Questions & Answers

Questions & Answers, Case Reports, and Comments

Case Reports are written by students in the Online Course (with help from Diana as needed).
If you want to submit a Case Report, please Click Here for a list of items to include in your story.

NEW INFORMATION POSTED SEPTEMBER, 2020:

Hoof Trimming: Acupressure for Hoof Trimming; Point Choices for Specific Areas of the Body

Hoof Trimming: Diagonal Coordination Helps Horses Balance on Three Legs – New PDF Article!

NEW INFORMATION POSTED JULY, 2020:

Acupressure Method Questions: Do You Use an Opening and Closing Method During Each Session?

Gall Bladder 21 (GB 21) Questions: Horses Don’t Have a Gall Bladder. Why Use the Name in a Channel and Points?

ACUPRESSURE METHOD QUESTIONS

Annette Popovich from Palmdale, California:
Is there a need to perform an opening and closing with each acupressure session?

Diana’s Reply:
Hi Annette,
I do not use any specific opening or closing routine with my hands before and after a session. At the beginning of a session I do my best to quiet myself and meet the horse as he is feeling in that moment in time. I decide where to start and how to proceed during each session based on what the horse invites/allows me to do and what my goals are for the acupressure points.

Most of the time before the session, I observe the horse as he stands or moves around for at least a minute or two if not longer. This gives me some time to breathe, get quiet, check in to my body, and observe the condition of the horse’s body and state of mind. It also gives the horse time to observe me and get a feel for my energy before we work together. 

It’s easier for me to get into this quiet receptive state if I apply the Three Regulations to my body, breath, and mind. The Three Regulations are explained on pages 16-17 of Acupressure Methods for Horses, the text book for the Online Course. I demonstrate this method in the Online Course Video in Part One called Lesson Three: The Three Regulations.

The approach I use with a horse as I begin the session, my goals for the movement of qi, and my choice of points are guided by what I’ve learned through watching the horse and learning from the horse’s owner/caregiver and professionals involved with the horse (trainer or veterinarian). These goals often change during the session as I apply acupressure and watch the horse’s responses. At times, I might seek more information by touching and/or applying acupressure to a couple of points that help me assess the flow of qi. These points often include one or more of the association points (shu points) on the Bladder Channel.

I developed my hands-on methods while learning from top acupressure and acupuncture professionals. Some of these experts worked on people and some worked on horses. They did not follow any one specific opening or closing routine. They did, however, do a lovely job of gathering information, then connecting calmly and genuinely with the person or horse. At the beginning of a session they used a respectful greeting, gentle hands-on contact, and quiet breathing. During the session and at the end, they paid close attention to the horse or person to make sure all is well.

A Routine for Each Point
I do have a very short routine that I use when I apply acupressure to each point. The first thing I do (after checking in with the horse) is slowly slide my hand over the area of the horse’s body where the point is located. I stroke or pet the area two to four times. This contact helps the horse know where I’m going to touch his body. It helps me feel the texture of the tissue and find the activity of qi in the area of the point.

Once I get a sense of where the qi of the point is located, I settle my fingers on the area and start the acupressure session. During this beginning, I use the Three Regulations to review my posture and safety, the quality of my breathing, and my mental focus. At the end of doing acupressure, I slowly remove my hand or fingers from the point and pet the area slowly a few times to close the energy connection. You will see me do this process in the Online Course point-finding videos as I find each point and apply acupressure to it.

There is one thing I like to do at the end of a session – if time and circumstances permit. After applying acupressure to several points, if the horse is content to stand still, I just stand or sit and wait with them for a few minutes without touching them. I call this “holding the space”. I just stay quiet and breathe and keep the horse company while their body continues to process the work and make changes deep within the body and nervous system. It is a lovely experience that often deepens the influence of the session.

Janice Kennedy from Norwalk, Iowa:
I need a step-by-step on the abdominal breathing. I understand the inhale: breathing into the abdomen first then up to the top of the lungs. I need clarification on the exhale. When you say “reverse” on the video I didn’t quite get it. Does that mean breathe out from the top of the lungs to the abdomen?  Thanks!

Diana’s reply:
This is a very important topic. The Regulation of the Breath is one of The Three Regulations that help you position your body, guide your breathing, and focus your mind during an acupressure session. The process helps you connect with the qi of the horse’s acupressure point and create positive changes.

To answer your question about the abdominal breathing, let’s review the instructions I wrote on Regulation of the Breath from pages 16-17 of the book Acupressure Methods for Horses. Then, I’ll add some comments about my experience with this process.

