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Tag Archives: horseracing and acupuncture

Acupuncture For Racehorses

This blog post is written with my husband in mind 🙂 My husband is a huge horse racing fan. If he isn’t watching a horse race on the television then he is watching one on his computer or Iphone. I rarely can go a day without hearing a horse announcer’s voice in my living room.

I came across a nice article about how Dr. Vonderwell, a veterinary in the UK, uses acupuncture for treatment of various disorders in racehorses. Acupuncture is his primary diagnostic approach. Dr. Vonderwell is able to identify the problem with a horse without hearing the history or seeing the horse move; he simply palpates a group of acupuncture points and based on which points are tender or sore on the horse he is able to diagnose the problem.

Another veterinarian, Dr. Earl C. Sutherland, uses both acupuncture and chiropractic manipulation in his standard lameness examination and treatment of various lameness conditions. “Diagnostically, acupuncture is useful to map out where in the body the problem is located,” he said. “Most abnormal situations of the body, such as pain, inflammation, decrease or increase in circulation, decrease or increase in myofacial tone, etc., are already mapped out by the central nervous system. The central nervous system reflects this map onto the surface of the body by way of the acupuncture meridians and points. By palpation of the meridians and points, noticing increased or decreased reflexes and differences in tissue quality (firm, soft, yielding to pressure, tightening up under pressure, warm, cold, etc.), the acupuncturist can figuratively read the reflected map. This not only helps in locating the problem areas but also helps in differentiating between primary and secondary lameness.”

You will find lots of skeptics on acupuncture who claim its effects are mostly placebo. I find that articles like these help to quiet those skeptics. Animals are unable to express their feelings verbally but are able to communicate when they are in pain and when they experience relief from that pain. While no one mechanism can explain all the physiological effects of acupuncture, the therapeutic effects can easily be observed. Many horse owners appreciate the naturalness and safety of acupuncture. Side effects are rare and no drugs or chemicals substances ever enter the body. Acupuncture can not only heal humans but animals as well.