Acupuncture can be used as a complementary veterinary treatment for horses, and other animals, amongst other things it can provide pain relief and generally improve a horses’ well-being. Treatment involves stimulation of specific points of the body using very fine, solid needles. It causes inhibition of pain pathways and stimulates the release of pain relieving chemicals in the brain and spinal cord. Acupuncture is an act of veterinary surgery and so can only be performed by a vet.

Danish Warmblood at grass in summer© Kit HoughtonThis stimulation can generate many responses within an individual. It can affect muscle, the circulatory, digestive, reproductive and urinary systems, as well as anti-body and hormone production.

Conditions which can respond to acupuncture include: back pain, both acute and chronic; lameness – tendonitis, sesamoiditis, laminitis and navicular disease; COPD; chronic gastrointestinal disease (unresolved diarrhoea or constipation); post viral fatigue; paralysis or muscle spasm; behavioural problems and infertility.

A course of treatment usually consists of weekly treatments for a minimum of four weeks then gradually extending the time between treatments to a maintenance level which is different for each individual.

Chess Valley Equine use a Western Scientific approach to acupuncture treatments and find that where it is used, either alone or in combination with other therapies, the results are very good. Unfortunately there are a small number of individuals and conditions that will not respond to acupuncture. Please visit their website for all the services they can offer:  www.chessvalleyequine.com

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