2) Regulation of the Breath
Use abdominal breathing (diaphragmatic breathing) during an acupressure session. When you inhale, bring the breath into your body and expand your abdomen first, then open your ribs and chest. To exhale, allow the breath to move out of your ribs and chest first, then the belly. Slightly flatten your belly to complete the exhalation. Your breathing needs to be slow, deep, and comfortable. Take three breaths before working on the horse to remind yourself of this step.

My comments: Once you’ve inhaled by expanding your abdomen first, then the ribs and chest, allow the breath to move out of your body. When I say reverse the process, I mean exhale the air from your chest and upper ribs first, then out of the lower ribs and belly. This sequence reverses the process you used during inhalation.

While this description suggests a pause between the air moving out of the top of the chest and the air moving out of the lower ribs and abdomen, I find my breath moves out of my chest, upper ribs, lower ribs, and my belly at approximately the same time. During the last stage of exhalation, be sure to spend a few seconds slightly tightening or flattening your belly and push the remaining air out of your body. This makes it much easier for you to take in a full, deep breath during the next inhalation.

I’m glad you asked this question about abdominal breathing. This process is a really important part of a successful acupressure session. When I was first learning about The Three Regulations with my teacher Sean Fannin, he recommended I practice organizing my body, breath, and mind several times during the day in short “three breath” sequences. The process lowered my stress level and helped make abdominal breathing easy for me to use during equine acupressure sessions.

I not only use The Three Regulations during equine acupressure sessions, I use it to relax when I find myself tensing up in stressful situations during daily life. It also helps when I’m having trouble getting to sleep. I check the alignment of my body, then focus my mind and breath on carrying out abdominal breathing. This process helps me relax tight areas of my body, deepen and slow my breathing, quiet my mind, and fall asleep.

Additional help:  Review Diana’s video lecture on Regulation of the Breath (the use of abdominal breathing during equine acupressure) in Lesson Three: The Three Regulations. Diana begins the lecture on this topic at 10:50 into the video and leads you through an exercise to practice abdominal breathing at 12:45 to 15:40.

Catherine Harvey from New Zealand:
Hi Diana,Should acupressure be done when the horse has a full stomach or does it work better on an empty stomach? Does it depend on what issues you are targeting?

Diana’s Reply:
Excellent question. Acupressure creates the most benefit for a horse when it directly meets his needs. When a horse eats a large meal it’s important for his body to devote energy to the function of digestion. Acupressure carried out right after the horse has eaten a large meal should include several points that strongly support the function of digestion. The session could also include points for another of the horse’s needs, such as calming the spirit or moving the qi to a sore area of the body to support healing.
If the horse is allowed frequent access to food throughout the day, or acupressure is carried out one to two hours after a main meal, it’s not as important to include points that support digestion.

The points in the Acupressure Online Course that strongly influence digestion are Stomach 36 (ST 36) and Pericardium 6 (PC 6). Stomach 36 is located on the gaskin of the horse’s hind leg. It’s the master point for the abdomen and gastrointestinal tract. A master point has a strong influence on the health and functions of a physical region of the body. Acupressure on ST 36 strengthens the digestion. It also strengthens the qi of the whole body, including the Spleen qi, which directly powers the digestive system.

Pericardium 6, which is located just in front of the chestnut on the horse’s front leg, is the master point for the chest, armpit, and upper abdomen. It also calms the Heart and settles the shen. Acupressure on this point supports the horse’s digestion, relaxes the structures of the chest, calms the emotions, and quiets the mind. 

When acupressure is done using the methods I show you in the Online Course, it increases the movement of qi, blood, and other fluids throughout the body. Depending on which point or points are used during the session, specific areas and functions of the body are influenced more than others.
In summary, in most situations, when the points are properly chosen, acupressure is often beneficial for the horse with a full stomach or an empty one.

One other consideration. Many horses are not going to relax for acupressure if they are really hungry. My horse Handsome is an easy keeper who gains weight easily. He eats his food quite rapidly so I feed him his hay in a slow feeder to slow him down. This helps his digestion and gives him something to nibble on for longer periods of time during the day. I would not have much luck doing acupressure with him in the hour before he receives his breakfast or dinner. He would be too busy reminding me that food is on the way and that’s all he can think about!

Lisa Daigle from Massachusetts:
Not sure if this will be a controversial question. I used to use a rope halter until I learned that the knots sit on sensitive acupressure points. In looking at a diagram it appears that the stomach meridian comes down the side of the face and then loops back up alongside the nose. In your estimation, would the knots on the rope halter cause discomfort for the horse, particularly with pressure-and-release?

