What is acupuncture?


Acupuncture is a treatment that involves inserting fine, sterile, stainless steel needles into specific points of the body to prevent and treat disease. The treatment evolved over 3000 years ago in China and it is now being used in veterinary and medical practices throughout the world. In veterinary medicine, acupuncture is increasingly being recognised as a useful treatment for a wide range of conditions.
What conditions can acupuncture be used for?
Acupuncture can be used as part of a treatment protocol for almost any medical condition with the exception of malignant tumours, irreparable fractures and end stage organ failure. It is often used in combination with conventional veterinary treatment so the patient experiences the benefits of the combined effects.

In equine practice, acupuncture is commonly used for the relief of musculoskeletal pain and to influence the function of internal organs. It is especially useful for treating:

  • Any type of muscle soreness, particularly of the neck, shoulders, back and hindquarters. Clinical signs that may be alleviated by acupuncture include:
    • Cold backs – resentment of saddling and girthing, dipping on mounting
    • General stiffness, inability to bend on one or both reins
    • Head tilt, inability to flex from the poll
    • Shortness of stride, not going forward from the leg
    • Disunited or bunny-hopping at canter
    • Moving unlevel behind
    • ‘Hopping’ on the transition from walk to trot
    • Bucking on the transition from trot to canter
    • Irritability and soreness during grooming
  • Arthritis
  • Sacroiliac pain
  • Digestive problems including poor appetite, diarrhoea and some types of colic
  • Respiratory problems
  • Reproductive problems
  • Poor immunity and post viral lethargy