How does acupuncture work?

Acupuncture uses small, sterile, needles to stimulate nerves and soft tissue throughout the body.  Stimulated nerves send signals to the spinal cord and brain, modulating neural input to the brain and changing the central nervous system output to the body.  In this way a carefully placed needle in one point can produce changes throughout the entire body and in targeted organ systems.  System-wide effects can include reduced pain and inflammation, increased immune function, relaxation and more.  Local effects through direct soft tissue stimulation include decreased muscle tension, stimulation of local healing factors, increased limb proprioception, relief from discomfort, increased range of motion and more.  Acupuncture is a relatively safe treatment option and lacks the side effects of commonly used drugs in veterinary medicine.  Want to learn more?  Ask me, I love to share my knowledge.  


Who can Acupuncture help?

Acupuncture can benefit equine athletes as well as animals affected by chronic musculoskeletal disorders, back pain, arthritis, nerve damage, poor saddle fit, surgical recovery, and acute injury or disease.  Acupuncture can also help horses with other illness including metabolic disease, neurologic disorders, chronic respiratory problems, kidney issues, cancer and more.  While acupuncture will not cure these diseases, it can increase function and control, reduce drug dependence, provide palliative relief, and allow horses to live and work more comfortably.  


What kind of patients do you see?

While most patients are horses, other large animals are welcome.


What are "Related Techniques"?

Related Techniques are other physical medicine modalities like electro-acupuncture, massage, myofascial release, mesotherapy and physical therapy.  Every treatment plan is tailored to meet the specific needs of the patient and may include a variety of physical medicine options in addition to, and sometimes instead of, acupuncture.  



I practice, gentle, non-confrontational horse handling with all my patients.  Animals tend to hide their pain from us when they are scared or nervous, so I try to first eliminate fear and anxiety in my patients.  This allows me to make a more acurate assessment of your animal's condition and helps guide my treatment recommendations.  I may ask to use food rewards with your horse to help them overcome fear and anxiety as well.  Once patients get to know me and realize I will not do anything forceful or painful, they generally relax and settle for their treatments.  


Will the treatments work for my animal?

Like most medical treatments, response rates are not 100%.  Most horses will respond positively to treatment, but there is a small percentage, around 20%, that will not.  The only way to know if your animal is one of the 80% that do positively respond is to try treatment. 


How many treatments will it take to know if the treatments are working?

Some animals respond immediately to treatment, while others may take 2-3 treatments to see a positive response.  I generally recommend trying a series of 2-3 treatments, once per week to start.  Some conditions will be corrected following this initial series, while others will require additional treatments.  If your animal is not responding after 2 treatments I will help you find other treatment options rather than continuing to waste your time and money on therapy that isn't helping. 


What is your service area?  DO you have a clinic?

I live in Blacksburg, VA and my practice is mobile - meaning I come to your barn, stable or home.  I do not have a clinic location at this time.  I will travel up to 25 miles from Blacksburg for regular equine/large animal appointments.  I will travel throughout the state of Virginia to horse facilities if there are multiple patients at that location.  A barn call fee will apply to all calls and its amount will depend on the distance traveled.  If multiple patients are present at one location, the call fee is split up among the patients.  Please see the price list for more details.


Can I get vaccines and a coggins during my appointment?

No.  I do not offer primary care services, but I can help you find a veterinarian in your area that does.  


DO you accept Credit cards and/or care credit?

I accept major credit cards, however I am not able to accept care credit at this time.  Payment for treatment is due at time of service.  


To make an appointment:

Call (310) 739-8855 from 9am to 5pm Monday through Friday or email anytime.