Equine Acupressure Points – The Gallbladder Meridian in Horses

Learn the most important pressure points used for acupuncture and acupressure in horses. Here’s the trajectory of the Gallbladder Meridian including the location and clinical application of the most powerful points.

Acupressure Points on the Equine Gallbladder Meridian

equine gallbladder meridian
Trajectory of the equine Gallbladder Meridian including the most frequently used points.

The Gallbladder meridian is the Yang meridian of the Wood element. It starts with GB 01 near the ear, runs along both sides of the neck and trunk, crosses the hip area and ends on the lateral side of the coronary band of both hind legs

The Gallbladder Merdian in Horses

Clinical Application of Pressure Points

  • GB 20 – Local problems of the poll and neck area.
  • GB 21 – Important point for stiffness of the neck.
  • GB 24 – Mu Point for the Gallbladder, digestive problems.
  • GB 25 – Mu Point for the Kidney, pain in the lumbar region, ribs and hip area.
  • GB 27 – Strengthens the hind legs, pain in the caudal back and hind legs.
  • GB 29 – Treats pain in the caudal back.
  • GB 30 – Treats caudal back issues and hip pain.
  • GB 34 – Benefits the tendons and ligaments, stifle problems weakness and lameness of the hind legs.
  • GB 44 – Treats problems along the meridian and local orthopedic issues.

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.

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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:

  • Yawning
  • Stretching
  • Chewing
  • Playing with their tongue
  • Blinking with their eyes
  • Releasing tension by shifting weight from one leg to the other

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 dog’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 Wood Element Horse

Wood-element horses are thin and robust. They react fast to external stimuli but they tend to be impatient and become angry very quickly. Wood-type horses are always alert, dominant, and capable of performing at high levels when they want to. Most warmblood horses are wood-typed.
Predispositions: Allergies, aggressive behaviour.

BowelGall Bladder
Sense OrganEye
Body TissueTendon

Learn more

Do you want to learn more about acupuncture points and acupressure? Don’t miss my Canine Acupressure Workbook on acupressure for dogs!

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