Diana’s Reply:
Hi Lisa,
Thank you for asking this question. All questions are good. There are a number of energy channels that flow across the horse’s head in addition to the Stomach Channel. If a horse was showing signs of having physical or emotional issues related to any one of those channels I would certainly explore the idea of the horse’s equipment – including the halter – causing interference in the movement of qi and circulation, just as I will look for possible influences from the diet, living situation, training pressure, etc.

I use rope halters as well as the flat nylon web halters on the horses in my care. I find both types of halters useful and, the way we use them, safeI haven’t experienced any problems with either type of halter although I don’t use or allow handling that creates much pressure on the horse’s head. Certainly if the halter fit too tightly or a handler applied strong, sustained pressure then discomfort or injury could occur. In addition, at my barn, the horses only wear their halters when they are being handled or trained so it minimizes the time the halter is on their face.

My goal during ground work is to rarely, if ever, take up all of the slack in the lead rope or longe line. I realize that this is difficult when handling an untrained or unruly horse. Some pressure (and release) may be necessary as the horse learns. In these situations, I prefer training methods that allow the horse to move in a round pen or arena without a halter until the basic lessons are learned.   

In my experienced, poor saddle fit and tight cinches cause much more injury to horses than halters.  Let’s take the girth first. In some equine sports, such as roping, racing, and jumping, the girth or cinch of the saddle is fastened quite snugly to keep the saddle in place. In addition, roping horses have to absorb the shock of the rope tightening around the horn of the saddle to stop a calf or cow. It’s not uncommon that the muscles of the girth area and, in some cases, the underlying structures of the ribs and sternum are damaged from the combination of tight girths and difficult athletic events.

I’ve seen dents and lines in the tissue of the girth area years after the original stress. The horses also have tight muscles in between the ribs and throughout their chests, which restrict the opening of the rib cage and compromise breathing and endurance. I’ve also seen this injury and tension shorten movement of the horse’s front legs.

Poor saddle fit often causes damage to the muscles and bony structures of the horse’s shoulders, withers and back. Unfortunately, this is a very common problem for horses. Proper saddle fit is vital to the horse’s health and movement.

My horse Handsome came to me with saddle sores – areas of damaged tissue and white hair located just behind his shoulder blades – due to poor saddle fit. He also has muscle damage in the cinch area due to his work roping cows on a ranch. As a result of these injuries Handsome has chronic tension in his withers, shoulders, front legs, ribs, and chest along with habitual shallow breathing. All of these issues improved with the use of many therapies including acupressure, massage, chiropractic care, stretching, and range of motion exercises. I’ve also made sure his saddle fits properly.

Handsome’s progress with these issues is quite good. I doubt it would have been as thorough, however, if I had only used acupressure to help him. That said, acupressure was quite useful in restoring energy flow and circulation to the damaged areas to help relieve muscle tension and assist with healing. It also made a huge difference in the saddle sores. You can’t see or feel them any longer.

The acupressure points from the Online Course materials that may help the horse with girth-related issues include Conception Vessel 17 (CV 17), Pericardium 6 (PC 6), and Lung 1 (LU 1).

Acupressure on Gall Bladder 21 (GB 21), Governing Vessel 14 (GV 14), Governing Vessel 4 (GV 4), and Bai Hui may help ease shoulder and wither issues and back soreness due to saddle fit problems.

Michelle Fuit from Australia:
I have done a diploma in equine acupuncture. What are your thoughts on acupuncture, which is the use of needles to stimulate the points, compared to acupressure, using your fingers or palms to stimulate the points?

Diana’s Reply:
To be honest, I don’t have a lot of experience inserting needles into a horse’s points to activate them. Early in my career I studied with a veterinarian who had extensive acupuncture training and he taught me some basic ways to use the needles. I wasn’t comfortable with needles, however, so I focused on learning how to use acupressure (my hands) to activate the points instead.

Another reason for my preference for a hands-on way to stimulate the points was my Thoroughbred Timothy. He was an ex-race horse who hated needles of any kind even the sliver-thin needles used for acupuncture. He would threaten to bite and kick those who used needles to give him injections or apply acupuncture. I deeply valued our relationship – and my safety! – so I looked for ways to help him that he would accept and enjoy.

