What is acupuncture?
Acupuncture is the insertion of fine needles into the skin at specific anatomical points in order to modulate pain responses and accelerate healing, both of wounds and pathological conditions. Acupuncture in animals is an act of veterinary surgery and can only legally be performed by a veterinary surgeon.
How does it work?
Acupuncture needles stimulate nerves in skin in muscle and this produces a variety of effects. It increases the body’s release of natural painkillers – endorphins and serotonin – in the pain pathways of both the brain and spinal cord, which modifies the way pain signals are received.
Research shows that acupuncture can affect the nervous, respiratory, digestive, urinary and reproductive systems as well as affect muscle tone, circulation, hormone outputs, antibody production and allergic responses.
What is it used for?
Conditions in horses that respond well to acupuncture include:
- Muscle pain
- Back pain
- Post viral fatigue
- Allergic respiratory conditions
- Chronic diarrhoea
- Non healing wounds
Acupuncture can also be a valuable addition to the management of the performance horse, as it alleviates myofascial (muscle) pain which can be a cause of poor performance, therefore helping to keep him at the top of his game.
In the more senior patient acupuncture can be a valuable addition to routine healthcare as it can alleviate pain from arthritis, and improve sense of well-being.
Acupuncture examination and treatment
If you think your horse might benefit from the addition of acupuncture to its treatment regime, or would like to have an acupuncture exam performed with a trial session please call us on 01670 897597.