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Acupuncture involves inserting fine needles into the skin at particular points to cause therapeutic effects. It can be used to help treat musculoskeletal problems (muscle soreness, back pain, neck pain, osteoarthritis, degenerative joint disease, obscure lameness, laminitis), gastrointestinal disorders (diarrhea, impaction, chronic colic, gastric ulceration), neurological disorders (seizure, laryngeal hemiplegia, facial and radial nerve paresis), heaves, asthma, anhidrosis, geriatric weakness, skin problems, performance enhancement, and prevention of disease.
Besides the use of solid, typically stainless steel needles, other means of stimulating the acupuncture points can be used. The effects of acupuncture therapy cannot be explained in terms of a single mechanism, but rather a series of interactions between the nervous system, the endocrine system and the immune system. Anatomical examination of classical acupuncture points has shown that most of the acupuncture points are associated with certain anatomic structures of the nervous system.  Acupuncture needling causes micro trauma that in turn causes a local inflammatory effect. This inflammatory effect results in an increased local tissue immune response, improved local tissue blood flow, and muscle and tissue relaxation. Some acupuncture points are known as “trigger points”. These are tender areas found in skeletal muscle associated with a tight band or knot in the muscle. The principle trigger points in a muscle are located at its center in the motor endplate zone. This is where the nerve ends in a muscle and causes the muscle to contract. Besides using acupuncture points for treatment purposes, reactivity of acupuncture points can aid in diagnosis. When palpated, these points might show some sensitivity if there is a problem at that point or with the acupuncture meridian or pathway that is associated with the point. 

What can Acupuncture help? 
Clinical trials indicate that acupuncture therapy can be effective in the following conditions:
Musculoskeletal problems: Lameness, muscle  soreness, back pain, disc problems, arthritis, osteoarthritis and degenerative joint disease, laminitis, navicular disease, sport-related injuries including tendons and ligaments, muscle, joint and bone injuries.
Neurological disorders: Laryngeal hemiplegia (roaring), facial and radial nerve paralysis, seizure.
Gastrointestinal disorders: Diarrhea, gastric ulcers, colic, prolapse, constipation and impaction.
Other Chronic conditions: Recurrent airway obstruction (heaves), asthma, cough, uveitis, behavioral problems, Cushing’s disease, hypothyroidism, infertility, hyperthyroidism, anhidrosis (non-sweater), renal failure, geriatric weakness and skin problems.
Performance enhancement: Immune system stimulation and the prevention of disease.

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