Clinical trials indicate that acupuncture therapy can be effective as a supplemental treatment in the following conditions in horses:
musculoskeletal problems: muscle soreness, back pain, neck pain, osteoarthritis, degenerative joint disease, obscure lameness, laminitis
gastrointestinal disorders: diarrhea, impaction, chronic colic, gastric ulceration
neurological disorders: seizure, laryngeal hemiplegia, facial and radial nerve paresis
other chronic conditions: heaves (COPD, RAO, asthma), anhidrosis, uveitis, behavioral problems, Cushing's disease, hypo- or hyperthyroidism, infertility, renal failure, geriatric weakness, skin problems, performance enhancement and prevention of disease (UCDavis.edu)
Acupuncture is best applied as a complementary technique, promoting the well-being of the patient and assisting conventional therapies to achieve a positive result. Please remember, acupuncture therapy is meant to complement, not replace, conventional veterinary care.
Acupuncture is the stimulation of a specific site with a specific method, with the goal of a therapeutic homeostatic effect. The specific point on the horse’s body is called an acupuncture point (acupoint). The ancient Chinese discovered 361 acupoints in humans and 173 acupoints in horses.
Current studies have demonstrated that acupoints are located in the areas where there is a high density of free nerve endings, mast cells, small arterioles, and lymphatic vessels. The acupoint connective tissue represents a different configuration when compared to the rest of the horse’s skin. Stimulation of acupoints can induce the release of β – endorphin, serotonin and other neurotransmitters. Acupuncture for pain relief is well supported by many acupuncture scientific studies.
There are several acupuncture methods, aquapuncture, hemoacupunture, dry needling, and moxibustion. Aquapuncture utilizes saline and vitamin B12 to prolong stimulation. Hemoacupunture involves aspirating blood to control inflammation. Dry needling is point stimulation without the addition of medications, dry needling lengths rand from 0.5 to 4 inches deep. Moxa is a traditional Chinese herb utilized with in moxibustion. Moxibustion involves heat application and burning moxa to help chronic degenerative conditions. (azequine.com)