Horse owners in the United States have one more consideration to keep in mind regarding the use of needles. In most states, the use of a needle to break the horse’s skin is considered a medical procedure and is limited by law to a licensed veterinarian. This means I can use needles to apply acupuncture to my personal horse or give him an injection, but I am not legally allowed to use needles on a client’s horse.

It sounds like with your training, in your country, you have a choice of using needles or your hands. In that case, I recommend you follow your training, your personal likes and dislikes, and the needs of each horse.

There’s no rule that says you need to use one method and not the other. I watched a very experienced veterinary acupuncturist work on a number of horses. She mixed and matched methods according to the horse. On some horses she used her hands to do acupressure on most of the points during a session, using a needle to stimulate just one or two points. On other horses, she used inserted needles into most of the points and did acupressure on just a few points.

I love acupressure for many reasons. First of all, you can’t do anything wrong with acupressure. If you apply poor technique or make an incorrect point selection there won’t be any influence on the horse – positive or negative. Acupressure also creates amazing communication between you and the horse that deepens the results of the session and improves your overall relationship.

Good luck as you apply acupressure with horses. I’d love to hear how it goes.

ACUPRESSURE FOR INJURY, CUSHING’S DISEASE

Susan Baudanza from Massachusetts:  Hi Diana, All three of my boys are enjoying acupressure and I can feel it deepening our connections. One recent experience–my 20 year old Dutch Warmblood cross began to show some gait issues — short striding in right canter — which I’ve seen years ago when he had an issue with his SI (sacral-iliac joint). This happened after he spun and ran in a field due to the neighbors flying a drone overhead!

Nothing is swollen or hot; my veterinarian and I suspect he needs chiropractic help, so I have a call in to our excellent chiropractor and am awaiting an appointment. In the meantime I want to help minimize the chance of further injury and help him heal.

I have your point chart book – Acupressure Point Charts for Horses, An Illustrated Guide to 128 Point Locations and Uses. I chose Bladder 54, Bai Hui and Gall Bladder 34 to start.

On Bladder 54 I saw small releases–blinking, deeper breaths, slight softening of the chin; this was after initially feeling a buzz sensation shortly after touching the point.

I moved on to Gall Bladder 34, which he only wanted on the right side. He went totally internal–soft eyes, blinking, dropped, very deep breathing, totally relaxed chin. He wanted me to stay on that point for about two minutes. Afterwards he was very affectionate and playful, playing with my hair and trying to play with the book (!), big sighs and generally a very happy boy.

I stopped at that point to let him process so haven’t tried Bai Hui yet. So first, thank you, I am so grateful to be able to help my beloved boy. Second if you have any other point suggestions–my hope is that I can reduce tension in his tendons and ligaments to minimize the chance of further injury and perhaps help his adjustment when the chiropractor comes, Thanks again!

PS
A quick follow up to my previous comment/question. I watched the new videos in Part Two of the Online Class that show Bai Hui and linking with GV 4 so I will try that combination next for my boy. I love knowing about that technique as one to include in a Wellness program as well!

Diana’s Reply:

Hi Susan,
Thank you for sharing your experience with acupressure. It sounds like things are going well!

I’m glad you had your veterinarian evaluate your gelding when you spotted his shortness of stride at the canter. It’s important to get your veterinarian involved at the beginning of a problem so they can offer treatment choices and help you track progress over time. I think your goal of using acupressure to help relieve tension in your gelding’s tendons and ligaments is a good one. In my experience, acupressure is quite helpful for horses in rehabilitation programs.

In this reply I discuss the points you chose to help your horse. I also explain how Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) views the muscles, tendons, and ligaments, and share additional acupressure points that have the ability to support their health.  

Gall Bladder 34 (GB 34)
It was fun to hear how your gelding reacted to Bladder 54 (BL 54) and Gall Bladder 34 (GB 34).
Gall Bladder 34 is one of the most important points for his situation. In TCM, it’s known as an influential point for the tendons and ligaments of the entire body. This means acupressure on the point relaxes and strengthens the tendons and ligaments. The point also regulates and tonifies (strengthens) the Liver qi, yang, and blood, and spreads the Liver qi. The importance of these functions will make more sense once you read the rest of this reply. The word regulates means acupressure on the point activates the qi so there is just the right amount of qi moving in a smooth, even flow. It increases a correct function that is deficient and decreases any abnormal activity.

As you explained, your gelding definitely agreed with your choice of Gall Bladder 34. He relaxed deeply with acupressure on the point and was noticeably happier following your work. I thought it was wise of you to stop the session after he had such a deep response to GB 34 so he could take it in.

