In this article, we are exploring the equine Triple Heater meridian, including its most important acupuncture points. This meridian has a few quite exciting points to offer, so let’s dive right in!
Acupressure Points on the Equine Triple Heater Meridian
The Triple Heater meridian is one of the Yang meridians of the Fire element. It starts right at the front of the coronary band, travels up the foreleg, crosses the shoulder joint, and runs along the upper portion of the neck to the poll region.
The Triple Heater Merdian in Horses
- TH 01 – local orthopeadic issues such as laminitis and coffin joint problems, fever, and stiffness in the neck.
- TH 05 – pain relief for the front leg and along the lateral side of the thorax and lumbar area, temporomandibular joint issues, and neck pain.
- TH 16 – indicator point for pain in the fetlock area, stiffness in poll and neck, and temporomandibular joint problems.
- TH 17 – local problems such as temporomandibular joint pain, calming point.
How to Treat Pressure Points
There are multiple different ways how to work with acupuncture points. Professional practitioners use needles or acupuncture lasers to stimulate them. But you can achieve a beneficial effect by massaging them with your hand as well. This technique is called acupressure.
Massage Techniques for Acupressure
During acupressure, you will use your hands to be aware of any changes happening in the body. These could either be an existing blockage or the free flow of Qi after removing a blockage by acupressure treatment. Learning to sense what the body is communicating takes practice. You can educate your hands by focusing on the various sensations experienced during these sessions and by learning what the sensations indicate.
- The One-Finger Technique: During this technique, you’ll use the finger pad of your thumb. Place it on the acupressure point and apply gentle pressure to it. Depending on the location, you can gently move your thumb and work a little bit deeper into the tissue. This technique is best used on fleshy, well-muscled body parts or on the legs.
- The Two-Finger Technique: To perform this technique, place your middle finger over the nail on your pointer finger and apply gentle pressure on your horse’s body surface. This technique works very well in the back area.
Practise, Practise, Practise!
The meridians and acupoints that will be treated are just under the skin, so you only need to apply gentle pressure. Extreme pressure could cause additional pain. If your horse ever shows signs of discomfort at any point, stop to apply pressure and move on to a different area.
If you are unable to feel changes in your horse’s body at first, that’s ok! It takes time to learn how to feel the sensation of moving Qi and removing blockages through the hands. Simply apply gentle pressure to the acupoint for approximately 30 seconds. If you don’t manage to stay on the point for the full 30 seconds, don’t worry, that’s ok too, it will still work. While performing your acupressure session, look for signs in your horse.
Recommended Books & Videos
ACU-HORSE: Guide to Equine Acupressure provides you with a step-by-step guide to performing an acupressure session with your horse. Also, this full-color, 230-page equine acupressure book offers tons of charts and photos to help you learn equine acupressure.
ACU-DOG: Guide to Canine Acupressure gives a step-by-step guide to an acupressure session with color photos and charts. It explains how to apply Chinese medicine theories, plus active descriptions and photos of hands-on techniques.
Practise, Practise, Practise!
The meridians and acupoints that will be treated are just under the skin, so you only need to apply gentle pressure. Extreme pressure could cause additional pain. If your dog ever shows signs of discomfort at any point, stop to apply pressure and move on to a different area.
If you are unable to feel changes in your dog’s body at first, that’s ok! It takes time to learn how to feel the sensation of moving Qi and removing blockages through the hands. Simply apply gentle pressure to the acupoint for approximately 30 seconds. If you don’t manage to stay on the point for the full 30 seconds, don’t worry, that’s ok too, it will still work. While performing your acupressure session, look for signs in your dog. Your furry friend will tell you when you’re getting better at what you’re doing.
How do I Know it’s Working?
Your dog’s body will give you clear signs that your massage is having a positive effect on their well-being. Releasing blockages and promoting the free flow of Qi will make your dog feel much better and show you release signs such as:
- Calming down
- Becoming dozy and even falling asleep
After a few days of doing acupressure, you will notice that you’re not only helping your dog’s health and well-being with your daily acupressure session, but also you’ll see the bond between the two of you growing much stronger.
The Five Elements
The Five Elements theory forms the basis of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Each of the five elements Wood, Fire, Earth, Water, and Metal include subcategories such as climate, body tissue, emotion, internal organ…
You can find more information on the five elements here.
The five-element system also applies to your horse’s personality and physical constitution. Every horse can be categorized into one of the five elements. This gives us more information on dietary preferences and disease predispositions.
The Fire Element Horse
Earth-element horses are full of energy. They are very friendly, love to get attention, and willing to please.
|Organ||Heart & Pericardium|
|Bowel||Small Intestine & Triple Heater|
|Body Tissue||Blood Vessels|