Page 42 - The Hunt - Summer 2018
P. 42

                 “I use acupuncture when there’s some generalized, less specific cause for the problem,” says Dr. Smith.
Acupuncture doesn’t replace Western treatment, but vets find it eases pain and may even decrease the need for certain medications. It’s used to treat a range of conditions, from back pain and facial paralysis to equine asthma and gastrointestinal problems.
“The number one use is for musculoskeletal soreness, stiffness and pain. I use acupuncture when there’s some generalized, less specific cause for the problem,” says Smith, one of two New Bolton vets trained in acupuncture.
Once she’s taken a history and performed an exam, Smith does a diagnos- tic scan of acupuncture points to guide the treatment. Using needles specifi- cally gauged for horses, she inserts as many as 30 into the horse’s acupoints, just as Chinese practitioners have been doing for centuries on humans.
While some horses are wary when the needles are being placed, they all relax once the needles are in. “Some are more dramatic. Some you get full head
  40
THE HUNT MAGAZINE
sUMMEr 2018
drop, practically the nose to the ground,” Smith says. “[For] some, [it’s] what looks like real sleep, and some just get quiet,” Smith says.
There are acupoints all over the body located along pathways called meridians. This network conducts energy—or chi—to regulate balance in the body and its organs. A needle might be placed near the hoof, but its therapeutic effect will be felt in a different part of the body.
Western practitioners recognize the benefits of acupuncture, though it’s not fully under- stood scientifically. Smith had been intrigued by the idea of acupuncture and was prompted to
























































































   40   41   42   43   44