Acupuncture is effective in many different conditions including back soreness, general arthritis, various geriatric ailments, anhidrosis (non-sweaters), laminitis, respiratory issues, and many other conditions. It can also be used for immune regulation, gastrointestinal motility (colic), reproductive regulation, performance enhancement, as an anti-inflammatory, and to help improve microcirculation. It gives us another avenue in treating frustrating illnesses that don’t appear to be responding or are not fully responding to our conventional medicines.
Equine Acupuncture therapy is an effective aid in the treatment of many equine ailments. It helps decrease pain by stimulating endogenous opioids (our bodies own pain relievers) and beta endorphins (stuff that makes us feel good). Based on what is located at the acupuncture points (nerve endings, blood vessels, lymph ducts, etc), the actual physiologic effects involve a complex series of interactions between the nervous, endocrine, and immune systems.
Many techniques have been developed to stimulate acupoints such as:
Dry-needle: An acupuncture needle is inserted in an acupoint for stimulation of that point. The needles are thin, sterile, and of varying widths and lengths.
Electro-acupuncture: An electrical lead is attached to dry-needles and connected to an electro-acupuncture machine which is used to control the frequency and amplitude applied to each point. This allows for more effective stimulation than dry-needle alone.
Acupuncture is a very safe medical procedure when administered by a qualified practitioner. More than 95% of patients are comfortable with acupuncture therapy. Due to the relaxation effect, some animals will fall asleep during acupuncture treatment.
The number of treatments depends on the condition, how long the condition has been present, and the age of the animal. Acute conditions can resolve quickly within 1-3 treatments. Chronic conditions resolve more slowly; usually within 4 -10 treatments. Some degenerative conditions may need monthly maintenance treatments.