Prescription and Intention in Equine Acupuncture

Acupuncture is a healing method and your intention is at the core of the healing. Acupuncture is not a medical procedure and is not a placebo effect. If it is considered that way results will be inconsistent, not conclusive and not rewarding in one‘s spirit.


In treatment once you have come up with the initial diagnosis then you decide on a prescription and as you refine the diagnosis you change the prescription. For example initial diagnosis may be Kidney Yin deficiency but you then notice signs also of Liver Yin deficiency and then signs of Liver Fire.

This is before even any needles are inserted. The area or areas where stagnation is occurring and causing illness can also be intuited.

It is not usually a case of just inserting the needles, like a machine. There is something else that can occur if you are not using laser or red-light or electrical stimulation. And this extra thing makes the healing interaction very rewarding. You actually feel the chi, sometimes translated as the life-force, of the horse. You feel its impact on you. It feels your chi and the impact on it. You know something beautiful is going to happen and then you know a result is going to be obtained.


Furthermore when using needles in the dry needling method which is the only method which is actually acupuncture, your intention to heal becomes vitally important. You can manipulate the needles in order to change the chi and direct the chi in certain ways in order to achieve the desired result.

I say it’s like fishing. You turn the needles clockwise and anticlockwise and manipulate also by lift and thrust (in and out) and suddenly you feel the grab just like a fish has grabbed the hook. This is the sensation you are looking for. You continue with the other points like this.

This is not simply a matter of ‘mind over matter’. No ‘matter’ and no ‘mind’ are involved. You feel it in your heart. And when the healing is successful you feel it and when it is complete you feel it. You look for these sensations as signs.

You know it is not “hit or miss”. Oftentimes you see the changes right there before your eyes; say, the spine may straighten, the horse’s lower lip begins to quiver, the eyes go soft, the breathing changes, there is stomach rumbling, horse seems to get heavy, may even have to lean on a fence, drops the head or a leg and yawns violently etc. These are signs of a result.

And if you don’t get this you just continue and find points which do elicit this response on needling. Though on first treatment horse may be very wary and not willing to let go. But next time will let go before you even start.

Sometimes this may not be initially seen but next day improvement of 50% or more may be seen and full effects will felt within 3days from treatment. There is no reason why treatment may not be given everyday but it is not recommended within 3 days of events or races.