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Why all the controversy and arguments about horse health care and choice of treatments?
Generally it’s about money…and power.

Are acupuncture, acupressure, moxabustion, massage, Reiki or homeopathy adjunctive or alternative treatments?
Depending on who you ask, they are everything from wonderful and marvelous to useless and black magic.

Actually—if you are open minded, logical and don’t have money as an agenda—they can be complementary. All deal with the healing process which involves many things we don’t necessarily understand about the nature of life and the energy of the life force.

If viewed as complementary instead of as opposed to allopathic (western or what your veterinarian traditionally does) medicine, all equine patients would eventually benefit.

“Alternative” treatments are generally used to intervene before health problems become so well developed that surgery or pharmacological treatment is necessary to maintain life.

Those who oppose the use of acupuncture, Reiki and homeopathic treatment generally haven’t studied them or made an effort to educate themselves, I’ve found. Most of the time, I believe, their opposition is more about the possible loss of income than it is about “health care.” The idea that everything from “floating teeth” to “equine massage” should be under the direct control and supervision of a veterinarian is “limiting” to equine health care, not beneficial.
It’s my observation that most of what is termed “alternative medicine” has a “preventative function” rather than being directed at an existing condition the way allopathic medicine is.

Reiki is a method of healing which channels spiritual energy through the hands of the performing person to the body of the horse being treated. It is similar to what is often called “therapeutic touch.”

Massage feels good and induces relaxation which relieves muscle spasms, relieves anxiety and acts similarly to therapeutic touch.

Moxabustion is an acupuncture method in which heat is applied to the acupuncture needles thorough the burning of an herb, Moxa.

Acupressure is a form of acupuncture which doesn’t use needed, but instead induces stimulation from the pressure placed on specific points.

Aromatherapy uses oils and fragrances to stimulate the body’s natural healing systems.

Homeopathy involves treating illness with substances which create the same symptoms as the illness. The remedies are refined to the point where all that is left is the energy of the original substance used to make the remedy. Homeopathy is sometimes called “vibrational therapy” because it restores to the body tissue healthy vibration patterns.

Does all the competition between various horse health treatment methods mean we have less healthy horses today?

Today, due to urban and societal constraints, we keep a large part of the horse population in less than desirable conditions; they often don’t get to graze on green grass, get as much fresh air and sunshine as optimal and they don’t get to move about in a relaxed way as much as nature intended.

As the world of the horse has changed over the years so have the health care concerns and the options for caring for and using the horse.

Consider all forms of health care; ask questions and do some personal study. Avoid objections to or claims for any treatment which is not accompanied by convincing evidence or explanation.


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