Knowing the meridians and acupressure charts is the foundation of every acupressure session with your horse. In this article, we’re having a look at the equine Stomach meridian and its most powerful acupuncture points. The Stomach meridian plays an important role in treating digestive disorders, dental pain, and hind leg lameness.
Acupressure Points on the Stomach Meridian
The Stomach Merdian in the Horse
The Stomach meridian is the Yang meridian of the Earth element. It starts just under the eye and travels near the ventral midline toward the hind legs, where it ends on the dorsal aspect of the coronary band.
Clinical Application of Pressure Points
- ST 10 – Local neck issues, indicator point for stomach ulcers.
- ST 36 – Masterpoint for the digestive tract, tonifies Qi, hind leg lameness, and stifle issues.
- ST 40 – Problems of the respiratory tract, Recurrent Airway Obstruction with Phlegm, anxiety.
- ST 45 – Problems and pain along the Stomach meridian, such as stifle – hock- or dental pain.
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.
Equine Acupressure Charts PDF
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.
How do I Know it’s Working?
Your horse’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 horse gradually relax and show you release signs such as:
- Playing with their tongue
- Blinking with their eyes
- Releasing tension by shifting weight from one leg to the other
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.
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 Earth Element Horse
Earth-element horses are relaxed, honest, and caring companions. They don’t skip meals, as they’re always hungry. The most prominent part of earth-element horses is their tummy, even though they tend to have big heads as well.
Disease predispositions: overweight, chronic gastrointestinal problems.