How Does Acupuncture Work?

There’s a complex series of events that occur when acupuncture needles are placed. Here’s a rundown of what happens.

No account yet? Register


Equine Acupuncture
Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese therapy that involves placing thin needles along “meridians” in the body to influence qi (pronounced 'chi') energy. | Photo: Courtesy Dr. Sara Sammons

You’ve heard of it and seen photos of the procedure, and maybe you’ve even tried it for your horse. It’s acupuncture—the practice of placing thin needles in certain points on a horse’s body.

There’s a complex series of events that happen when those needles are placed. At the 2016 Western Veterinary Conference, held in March in Las Vegas, Sara Sammons, DVM, MS, cVMA, owner of Lavender Equine Rehabilitation and Veterinary Services, in Canby, Oregon, reviewed how acupuncture works and what we know about the science behind it

Create a free account with to view this content. is home to thousands of free articles about horse health care. In order to access some of our exclusive free content, you must be signed into

Start your free account today!

Already have an account?
and continue reading.


Written by:

Erica Larson, former news editor for The Horse, holds a degree in journalism with an external specialty in equine science from Michigan State University in East Lansing. A Massachusetts native, she grew up in the saddle and has dabbled in a variety of disciplines including foxhunting, saddle seat, and mounted games. Currently, Erica competes in eventing with her OTTB, Dorado.

Related Articles

Stay on top of the most recent Horse Health news with

FREE weekly newsletters from

Sponsored Content

Weekly Poll

sponsored by:

When do you begin to prepare/stock up on products/purchase products for these skin issues?
26 votes · 26 answers

Readers’ Most Popular

Sign In

Don’t have an account? Register for a FREE account here.

Need to update your account?

You need to be logged in to fill out this form

Create a free account with!