Bladder 54 (BL 54) – a Local Point
Bladder 54, like most of the Bladder points on the horse’s hind legs, has a strong regional or local effect. This means acupressure influences the health of the tissues and joints that are located in the area of the point by moving the qi in that area. This is called the local effect of a point. I discuss this influence on page 14 of the book Acupressure Methods for Horses.

Health of the Muscles, Tendons, and Ligaments
In TCM, the horse’s muscles, tendons, and ligaments need moistening and nourishing from qi and blood to stay healthy and flexible. The pain, tightness, swelling, and/or shortness of stride following an injury are due to an obstruction of the regular movement of the qi and blood. The term obstruction also means blockage or stagnation.

Acupressure points with the function of relieving qi and blood stagnation help ease pain, tightness, and swelling due to injury. Most of the points with this function strongly influence the Liver and Gall Bladder energy. The Liver and Gall Bladder channels are Yin-Yang pairs in the 12-channel system. Once the qi, blood, and nutrients are created, the energy of the Liver and Gall Bladder channels are in charge of keeping them flowing smoothly around the body. As part of this function, the Liver regulates the blood. This means the Liver stores the blood and releases it at the right time to create a smooth flow of blood and support health.

For more information on the Liver’s role in the movement of qi, read pages 94 -97 of the book Acupressure Methods for Horses. I discuss Liver qi stagnation, the incorrect flow of qi that causes tight muscles, tendons, and ligaments as well as emotional tension, frustration, impatience, or aggression.

Points To Relieve Qi and Blood Stagnation or Prevent It from Developing:
GB 21, PC 6, one or more of these four Bladder points: BL 17, BL 18, BL19, BL 47, plus GV 4, Bai Hui, Local Points, GB 34, and LIV 8
These acupressure points are valuable for:
1)The initial, acute phase of an injury, where pain, swelling, and tightness may be present.
2) The horse who exhibits physical tightness and emotional tension found in the pattern of qi stagnation.
3) A wellness program for hard-working horses or those prone to injury.

To help your gelding with his current situation, use acupressure on the points listed above along with the rehabilitation plan you develop with your veterinarian and chiropractor.
Note: If the injury is a severe one that needs long-term tissue rebuilding, the point combination would need to be adjusted. Several points would be dropped from the list so Stomach 36 (ST 36) and Kidney 3 (KI 3) would be added. ST 36 builds the qi and KI 3 strengthens the essence. Both functions are necessary for tissue repair. ST 36 and KI 3 are included in Part Two of the Online Course.

Here’s the recommended order of the points and a description of how each point might be helpful in your gelding’s program. As always, let your horse’s responses to the points guide you in your point choices and how long you remain on each point. You might find he enjoys all of the points, or wants you to focus on just 3-4 of them. Short sessions of 3 to 5 points carried out at least three times a week can bring about surprisingly good results.  

Start with Gall Bladder 21 (GB 21). This point relaxes the horse andstrongly moves Liver qi. It’s particularly helpful when the horse is experiencing tight muscles, tendons, and ligaments. I demonstrate how to find and work on GB 21 in a video in Part One of the Online Course. The many uses ofthe point are explained on pages 36-39 of the book Acupressure Methods for Horses.

Pericardium 6 (PC 6) calms the Heart and settles the Shen, moves Liver qi, moves blood, and helps relieve pain. It also supports and regulates the digestion. I demonstrate how to find and work on PC 6 in a video in Part One of the Online Course. The many uses of PC 6 are discussed in the book Acupressure Methods for Horses on pages 44-47.

Bladder 17 (BL 17), Bladder 18 (BL 18), Bladder 19 (BL 19), and Bladder 47 (BL 47) are in a row on the Bladder Channel. The functions of these four points overlap and reinforce each other so you don’t need to do acupressure on all four of them. As you work with the points watch your gelding for his responses and work on the points that bring him the most benefit. I show you how to find and work on these points in a point-finding and linking video in Part Two of the Online Course.
Linking: As I explain in the video for Bladder 17, 18, 19, and 47, it can be beneficial to link one or more of these points with Governing Vessel 14 (GV 14) and/or with each other.

BL 17, BL 18, and BL 19 are association points, also called shu points. Acupressure on an association point (also known as a shu point) increases the flow of qi to the internal organ associated with the point. This positively influences the internal organ and the functions of the organ channel of energy. Association points are powerful. They move the qi in a strong yet gentle way that is often acceptable to even an agitated horse.

