Dr. David Miller
Summit Equine
Veterinary Services

Complimentary Therapies

Complimentary Therapy:

Complimentary Therapy (eastern medicine) includes acupuncture, manipulative therapy, herbology, homeopathy and other therapies which are used as an adjunct to more commen therapies known as "conventional" or "western" medicine.  Of the complimentary therapies, acupuncture and manipulative therapy (chiropractic and osteopathy) are the  most common.

Acupuncture involves placing needles in distinct points on the body.  These acupuncture points are locted either on channels called meridians, in sensitive areas (trigger points) or in specific anatomical locations.  Acupuncture is an "energy medicine".  This means that acupuncture is used to manipulate the body's energy (chi or Qi). In eastern medicine terminology, disease or any disruption of the body's homeostasis is due to disruption of energy flow.  This may include stagnation, deficiency, excess, imbalance or a combination of these factors.

Acupuncture is a useful diagnostic aid.  Sensitivity along the acupuncture points indicates a problem along the meridian.  By knowing the anatomical course of the meridians, various problems can be localized.  Acupuncture is also useful in helping to diagnose internal medical conditions.  It must be made clear that diagnosing using acupuncture points is suggestive and not a confirmatory diagnostic tool.  The practitioner must use all of the diagnostic tools available to arrive at a correct diagnosis.

There are several types of acupuncture which are used in equine practice.  These include dry needling, aqua-puncture, electro-acupuncture, moxibustion, and gold bead implant.  Each of these types of therapies have certain benefits and conditions in which they are most useful.

Most horses respond favorably to acupuncture.  Occasionally, horses are needle-phobic and require mild sedation.  In cases where the horse is too fractitous, laser-acupuncture may be used. 

Osteopathy is manipulating the body to influence correct alignment of the spine and axial skeleton.  Osteopathy is performed by gently assisting the horse to move his body past a point of restriction.  A thorough understanding of anatomy and kinesiology is important to maximize the effects of osteopathy

Please re-visit this website often. I will be regularly posting feature articles pertaining to various complimentary therapies.

Dr. David Miller

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