Acupressure, which uses finger pressure on specific points on the body, has been around for thousands of years, and is believed to actually pre-date acupuncture (which uses needles to stimulate those points instead). Both acupressure and acupuncture are a part of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and are used all over the world now on humans and animals alike. Acupressure is becoming much more accepted in the Western world and is often used in conjunction with Western medical treatments. Some effects of acupressure include:
- reducing pain
- relieving muscle spasms
- resolving injuries more quickly by removing toxins and increasing blood supply
- enhancing mental clarity
- releasing natural cortisone to reduce swelling
- building the body’s immune system
When applying acupressure to your horse, typically the forefinger or thumb is used. Light pressure is usually preferable and is tolerated by most horses. Extreme sensitivity in an acu-point usually indicates excess Chi in that area. Pressure is usually applied to each selected acu-point for 10-20 seconds or until a release, or visible sign such as licking/chewing, head-lowering, yawning, etc., is shown by the horse.
For more information on learning equine acupressure, I highly recommend reaching out to:
Kim Bauer http://www.animaleasetherapies.com/
Kim is a Nationally Certified Practitioner having passed the National Board for Animal Acupressure and Massage exam (NBCAAM). She also teaches at the Northwest School of Animal Massage.
If you are interested in learning about more mindful Equine techniques, and Assisted Equine Learning, reach out to the wonderful Carrie Fuentes at: https://www.triskelerivers.com/facilitator