Equine Acupuncture

Equine Acupuncture is a powerful type of physical therapy and is becoming increasingly popular in the management of equine athletes and pleasure horses alike. Equine Acupuncture is an ancient healing art of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) that is fast becoming established with scientific knowledge. Equine Acupuncture is used to promote the healing of various biochemical and physiological conditions through the stimulation of specific acupoints. It has a significant effect on the repair of impaired muscle tissue, in reducing pain and improving the time required for recovery from injury or illness. Through the stimulation of the acupoints, Equine Acupuncture helps to maintain the body's homeostasis by restoring normal function to the numerous body systems, disrupted by disharmony and imbalances. Equine Acupuncture will help to unlock the performance, health and healing potential of your horse.

How Does It Work

The benefits of Equine Acupuncture include:

  • Relief from pain

  • Reduce muscle tension

  • Improvement to muscle tone

  • Enhances mental focus in training and performance

  • Improve/reduce conflict behaviours

  • Improve emotional well being

  • Anti-inflammatory effects through the release of natural cortisone

  • Elevate wound healing

  • Immune system stimulation

  • Improve metabolism

  • Increase blood circulation and supply

  • Improvement to the appearance of scars (old or new)

  • Elevate endorphin levels

  • Increases lymphatic drainage

  • Regulates seratonin levels


Can assist in various conditions including but not limited to:

  • A variety of musculoskeletal-related lamenesses

  • Nervousness/anxiety

  • Reproductive issues

  • Colic, Tying-up, weight problems (loss/gain) and other gastrointestinal issues

  • Respiratory issues

  • Peripheral nerve paralysis

  • Navicular disease

  • Laminitis

  • Hives

  • Cribbing

  • Stomach ulcers

Equine Acupunture is a drug free modality that unlocks and aids in restoring and maintaining the harmony, balance, performance, general health and healing potential of your horse. It is performed with single use, fine, solid, stainless steel needles. The needles stimulate specific acupoints located along the meridians or channels of the body. An acupoints' specific therapeutic application and value relate to the meridian on which it is located. The meridians are associated with the organ and its characteristics, for which it is named, and the local physical structure/muscle. Multiple acupoints will be stimulated at one time and the sessions can last up to 30 minutes or more, depending on the issue. Multiple sessions may be required and can be either days or weeks apart depending on the issue. Equine Acupuncture can be used on its own or inconjuction with Sports Massage.


Applications for Acupuncture

The application of Equine Acupuncture is for the purpose of:

  • Maintenance and/or preventative measures: a regular treatment programme can help maintain or improve range of motion and resolve musculoskeletal issues.

  • Pre and post-event. Pre-event is a performance enhancing technique where 'performance points' are stimulated that will enhance circulation and reduce excess muscle and mental tension prior to competition. Post-event is geared towards reducing the muscle spasms and metabolic build up. It stimulates the body's own recovery process, improving the ability to return to training and competition and reducing the risk of injury. Also very important for preparation for a spell. Allowing for improved freedom of movement and reduced pain; so when returning to work, the horse will do so with improved soundness.

  • Rehabilitation – even with preventative maintenance, muscles cramp, tear, bruise and ache. Equine Acupunture can speed healing and reduce discomfort during the rehabilitation process.

Facts about Equine Acupuncture

Acupuncture as a Traditional Eastern medicine is now being easily intergrated with modern Western medicine. With the modern understanding of biomechanics and physiology accompanied with traditional eastern philosophy, the therapeutic benefits expands significantly. This potentially reduces loss of training days in the horse's training schedule.


The source of Acupuncture is found in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). TCM is based around the concept of life force energy called 'Chi' that infuses everything. Chi flows along energy pathways or channels called 'meridians'. Chi is constantly exchanged between 'Yin' and 'Yang', two polarities that are opposites of each other and wholly dependent on each other - neither able to exist without the other. In a healthy body, the flow of Chi circulates through the Meridians and blood vessel system in an ongoing and self-regulating balancing of Yin and Yang. In an unhealthy body, Yin and Yang are imbalanced and the meridian channels are obstructed, stagnated or interrupted and Chi is unable to flow, this is when pathological problems and pain starts to occur.


A horse's internal structure consists of a network of 12 major meridian channels associated with an organ system. The meridians link the internal organs with external systems. They function to transport Chi and blood to all areas of the body. Along the meridians are the energy points - acupoints. Stimulation of acupoints has an analgesic, anti-inflammatory, immunostimulant and immunosuppressant effect. It has an antispasmodic effect on smooth muscle and also influences microcirculation and glandular secretions.


TCM strives to determine the underlying cause of an ailment by looking at the entire being from as many perspectives as possible.


Equine Acupuncture works well as a complementary therapy with a Sports Massage treatment or it can be used on its own.


By incorporating Equine Acupuncture as part of your training and health programme, your horse will stay happy, healthy and performing at its best!