Acupuncture originates in China (1st century BC). Health from a Chinese point of view is the result of a continuous circulation of energy, called Qi, through the body along channels. To restore the energy flow certain points where the energy gets closer to the surface of the body are treated. Commonly very fine needles are used, or the points are warmed using moxa. In anxious patients, or to promote tissue healing, a Low Level Laser can be used.
Modern Veterinary Acupuncture works well alongside modern diagnostics and conventional treatments to improve a lot of problems. It offers pain relief, improves blood supply and speeds up healing. Acupuncture considers the whole animal and its surroundings.
Most animals relax during the acupuncture treatment. A first treatment takes approximately one hour; follow-up treatments 45 minutes. The owner stays with the patient while the needles are left in place. In Iris‘ experience, a response will often be obvious within three treatments, with many acute problems resolving within two to three weekly treatments. For chronic conditions, treatment intervals are chosen according to the patient’s needs.
How the history is taken and how the horse is examined depends on the nature of the problem. In a lameness case, it is important to find out what caused the problem and, if possible, we like to see the horse move. For respiratory problems, for example, husbandry and nutrition need looking at as well as examining the horse.
Horses have a lot of energy they can utilise and often respond very quickly to acupuncture treatments. For seasonal problems, a course of treatments can often reduce, or even prevent the onset of problems. Usually one to three treatments are required for that.
Chronic problems with structural changes can´t be undone. But acupuncture can improve circulation, reduce inflammation and pain, and often restore function. These cases often need regular top-ups. After a few initial treatments, an acupuncture every three months helps many elderly arthritic horses to have a better quality of life.
A mileage fee is charged to cover the travelling costs and is shared if several horses are treated on the same yard.