What is acupuncture?

Acupuncture can be described as “an ancient Oriental system of therapy.” The technique has been used on animals for at least 3000 years. Special needles are inserted into specific points on the body to cause a desired effect. Acupuncture is used around the world on both humans and animals to effect healing of many ailments. In 1989 the American Veterinary Medical Association formally recognized acupuncture as a valid and useful means of treating diseases.

Acupuncturists often use a variety of techniques to stimulate acupuncture points, including solid needles, injections of fluids in the points, light (cold lacer), electricity or heat.

Acupuncture is not a replacement for other treatment options, but can often compliment other forms of treatment.

How does acupuncture work?

In Chinese medical philosophy, disease results from energy imbalance in the body. A body in balance translates to a body in health! This energy, called Qi (pronounced “chee”), flows through the body along channels called Meridians. These Meridians connect distant parts of the body. Acupuncture is believed to restore flow of Qi and balance energy, thus allowing healing.

In western terms, there is much we still do not understand about acupuncture and its effects. We do know that acupuncture brings about a variety of physiological changes which can be beneficial for many diseases. For example, acupuncture can stimulate nerves and can trigger the release of compounds such as endorphins and cortisol, these compounds increase blood circulation, relieve muscle spasms, and can promote an overall well being.

Is acupuncture safe?

Acupuncture, when done by a trained veterinarian, is an extremely safe treatment modality. The insertion of the sterile needles is generally painless. Most animals become very relaxed during treatment. Occasionally this sleepiness may continue for 24 hours. Other side effects of acupuncture are rare.

Can my horse benefit from acupuncture?

Acupuncture can be useful in many conditions. The most common conditions treated in veterinary medicine are neurological and musculoskeletal problems such as paralysis, arthritis, muscle injuries, and vertebral disc disease. Acupuncture can also be beneficial in gastrointestinal diseases (such as non-surgical colic), skin diseases (such as lick granulomas) , respiratory diseases (such as heaves), and some reproductive and behavior disorders.

How many treatments will my horse need and how long do treatments take?

The length and frequency of treatments needed will vary dramatically depending on the condition being treated. The length of time needles are left in can vary from a few seconds to 20 minutes or more. Depending on the disease state and individual animal, you should see improvement in 1- 4 treatments.

In most cases multiple treatments will be necessary. In most of these instances, they will usually need to come in for repeat treatments one to three times a week initially. Once a strong effect is evident, the frequency of the treatment can be reduced. Many animals will ultimately only need treatments a few times a year.

Contact us today at (405) 330-0676 to schedule an acupuncture appointment.