Have you ever been curious about acupuncture but were unsure about how it worked or what it could do for your horse?
Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese practice defined as “the stimulation of a specific point on the body with a specific method, resulting in a therapeutic effect”. These points are located along well-mapped channels across the body, referred to as “meridians”.
Stimulation of acupuncture points can be achieved and enhanced by various methods which include, but are not limited to acupressure, dry needles, electro-acupuncture and aquapuncture. There are several other techniques that may be employed to enhance the desired therapeutic effect..
While acupuncture has been used for centuries and has been widely acknowledged as an effective method of treatment for many ailments, research has begun to scientifically explain some of the mechanisms through which acupuncture achieves its effects. Some of these studies have shown that acupoints are located in areas with a high density of free nerve endings, mast cells, small arterioles, and lymphatic vessels. Stimulation of these points, therefore, stimulates these local structures. Researchers have also demonstrated release of beta-endorphins, seratonin, and other neurotransmitters when these points are stimulated, causing a widespread effect that influences the entire body, both internally and externally.
Benefits include pain relief, anti-inflammatory effects, regulation of gastrointestinal motility and other internal organs, immuno-regulation, and hormone and reproductive regulation, to name just a few.
While acupuncture may serve as an effective therapy for certain issues when used on its own, it can also serve as an excellent adjunctive therapy for both traditional and alternative modalities, benefiting an even wider range of conditions. These conditions include, but are not limited to, musculoskeletal issues, inflammatory issues, hypersensitivity conditions, neurological issues, reproductive issues and gastrointestinal disorders. Some of the more common conditions known to benefit from acupuncture include lameness, laminitis, allergies, heaves, uveitis, behavioral issues, Cushings, and many others.
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