Accessing the Rivers of Life

Posted by on 30 April 2014

According to the principles of Traditional Chinese medicine, every living organism has a map running through its body. Theses Rivers of life are called meridians or channels. Theses carry a flow of energy which is essential for the health of each living thing. When there I a disruption in the flow of this life-giving energy disease is the result. When you use acupuncture, the stimulation of very specific points along the effected channel, the blockage is reopened and normal flow of energy is restored.

Diagnostic acupuncture uses theses same energy meridians to find the blockage. Successful acupuncture relies on accuracy. The practitioner needs to know the proper points, needle depth and length of treatment time.

The acupuncture needle in essence is rounded and not blade-like. It therefore glides through the tissues, unlike the needle used to inject medicine into a patient. Theses needles have a small blade effect which cut the tissue. Acupuncture is relatively painless. Most animals and human tolerate needling very well.

In horses, the possibilities of treatments are amazing. Anything from colic and fever to lameness can be treated. Acupuncture can be used as a wonderful combination with any other healing practice. I am a firm believer of not labelling things. What works is different for every patient, and it should not matter what works, as long as it does!

The thin needles used in acupuncture are inserted to correct the flow of “qi” (pronounced “chi”).

The study of this field is intense and varied. There are many types of acupuncture used.

There is simple needling. This is when a fine, solid, metal acupuncture needle is inserted into the animal. They are then left in place for a specific length of time, occasionally twirling them. Not every animal loves being needles. Some animals do not tolerate needles. However it is my experience that most animals sense that you want to help them and tolerate it very well

The next type of acupuncture is Electroacupuncture. As the name suggests this is with a form of electrical stimulation. Once the needles are in place, the needles are attached to an electrical stimulator which sends electrical pulses to that point. Horses tend to enjoy this type of acupuncture. But as with anything there are a handful of equines that simply will not allow EAP! (Electroacupuncture)

One of the favourite forms is Moxibustion or ‘moxa’. A smouldering fat ‘cigar’ of rolled herbs is held above the acupuncture point, until the heat becomes uncomfortable, the heat is removed then reapplied. This is repeated many times. The alternative is using moxa to heat an already inserted acupuncture needle. As you can imagine this practice is only used for very experienced practitioners.

The modern spin on acupuncture is laser stimulation. Laser is a beam of light that enters the cells. When this laser is aimed at the acupuncture points the effects are remarkable. Not all lasers are created equal. The power of the laser will determine the level of penetration.

The last type of acupuncture is Aquapuncture. A liquid is injected into the acupuncture point. The effect of this type of therapy can keep working for a while after the initial treatment. The fluid injected can vary from normal saline to Vit B or Traumeel. The treatment effect is achieved by the physical stimulation from solution and not necessarily the pharmacological action of the specific solution injected.

Now that you know what acupuncture is, you will need to know when it can help you or your horse.

A vet that does both veterinarian medicine and acupuncture is first prize. They are able to go ahead with both.

My rule of thumb is if your tissue damage changes as time goes by, then acupuncture is ideal. Theses emergency cases are laminitis, any tendon damage, navicular and colic.

Any nerve paralysis responds very well to acupuncture. I love acupuncture for and lameness that is related to a musculoskeletal problem. Hives, shock, cribbing, stomach ulcers, nervousness and bleeding are helped with acupuncture.

Here is a list of common ailments treated successfully with acupuncture in horses and small animals:

Musculoskeletal disorder

  • Pain management
  • Lameness
  • Arthritis
  • Tendon and ligament disorders
  • Intervertebral disc disease
  • Muscle injury
  • Rhabdomyolitis
  • Laminitis
  • Navicular disease
  • Non union or delayed union of fractures
  • Hip and Elbow Dysplasia
  • Poor performance

Neurological disorders

  • Facial paralysis
  • Laryngeal Hemiplegia (Roaring)
  • Wobbler’s disease
  • Suprascapular and radial nerve paralysis
  • Sciatic nerve paralysis
  • Immune mediated diseases
  • Eye problems

Urogenital disorders

  • Infertility
  • Chronic cystitis
  • Incontinence

Behavioural problems

  • Anxiety
  • Fractious animals
  • Hyperactivity
  • Head shaking
  • Weaving
  • Photophobia
  • Tail chasing
  • Inability to focus
  • Poor performance

Skin problems

  • Enhances wound healing
  • Atopy
  • Dandruff
  • Chronic Otits
  • Hot spots
  • Hairloss

Gastro-intestinal problems

  • Gastric Ulcers
  • Weight loss
  • Obesity
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease
  • Poor digestion and absorption

Alleviation of Chronic disease symptoms (acupuncture cannot cure these conditions but may help the animal have a better quality of life by alleviating the symptoms of disease)

  • Chronic renal failure
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Cancer treatment
  • Decrease side effects of chemotherapy , radiation and other drugs

Please feel free to contact us via email or telephonically if you have any questions or to book an appointment.