Equine Acupuncture

Equine acupuncture has been practiced for over 2,000 years in China, and is still a part of the mainstream veterinary medical system there. The ancient Chinese discovered that the health of the body depends on the state of Qi (pronounced "chee"). Qi is the life force or vital energy. There are two opposite forms of Qi: Yin and Yang. Physiologically, Qi flows throughout the body 24 hours per day, maintaining a balance of Yin and Yang. When the flow of Qi is interrupted by any pathological factor (such as virus or bacteria), the balance of Yin and Yang will be lost and consequently a disease may occur. Pain is interpreted as the blockage or obstruction of Qi flow. Acupuncture stimulation resolves this blockage, freeing the flow of Qi and enabling the body to heal itself. 

Acupuncture is the stimulation of specific points (acupoints) on the body using different methods to achieve a therapeutic effect. Techniques include dry needling, moxibustion, aqua-acupuncture, hemoacupuncture, and electro-stimulation. Modern research shows that acupoints are located in areas where there is a high density of free nerve endings, mast cells, small arterioles, and lymphatic vessels. Stimulation of acupoints induces release of beta-endorphins, serotonin, and other neurotransmitters. Numerous studies show that acupuncture can induce pain relief, regulate GI motility, produce an anti-inflammatory effect, regulate the immune system, promote circulation, and influence the endocrine and reproductive systems. Clinical trials indicate that acupuncture therapy can be effective in the following conditions: 


  • Musculoskeletal problems: muscle soreness, back pain, disc problems, osteoarthritis, degenerative joint disease. 
  • Neurologic disorders: seizure, laryngeal hemiplegia, facial and radial nerve paralysis.
  • Gastrointestinal disorders: diarrhea, gastric ulcers, colic, constipation, impaction.
  • Miscellaneous chronic conditions: anhidrosis, heaves, asthma, cough, uveitis, behavioral problems, cushing's disease, hypothyroidism, infertility, renal failure, geriatric weakness, skin problems. 
  • Performance enhancement and prevention of disease. 


Acupuncture may be combined with herbs, and occasionally herbs are used in lieu of acupuncture.

A typical acupuncture session takes approximately 1 hour. A single treatment may be all thats required for an acute condition. A series of 3 to 10 treatments can resolve many chronic problems. Some degenerative conditions may need monthly treatments over time.  

Equine Medical Associates is proud to offer this service to our clients, and we look forward to treating your horse from an integrated approach.