Bladder 17 (BL 17) is the association or shu point for the diaphragm and the blood. It’s the influential point for blood. Acupressure on the point regulates and tonifies (strengthens) the blood and regulates and tonifies the Spleen. The Spleen and Stomach energy transforms food during digestion into qi, blood, and other nutrients.

Bladder 18 (BL 18) is the association or shu point for the Liver. Acupressure on this point addresses any Liver energy imbalance. One of the primary jobs of the Liver energy is keeping the qi, blood, and emotions moving smoothly and in the correct rhythms. BL 18 is used to soften tight muscles, tendons, and ligaments.

Bladder 19 (BL 19) is the association point or shu point for the Gall Bladder. Acupressure on Bladder 19 reinforces the functions of Bladder 18, the Liver shu point. BL 19 is also used to clear muscle tension and pain along the Gall Bladder Channel, particularly the area of the channel that flows along the horse’s neck, shoulder, hip, and hind leg. A photo showing the pathway of the Gall Bladder Channel is on page 15 of the book Acupressure Methods for Horses.

Bladder 47 (BL 47) is on the outer line of the Bladder Channel. Acupressure on BL 47 supports the TCM Liver and reinforces the functions of Bladder 18, the Liver shu point. BL 47 is particularly helpful if the horse is angry, impatient, explosive, or depressed.  

Governing Vessel 4 and Bai Hui
Acupressure on Governing Vessel 4 (GV 4) and Bai Hui helps strengthen the entire spine of the horse, including the low back, pelvis, and hindquarters. For your gelding’s situation, they will also serve as local points because they are near the area of the injury. GV 4 is featured in the book Acupressure Methods for Horses. You can read about its many uses on pages 48-51.

I demonstrate how to find and work on GV 4 in a video in Part One of the Online Course. In two videos in Part Two of the course, I show you how to find and do acupressure on Bai Hui and how to use acupressure to link Bai Hui and GV 4.

I would do acupressure on each of the two points by itself first (not linked) in order to see what your gelding thinks of acupressure on them. Since you said he was 20 years old, GV 4 would be a strong choice for your gelding because it strengthens the low back and supports the Kidney energy and essence. Older horses benefit greatly from acupressure that supports the Kidney energy.

Bai Hui will also be helpful as it sounds like your gelding’s current injury is located quite near the point’s location. Once you see what his reactions are to acupressure on each point one at a time, try acupressure on Bai Hui and GV 4 in a link with each other.

Local Points
The functions of the points listed above – the ability to calm the shen, move Liver qi and blood, and support the blood — are what make them excellent choices for the initial phase of an injury and to support health of the muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Another type of point that may be helpful in injury situations is called a Local Point. As I explained earlier in my description of Bladder 54, a local point is an acupressure point that’s located near the area you would like to support such as an injury, a stiff joint, the eyes, or the ears. Acupressure on a local point increases the circulation of qi, blood, and fluids to the area. This moves stagnation and aids healing.

Feel for Sore Points
In addition to looking for named points, such as BL 54 or Bai Hui, near your gelding’s injury, feel for sore or congested areas near the injured area. Not on the injury but around it. When you find a congested or tender point do acupressure on it. Don’t worry about identifying the point. It may or may not be a point that’s shown on the charts. If the area is tender, it needs attention.

The name Ashi Point is often used to describe a painful area where qi is obstructed. This could be a known acupressure point or any other area of the body. Acupressure on ashi points helps to move the qi and relieve pain.

End the Session or Add Two More Points
End the acupressure session after working on the points listed above plus one or two local points. Since you have my chart book, Acupressure Point Charts for Horses, An Illustrated Guide to 128 Point Locations and Uses here are two more points to weave into your program

Gall Bladder 34 (GB 34)
As I wrote earlier, Gall Bladder 34 (GB 34) is the influential point for tendons and ligaments. Your gelding responded nicely to acupressure on this point so it is definitely one I would use again.

Liver 8 (LIV 8)
Two of the acupressure goals for your gelding are to support the smooth movement of Liver energy and the blood. Liver 8 (LIV 8) regulates and tonifies (strengthens) the Liver. It also regulates and tonifies the blood. Acupressure on this point helps soften tight tendons and ligaments and relieve muscle spasms. Link of GB 34 and LIV 8
Liver 8 is useful in this situation by itself or in a link with Gall Bladder 34. You’ll find the points at just the right height on the hind leg to link together. Gall Bladder 34 is on the outside of the hind leg and Liver 8 is on the inside of the hind leg.

