Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine (TCVM) provides us with an understanding of the flow of energy (Qi) through the body. This energy flows through pathways known as meridians, and along these meridians lie "acupuncture points." These points provide information and access to the organ systems of the body. In TCVM medicine, pain or illness is due to the blockage of the body's flow of energy (Qi). The acupuncture points are utilized to treat illnesses or relieve pain through the relief of the blockage of Qi and support for the balance of the entire body. These points are stimulated by the use of needles that range in size and technique of insertion. These needles can be supplemented with the use of electricity (electroacupuncture) to aid in the restoration of energy flow. Additionally, some cases benefit from aqua-puncture. This is a technique where sterile liquid (Vitamin B or saline) is injected into the point to provide a pressure stimulation that will last over a longer time period.
Countless scientific papers have been published citing the efficacy of acupuncture to treat a multitude of conditions. Anatomically each acupuncture point contains a high density of lymphatic vessels, free nerve endings, mast cells and arterioles. Additionally, the stimulation of these points has been shown to increase release of the body's endogenous opioids, endorphins and neurotransmitters.
At NEEMSC, we offer the most modern and advanced medicine available. We further this by supplementing with traditional Chinese acupuncture (Eastern Medicine) to achieve a balanced horse. Traditional Chinese Medicine can be easily integrated with regular veterinarian therapies and help improve the patient’s quality of lie or cure the issue all together.
How do you know if your horse needs acupuncture?
A veterinarian trained in equine acupuncture can perform a scan on your horse’s body in which she looks for reactivity at certain acupuncture points. Based on your horse’s reactivity, she may be able to help pinpoint a vague lameness or help you isolate the source of your horse’s pain or problem area. Treatment can then be appropriately tailored to your horse’s needs. The scan is painless and is performed at the beginning of every acupuncture treatment.
What is Acupuncture useful for?
Acupuncture is commonly used for enhancing performance in the competitive horse. Acupuncture is an excellent modality for relieving musculoskeletal pain, lameness, back pain and increasing overall performance. Acupuncture can also be very effective for GI problems, hormone dysfunction, metabolic disease, behavioral issues, neurological disorders, heaves (RAO) and best of all prevention of disease!
What does an acupuncture treatment entail?
First your horse will have a thorough examination with a detailed history acknowledged from the owner or trainer. Discussion about the goals of the owner and for the horse will be evaluated to get the most of the treatments. The large muscle groups will be palpated and acupuncture points will be scanned along their meridians. Acupuncture needles are sterile, disposable and very thin. Most horses don’t have any objection to the needles.
An average acupuncture treatment lasts about 30 minutes. It is not uncommon for owners to notice an immediate improvement in their animal. However, more often than not, acupuncture needs to be performed several times over the course of a few weeks in order attain the maximal benefit. At that point, your horse may need monthly or quarterly “tune-ups” or he may never need an acupuncture treatment again.
When acupuncture is performed by a licensed veterinarian it can be an incredibly effective tool to allow your horse to be properly balanced and perform at its very best!
What are the specific’s related to Electro-acupuncture?
Electro-Acupuncture (EA) can be added to dry needling technique to enhance the acupuncture effect. This is when you use the dry needles that are placed during the acupuncture treatment and add electricity to the needles which send impulses deep to the muscle and nerve tissue causing mild contractions. Placing the needles strategically, help enhance the effect. This treatment is beneficial for muscle atrophy, nerve injuries and/or degeneration and sore muscles. This modality is great for sore backs! The muscle contractions are not painful or stressful for the horse, most horses LOVE their treatments!
The treatments enhance healing by increasing lymph drainage and blood supply to the area in question. EA also has been shown to significantly reduce edematous and swollen muscles and helps to decrease the build up of lactic acid from rigorous daily work.
All of this results in decreased overall pain and inflammation of the affected area. Increased range of motion. Speeding up the time needed for rehabilitation and allows longer term benefits of acupuncture sessions!