07 Mar 2016

Acupuncture Case – Marley

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Acupuncture Case and What is Aquapuncture

By: Dr. Gina Tranquillo

History –
Meet Marley, a retired 25 year old Morgan x Quarter Horse gelding whom grazes the sunny pastures around his owner’s home throughout the year. Dr. Tranquillo was visiting him on a routine examination one winter day when his owner was showing concern for his arthritic joints. Marley was having a tougher time getting up and down and with the cold winter months approaching, the owner reached out to see if acupuncture would be helpful.

Acupuncture and Arthritis-
Acupuncture helps by moving blood and energy at each needle placement. These substances are moved along the meridians (see figure below), or channels, that range throughout the body much like latitude and longitude appear on a globe. The art of acupuncture is used to stimulate the immune system, relieve pain by recruiting the body’s natural pain relieving molecules, as well as reduce inflammation. Acupuncture can bring relief to an area suffering from arthritis.



Figure – Equine acupuncture meridian chart borrowed from HERBSMITH

Acupuncture Examination –
As Dr. Tranquillo did her acupuncture examination over Marley she found several locations where he elicited a painful response which included – right front foot, right knee, left front tendons and ligaments, hips, and stifles.

Acupuncture treatment –
Acupuncture needles were placed in Marley one at a time. At each needle placement Dr. Tranquillo watched his eyes, ears, and overall body language to determine what he was feeling. At times when needles are placed an animal will feel nothing. Other times, the animal may feel a warming sensation, a painful response which is quickly relieved as the needle stays in longer, or a “zing.” Dr. Tranquillo can understand this because she receives acupuncture on herself as well and has similar feelings.

The point prescription is carried out and Marley is left to relax while his treatment is carried out. Signs of relaxation he demonstrated were – lowering of the head, licking, chewing, yawning, and deep sighs of relief

After the needles were removed, Dr. Tranquillo went over Marley again probing to be sure the points she intended to relieve were pain free. If there was any remnant of pain, Dr. Tranquillo performed Aquapuncture on these points.

What is Aquapuncture?
Aqua means water, which translates into injecting a liquid substance into the acupuncture needle and point. This is done most commonly using Vitamin B 12 at low concentrations, however other substances used by those that practice acupuncture are – saline, the horse’s own blood, pain relieving medications, and more depending on the condition being treated.

Back to Marley –
Dr. Tranquillo performed Aquapuncture in a few points using Vitamin B12 and this completed the acupuncture treatment session for Marley.

After his treatment, Marley was turned out with his friend in the field and immediately took off running. His owner was so grateful for the positive response he had.

Maintenance for Marley –
Since Marley had chronic arthritis, it was recommended to perform acupuncture on him once per month, especially during the winter months.

If you have questions regarding your horse and if acupuncture would be beneficial please feel free to call All Points Equine at 610-351-1404 and speak with Dr. Gina Tranquillo or email her directly at drgina@allpointsequine.com.

25 yo Marley after his Acupuncture treatment:


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