Silverado Equine believes in the use of modern Western medicine supplemented with traditional Chinese acupuncture for a balanced horse. Dr. Camille Knopf is a graduate Acupuncturist from the Chi Institute – the nation’s leading veterinary organization for Veterinary Acupuncture. In addition to her regular acupuncture clients, Dr. Knopf also supplements Western treatments with Chinese acupuncture to treat a variety of conditions. The following is an introduction to Equine Acupuncture, the Science behind its treatment, and common cases where Acupuncture treatments are recommended.
INTROUCTION TO EQUINE ACUPUNCTURE
Equine acupuncture is currently a “hot topic” here in the United States. If you go behind the scenes at any racetrack, top-rated horse show or even the Olympic games you will see acupuncture needles being placed in these top competitors. The art and science of Chinese acupuncture has been widely practiced in Asia for thousands of years but was introduced to the United States in just this last century. It is currently recognized by the AVMA (American Veterinary Medical Association) and the AAEP (American Association of Equine Practitioners) as an accepted and scientifically valid treatment modality. Acupuncture gives us a “map” of the body, involving hundreds of points that largely fall along one of the 14 primary meridians. These points correspond to different elements of the body and allow us to understand what is going on with the body holistically. The meridians relate to the musculoskeletal system and internal organs. In Chinese medicine, pain or illness is due to the blockage of “Qi” or energy along one or more meridians. Qi can be blocked by both internal and external factors such as stress, trauma, bacteria, viruses, etc. Using acupuncture we treat pain and illness by inserting acupuncture needles into specific acupuncture points and stimulating these points.
While we still may not fully comprehend the ability of acupuncture to balance the body and allow it to heal itself there is no disputing the scientific facts that have been recently uncovered. Anatomically each acupuncture point contains a high density of lymphatic vessels, free nerve endings, mast cells and arterioles. When these points are stimulated there is a release of endogenous opioids, endorphins, serotonins and norepinephrine. Scientific research has proven the merits of acupuncture for pain relief, anti-inflammatory effects, reproductive and hormonal regulation and gastrointestinal disturbances among many other effects.
HOW DO YOU KNOW IF YOUR HORSE NEEDS ACUPUNCTURE?
Most commonly acupuncture is being used for enhancing performance in the competitive horse. Acupuncture is an excellent modality for relieving musculoskeletal pain, obscure lameness, back pain and decreased performance. Acupuncture can also be very effective for GI problems, hormone/metabolic disease, behavioral issues, neurological disorders, heaves (RAO,COPD) and prevention of disease – just to name a few!
For more information on equine acupunture and to schedule a treatment for your horse, please call us at 916-995-9141 or contact us here.
WHAT DOES TREATMENT LOOK LIKE?
First your horse will have a thorough examination, all the large muscle groups will be palpated and acupuncture points will be palpated along their meridians. Acupuncture needles range from ½” to 3” in length; they are sterile, disposable and very thin. Most horses don’t have any objection to the needles and it is not uncommon for our patients to fall asleep halfway through the treatment!
When acupuncture is performed by a licensed veterinarian it can be an incredibly effective tool to allow your horse to be balanced and perform at its very best!
For more information on these services, please contact us today at 916-995-9141 or contact us here.