Monica Goold from France:
Heartfelt thanks for this wonderful course. Can you recommend the correct sequence of acupressure points to help horses with Cushing’s Disease, PPID?

Diana’s Reply:
Hi Monica, I’m glad you’re enjoying the course!  Thank you for this question.
Equine Cushing’s Disease, known as PPID (Pituitary Pars Intermedia Dysfunction), is a complex health-threatening medical condition in horses. If a horse in your care has this issue, be sure to follow your veterinarian’s advice for medication, diet, and other care.

Because of the complexity of Cushing’s/PPID, there are several sequences of acupressure points that may be helpful for horses with this issue. The acupressure points, herbs, and other methods used in TCM to support horses with these symptoms will vary depending on each horse’s constitutional type and other factors. In the following text I hope to provide some context for how the approaches are chosen and give you some leads to follow in your search for more information on this topic.

In order to answer this question – what is the correct sequence of acupressure points to use to help the horse with Cushing’s — let’s review how the correct flow of qi created by acupressure helps the horse. This will help you understand how TCM views disease and give you an idea of how to use acupressure in this situation and others.

On page 13 of the book Acupressure Methods for Horses, it states:
According to TCM principles, the correct movement of qi in the body creates good physical and emotional health by relaxing the muscles, moving the fluids, and keeping the internal functions operating smoothly. This optimum state of health is called the correct flow of qi or the correct qi. Acupressure brings about positive changes in the horse because it supports the correct flow of qi.

In contrast, an incorrect flow of qi in the body leads to poor physical or emotional health. This state is called an incorrect flow of qi, a pattern of disharmony, or just a pattern. Incorrect flows of qi leave the horse vulnerable to illness, injury, and emotional upset.

The horse’s nutrition, exercise, training, and living situation influence the flow of qi in his body. These factors support the correct flow of qi or cause an incorrect flow. Practitioner Sean Fannin says: “In summary, if we have the right or correct movement of qi within the body then everything is going to function properly.”

Pattern Assessment
In TCM, physical illness and emotional unrest are caused by one or more incorrect flows of qi in the body. In order to help a specific horse, the practitioner studies the horse and determines what flow or flows of incorrect qi are likely to be contributing to that particular horse’s problems. Then, the practitioner chooses specific acupressure points and other methods that have the ability to clear the incorrect flow of qi in the body and strengthen the correct flow of qi. This process is called pattern assessment. Horses with chronic disease, such as Cushing’s/PPID are often complex in their patterns of disharmony.

In Part Four of my book Acupressure Methods for Horses (pages 81-103), I discuss combining points to support horse health and address specific problems. This text gives the student a beginning look at determining patterns of disharmony and selecting points. I will be delving into this topic in more detail in the Online Course.

Advice from Dr. Joyce Harman
To get started on learning how to use acupressure to help the horse who has received the Western medicine diagnosis of Cushings/PPID, I suggest you read an article written by Veterinarian Dr. Joyce Harman titled An Ancient Medicine Prospective of IR and Cushing’s Issues of the Horse. The article is posted on Dr. Harman’s website. Here is the link: An Ancient Medicine Prospective of IR and Cushing’s Disease.

In her article, under the subhead Chinese Approach to Identifying Equine Metabolic Syndrome, Dr. Harman describes three distinct patterns of disharmony experienced by horses who exhibit the symptoms attributed to Cushing’s/PPID.
She includes the TCM pattern of Phlegm Damp (a Spleen imbalance), Liver Yin deficiency (a Liver imbalance brought on by Liver qi stagnation), and Kidney Yang deficiency (a Kidney imbalance brought on by an underlying Kidney Yin deficiency). In her descriptions, Dr. Harman lists symptoms and personality types of the horses most often experiencing these issues.

At the end of this response, I’ve listed acupressure points in the Online Course that may be helpful for addressing each one of the three patterns of disharmony. I’ve also listed a couple additional points.

Read through Dr. Harman’s descriptions of the patterns. If one of the patterns matches the issues experienced by your horse, give acupressure on the points listed for that organ system a try. In this type of situation (serious chronic disease), it’s always best to have an experienced practitioner do a thorough assessment of the individual horse and make specific point recommendations.

In order for acupressure to help a horse with chronic illness, it must be carried out several times a week over a period of time. If the points are incorrect choices for the horse’s situation there won’t be any influence – positive or negative. For more information on using acupressure and other aspects of TCM to help the horse with PPID/Cushing’s disease, contact Dr. Harman or another veterinarian who is trained in TCM.

