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June 8, 2011

The philosophy behind acupuncture for horses

by DePaolo Equine Concepts

Acupuncture as a health care treatment began over 3000 years ago in China, and is recognized by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) and the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) as a “valid modality” for treating horses. The treatment consists of inserting solid, fine, sterile, stainless steel needles into specific points of the body to prevent and treat disease. The procedure must be administered by a licensed veterinarian as it is considered surgery by the above associations and requires a thorough knowledge of veterinary anatomy and physiology.

Needles are placed into specific locations within the meridians in the body.  The points are chosen after palpation reveals increased or decreased reflexes and differences in tissue quality (firm, soft, yielding to pressure, tightening under pressure, cold, warm, etc.).  Acupuncture also recognizes syndromes, so if a group of body points are sore on palpation, a predictable anatomical area is involved and will be treated.

Acupuncture needles stimulate tiny nerve endings that carry impulses to the spinal cord and brain. This results in responses within the nervous and endocrine systems, leading to the release of neurotransmitters and hormones. These influence the function of the body tissues and organ systems. Because acupuncture balances the body’s own system of healing, complications rarely, if ever, develop. It is a means by which the body can heal itself.

Acupuncture Treatments Address:

  1. Musculoskeletal pain
  2. Soreness and trigger points
  3. Chronic back problems
  4. Hock or stifle problems
  5. Laminitis and Navicular
  6. Endocrine disorders (Cushings, Hypothyroidism, Insulin Resistance)
  7. Neurologic syndromes (Herpes, EPM, West Nile, vaccinosis)
  8. Hormonal and reproductive conditions
  9. Soft tissue injuries
  10. Inflammation
  11. Respiratory issues (Allergies, heaves, Herpes)
  12. Compromised immune system


    If your horse lives in or around the Pilot Point, TX area and you wish to book an appointment with Dr. DePaolo, he will be starting his mobile practice in that area in August of 2011.  Please email or call 503-864-9310. For information on Dr. DePaolo’s Veterinary Chiropractic and Acupuncture practice, please visit the Pacific Northwest Equine Website.




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