Does Acupuncture Work?

Needles in neck, pelvis, corner of eyes

Needles in neck, pelvis, corner of eyes

Recently my mare underwent a consultation with a trained veterinarian who now specializes in chiropractic treatment and acupuncture. The mare sustained a neck injury as a weanling and recently exhibited some behaviors which made me suspicious she was experiencing physical limitations. She is especially tight in the neck, poll, shoulder and is resistant to stretch it going left or bend/yield going right. Additionally, she seemed sore through the pelvis or lumbar region. This is a classic “which came first” question, because soreness in one area can translate to another. The vet did an examination and indeed confirmed some sensitivity over the pelvis area more than she would like to see even in a horse who was just getting back to work. Therefore, she did an adjustment with a focus on that area, but then also recommended acupuncture to unblock or redistribute the energy channels (not her words…I am trying to recall how she put it.) I have never undergone acupuncture not have I had it done on a horse, so I didn’t know what to expect. The mare, a sensitive redhead, I was afraid, might take it badly. I could not have been more wrong. Despite the fact that she had needles inserted into the neck, pelvic area, a fetlock, and even the edge of her eyes, she did not flinch. In fact, her eyelids drooped and she looked as if she were going to sleep. The vet confirmed that this treatment after releases endorphins and has this effect. I have not noticed a big change but perhaps some small ones. The vet recommended two more treatments and said I would not likely see any significant change at first. Has anyone else out there used acupuncture on their horses (or dogs? or self?) and what was the result? Please share.

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