Lisa A. Grim, DVM, Inc.
The Benefits of Acupuncture
Acupuncture is used in horses for many musculoskeletal injuries. It is very useful for sore muscles, back pain, acute and chronic injuries, subtle gait abnormalities and complex lameness cases. It can be used to keep our horses in training and in top performance at shows. Acupuncture is also beneficial for internal illnesses such as digestive disorders, eye problems, skin diseases, laminitis and others.
The practice of Acupuncture has been around since approximately 2-3000BC. Although it still may be a misunderstood practice in the West it has been used extensively in the East and is growing in acceptance here as more and more people experience the benefits of acupuncture. In combination with Western medicine acupuncture has given us an additional tool to maximize the health of our equine companion so we can keep riding and showing a healthy pain-free animal.
How does Acupuncture Work?
Inserting fine acupuncture needles stimulates tiny nerve endings that carry impulses to the spinal cord and brain. This results in responses within the nervous and endocrine systems, leading to the release of neurotransmitters and hormones. These influence the function of the body tissues and organ systems.
The effect of a single needle is determined by where it is placed in the body and which nerves are stimulated-hence the need for a thorough knowledge of veterinary anatomy and physiology.
Acupuncture increases the release of natural painkillers such as endorphins, enkephalins and seritonin, which act on the pain pathways in the brain and spinal cord and can block the transmission of incoming pain signals.