Equine Acupressure Charts – The Large Intestine Meridian in the Horse

The knowledge of meridians and acupressure charts is the foundation of every acupressure session with your horse. Today we’re having a look at the equine large intestine meridian and its most powerful points. This meridian plays an important role in treating head and neck issues as well as respiratory problems and skin issues.

Acupressure Points on the Equine Large Intestine Meridian

large intestine meridian horse
Trajectory of the equine Large Intestine Meridian including the most frequently used points.

The Large Intestine Merdian in Horses

The Large Intestine meridian is the Yang meridian of the Metal element. The meridian starts at the medial aspect of the lower limb. It winds around the leg and travels along the ventral portion of the neck to the head where it terminates near the nostril of the contralateral side.

Clinical Application of Pressure Points

  • LI 01 – Laminitis, ringbone, navicular disease, conjunctivitis.
  • LI 04 – Masterpoint for face and mouth. Pain in general but particularly in the head and neck area, inflammation, fever, dermatitis.
  • LI 10 – Diarhhea and obstpüation (colic in general) forelimb lameness, Qi deficiency, stiffness of the neck.
  • LI 11 – Allergic dermatitis, pruritus, stiffness of the neck, fever, immunostimulation.
  • LI 16 – Important point for neck pain and stiffness.
  • LI 17 – similar to LI 16
  • LI 18 – Reactivity at this point indicates pain in the foot area.
The equine Large Intestine meridian
Acupuncture chart of the equine large intestine meridian

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.

Massage Techniques:

  • 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 Acupressure 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.

How do I Know it’s Working?

Signs that you’ve helped your horse release any blockages include release signals, such as yawning, chewing, sighing, and passing air. Some horses will even fall asleep during their sessions! Once your horse has shared a release signal, you’re safe to move on to another acupoint.

Metal Element

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, and 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 Metal Element Horse

Metal-type horses are confident and consistent, they always stick to the rules and tend to be leaders. The hair coat of the metal-type horse is good, they are clean and elegant.
Disease predispositions: Lung problems – cough, asthma, nasal discharge. Large intestine problems: constipation or diarrhea.

BowelLarge Intestine
Sense OrganNose
Body TissueSkin and Hair
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