The Real Benefits of Acupuncture

What are the benefits of acupuncture for your horse?

With acupuncture becoming widely accepted and veterinarians literally seeing the benefits, no wonder acupuncture has spread to the four legged community.  It’s not uncommon to see veterinarians and acupuncturists working in vet offices and clinics supplying a much needed medicine to cats, dogs, horses etc.  The vet community even has an organizing body (IVAS) to certify veterinary acupuncturists.  States such as Maryland are also certifying licensed acupuncturists to work on animals.

In addition, the FEI has ruled that acupuncture can be used on competition horses without breaking FEI rules.  Studies have shown an reduction in anesthesia needed by 31% when acupuncture was used during animal surgery.  Effectiveness has been studied and documented in clinical trials.

So what does this all mean to you and your horse?  Well, we already know that acupuncture used often and that it’s effective now lets look at some real down to earth examples of how you can experience the benefits of acupuncture.

  1. Dollar savings.  how much does it cost to have hocks injected?  $500-$1000.  Many horses can forgo hock injections (and other invasive treatments) and be treated with acupuncture instead.  Not only does it reduce pain but also treats the underlying cause of why the horses hocks are getting sore in the first place.
  2. Less anti-inflammatories.  This goes along with #1 in saving money too.  Acupuncture is so effective at treating pain, anti-inflammatories are not needed.  This is even better news considering the link between NSAIDS and ulcers and Corticosteroids and their many side effects.
  3. Increases performance.  This could be just from allowing the horse to be more comfortable when performing.  Think of the consequences of making a race horse more comfortable during running.  Just shaving a second off their race time can make the difference between 1st or last.
  4. Less down time.  Acupuncture is effective in quickening healing time in muscles, fascia and bone.  I have seen it first hand with suspensory injuries with ultrasounds to validate.
  5. Happiness.  Acupuncture treats both physical and emotional symptoms.  But lets be realistic, if your horse feels better he will act better.  Chronic pain wreaks havoc.  Ask anyone.

So here’s a short list of scientifically proven diseases that acupuncture has helped.

  • colic
  • skin conditions
  • conjunctivitis
  • sinusitis
  • back pain
  • neck pain
  • behavioral problems


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