The Science Behind Acupuncture

Exploring the evidence regarding the use of acupuncture in equine medicine.
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The Science Behind Acupuncture
The most widely recommended use of equine acupuncture has been to help manage chronic pain. | Photo: Anne M. Eberhardt/The Horse

Exploring the evidence regarding the use of acupuncture in equine medicine

Following President Nixon’s visit to China in the 1970s, reports of acupuncture use began to crop up in the U.S. media. Fascination with acupuncture and other forms of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) such as Chinese herbal medicine took hold, and today these forms of medicine are being used more frequently.

However, according to Peggy Fleming, DVM, AP, owner and operator of Florida Acupuncture Center, in Dade City, “controversy still exists over the efficacy of these therapies, including acupuncture.”

The most widely recommended use of equine acupuncture has been to help manage chronic pain. Dietrich Graf von Schweinitz, BSc, DVM, MRCVS, Cert Vet Acu (IVAS), president of the Association of British Veterinary Acupuncturists and a veterinary surgeon at Southern Hills Equine Veterinary Clinic Ltd., in Putternham, Guildford, U.K., believes acupuncture is an effective treatment for chronic pain, among other conditions

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Written by:

Stacey Oke, MSc, DVM, is a practicing veterinarian and freelance medical writer and editor. She is interested in both large and small animals, as well as complementary and alternative medicine. Since 2005, she’s worked as a research consultant for nutritional supplement companies, assisted physicians and veterinarians in publishing research articles and textbooks, and written for a number of educational magazines and websites.

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