Acupressure is based on Traditional Chinese Medicine, just like acupuncture and other forms of energetic medicine. Horses are highly responsive to acupressure because they are very much in tune with their bodies. A fly barely touches a horse before he warns it away by moving the surface of his skin. Your horse, whether he’s an athlete or your favorite trail buddy, needs to maintain the energetic balance of his body to prevent illness, enhance his sense of well-being, and to resolve health issues that might arise from injuries or aging.
We will assess your horse’s current condition and specific needs, then decide on an appropriate course of action. The action, or session plan, will include the stimulation of specific acupoints to help bring the animal back to a state of balance and self-healing.
You can participate in your horse’s health by learning some essential acupoints to use between professional acupressure sessions; we will show you where these points are and how to address them.
We look forward to working with you and your horse!
WHAT ACUPRESSURE CAN DO…
- alleviate pain
- reduce stress
- enhance circulation
- complement traditional veterinary care
- clear congestion and toxicity
- improve physical, emotional and energetic balance
- maintain a sense of well-being
- help strengthen the immune system
- reduce recovery time after surgery, giving birth, or
- speed healing of musculoskeletal injuries
- deepen the relationship between the animal and the caregiver
WHAT ACUPRESSURE CANNOT DO…
- replace veterinary care in an emergency situation
- replace regular and routine veterinary care
- provide a diagnosis or cure
- replace needed surgery
- overcome all environmental challenges
Below are some additional answers to some questions you might have about how acupressure can help your animal.
WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ACUPRESSURE AND ACUPUNCTURE?
They are both different applications of the same Traditional Chinese Medicine principles. Acupressure is performed using finger pressure on specific acupoints; acupuncture is carried out by inserting thin needles into the acupoints. Treating acupoints with either acupuncture or acupressure has the same effect in restoring balance to the animal. Acupressure can be used to address almost any condition that can be treated with acupuncture. Its intention is preventive, offering the client a way to keep imbalances from occurring in the first place. If imbalances are found, acupressure can help restore balance.
HOW MANY POINTS ARE STIMULATED DURING A TYPICAL ACUPRESSURE SESSION?
Generally the practitioner will complete the examination, create a session plan, and use 4 to 10 points per session on the animal. The points are most often worked on both sides. The practitioner will keep notes as to which points were used per session and use that information, the animal’s response, observed changes, plus further assessment, to determine the acupoints to be used in subsequent sessions.
DOES IT HURT?
Acupressure most often does not hurt. That said, there are times when a point will have “too much” energy and it can be briefly painful or uncomfortable when stimulated. Always keep yourself in a ‘safe’ position when working on a horse. This is particularly so for horses who have not had body work in the past.
HOW LONG IS A SESSION?
Often, that’s up to the horse. The session can be 20 minutes long… or an hour. Typically, the first session, including intake and assessment, will take one to two hours. Follow-up sessions are often shorter and may last 25 to 45 minutes. It depends on the response from the horse.
HOW OFTEN CAN OR SHOULD ACUPRESSURE BE APPLIED?
A full session no more frequently than every third day is a good rule of thumb. Chi energy takes 24 hours to circulate through the body and waiting longer between sessions gives time for the energy to cycle through the body and begin the balancing process. Don’t be surprised if you see immediate changes as well. Be aware that when balancing the body, one issue may be relieved and another may appear — it’s the onion layers! Most clients will be comfortable with a weekly or every two week session, unless there is a specific current issue.
WHEN SHOULD YOU *NOT PERFORM AN ACUPRESSURE SESSION?
Generally, the animal should be in a rested state before an acupressure session. They also need about 24 hours after the session to allow processing of the point work. Animals should not be given acupressure if they have just eaten, just exercised, just bred or been bred, are pregnant, recently been vaccinated, or recently injured. *There are times when acupressure is contraindicated, such as:
- undiagnosed illness or pain
- recent veterinary treatment such as hock injections, vaccinations, etc.
- undiagnosed/untreated acute conditions
WHAT IF THE ANIMAL FEELS WORSE AFTER A SESSION?
This is known as a healing crisis; it can occur as energy blockages are released. This is also why a practitioner will limit the number of points worked per session, as too much energy can be affected. On an older or sick animal, generally fewer points should be used than on a younger and healthier animal.
IS RESEARCH BEING DONE ON THE VALUE OF ACUPRESSURE OR ACUPUNCTURE?
Yes — all the time. There are many published articles and ongoing research projects. Search the literature in a public or university library or on the internet.
Note: Equine acupressure is a non-invasive modality intended to enhance well-being in the healthy horse – it is not designed to replace proper veterinary care. If in doubt regarding the physical health of your horse, please consult your veterinarian.