin with activation of nerve fibers near a point. These stimuli then bring about changes that help to balance nerve signaling and neurotransmitter activity from the “periphery” (i.e., the acupuncture point) to the central nervous system (the brain and spinal cord) and autonomic nervous system centers (that govern processes like glandular activity, immune status, digestion, mood, and more).
Acupuncture also releases tension from the muscles and enveloping fibrous network called “fascia”. Each acupuncture appointment is individually tailored to the horse based on their medical history and a thorough myofascial examination to identify areas of discomfort and tension.
The number of treatments required varies from horse to horse but in general three sessions at one week intervals are recommended. Results are generally seen after the second to third appointment.
Conditions that acupuncture can be particularly useful for managing include sore backs and necks, chronic laminitis or navicular disease, allergies, anhidrosis, equine asthma (“heaves”) and many more.