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Acupuncture Points of the Horse’s Distal Thoracic Limb: A Neuroanatomic Approach to the Transposition of Traditional Points
Medical Acupuncture for Veterinarians Course, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80525, USA
Department of Pathobiology and Diagnostic Investigation, College of Veterinary Medicine, Michigan State University, G205, East Lansing, MI 48824, USA
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 30 July 2012; in revised form: 31 August 2012 / Accepted: 10 September 2012 / Published: 17 September 2012
Simple Summary: Anatomy of the equine foot is not precisely analogous to anatomy of the human hand and foot. Thus acupuncture points transposed from human acupuncture maps may not be functionally similar in the equine digit. Veterinarians strive to select points based on what is currently known about the anatomy and physiology of the equine foot, despite the lack of research evidence to use as guidance. This paper discusses the anatomy and physiology of the horse’s foot and presents a neuroanatomically based modification of some traditional point locations including several newly proposed points. The paper also presents neuroanatomically based clinical suggestions for laminitis treatment.
Abstract: Veterinary acupuncture charts were developed based on the concept of transpositional points whereby human acupuncture maps were adapted to animal anatomy. Transpositional acupuncture points have traditionally been placed in specific locations around the horse’s coronet and distal limb believed to be the closest approximation to the human distal limb points. Because the horse has a single digit and lacks several structures analogous to the human hand and foot, precisely transposing all of the human digital points is not anatomically possible. To date there is no published research on the effect of acupuncture treatment of the equine distal limb points. This paper presents a modified approach to equine distal limb point selection based on what is known from research on other species about the neuroanatomic method of acupuncture. A rationale is presented for modification of traditional equine ting points as well as additional points around the hoof and distal limb that do not appear in the standard textbooks of equine acupuncture. The anatomy and physiology of the equine foot likely to be affected by acupuncture are briefly reviewed. Modified neuroanatomic points are proposed that may be more accurate as transpositional points. As an example of clinical application, a neuroanatomic approach to acupuncture treatment of equine laminitis is presented.
Keywords: equine acupuncture; equine laminitis; equine neuroanatomy; veterinary medical acupuncture
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Cite This Article
MDPI and ACS Style
Lancaster, L.S.; Bowker, R.M. Acupuncture Points of the Horse’s Distal Thoracic Limb: A Neuroanatomic Approach to the Transposition of Traditional Points. Animals 2012, 2, 455-471.
Lancaster LS, Bowker RM. Acupuncture Points of the Horse’s Distal Thoracic Limb: A Neuroanatomic Approach to the Transposition of Traditional Points. Animals. 2012; 2(3):455-471.
Lancaster, Lisa S.; Bowker, Robert M. 2012. "Acupuncture Points of the Horse’s Distal Thoracic Limb: A Neuroanatomic Approach to the Transposition of Traditional Points." Animals 2, no. 3: 455-471.