Dr. Harman writes in the conclusion to her article:
“Treat each horse as an individual and seek quality practitioners to help you. Try to recognize the signs as early as possible. When you see horses start to exhibit any of the clinical signs, treatment can be more successful. Enjoy the challenge.”

Points to Try
In general, the points in the Online course that may help address TCM Spleen and digestive imbalances are: Stomach 36 (ST 36), Conception Vessel 8 (CV 8), and Pericardium 6 (PC 6).
In addition, Stomach 25 (ST 25), Stomach 40 (ST 40), and Spleen 3 (SP 3) may be helpful for these issues. Stomach 25 is located approximately 1 ½ to 2 inches out from (lateral to) the umbilicus of the horse. Conception Vessel 8 (in the Online Course) is located directly on the umbilicus.

In general, the points in the Online course that may help address TCM Liver qi and Liver yin issues are: Gall Bladder 21 (GB 21), Pericardium 6 (PC 6), Bladder 17 (BL 17), Bladder 18 (BL 18), Bladder 19 (BL 19), and Bladder 47 (BL 47).
In addition, Spleen 6 (SP 6) may be helpful for addressing Liver Yin Deficiency.

In general, the points in the Online course that may help address TCM Kidney Yin and Kidney Yang issues and support the core Essence energy of the horse are: Kidney 3 (KI 3), Governing Vessel 4 (GV 4), Bladder 23 (BL 23), Bladder 52 (BL 52), and Stomach 36 (ST 36).
In addition, Spleen 6 (SP 6) may be helpful for horses with Kidney yin deficiency.   
Note: Most horses who are 15 years old or older, or those who have experienced intense physical and emotional stress, benefit from points that support the Kidney energy and essence.

Gall Bladder 21 (GB21) Questions

Sue Platts from Derbyshire, United Kingdom:
Why are the Gall Bladder meridians and qi points called Gall Bladder when a horse does not have a Gall Bladder?

Diana’s Reply:
Hi Sue. Excellent question. As you mentioned, the horse does not have an actual physical Gall Bladder (as humans do). Since the names, locations, and functions of the 12 organ channels and points were often transposed directly from the human body and energy system to the horse and other animals, I would guess that’s why the term Gall Bladder is used. The Chinese name for the Gall Bladder Channel using the six-channel system of organization is Foot Shao Yang, which speaks more to the quality of energy and its functions than a physical organ.     

Here’s what I can tell you about the Gall Bladder energy system in the horse. The Gall Bladder (GB) channels of energy (also called meridians) and Gall Bladder acupressure points are strong energetic influences. They help maintain a number of important physical functions within the body in spite of not being named for an actual physical organ. Gall Bladder energy also contributes on the emotional and mental levels. It helps the horse have the judgment, confidence, and courage to make good decisions.

There are 12 organ channels of qi in the body, including the Gall Bladder channel. Six organ channels are yin in the nature of their functions and six are yang in nature of their functions.
The 12 channels are organized in two different ways. The channels and acupressure points remain the same in both systems.

The 12-channel system organizes the 12 organ channels into six pairs. Each pair includes a yin organ system and a yang organ system. The six-channel system organizes the same 12 organ channels into six single channels. Each channel is a combination of two yin organ channels or two yang organ channels.

The Partnership of the Gall Bladder and Liver in the 12-Channel System
The Liver channel (yin energy) and the Gall Bladder channel (yang energy) are paired together in the 12-channel system. Once the qi, blood, and nutrients are created, the energy of the Liver and Gall Bladder channels keeps them flowing smoothly around the body.As part of this function, the Liver-Gall Bladder partnership strongly supports the health of the muscles, tendons, and ligaments.

For more information on this benefit of the TCM Gall Bladder and Liver partnership see the item called Case Report: Acupressure Points for Muscles, Tendons, and Ligaments that’s postedin the Q & A section of the Online Course. A student asked about acupressure points that might help reduce tension in the tendons and ligaments of her injured gelding. I wrote a lengthy reply on the TCM theory and acupressure points related to this topic. I discussed the specific acupressure points in the Online Course that activate Gall Bladder and Liver energy that are valuable for supporting horses in the following situations:
1)The initial, acute phase of an injury, where pain, swelling, and tightness may be present.
2) The horse who exhibits physical tightness and emotional tension found in the pattern of qi stagnation.
3) A wellness program for hard-working horses or those prone to injury.

The Gall Bladder and Triple Heater Channels Form the Shao Yang Channel in the Six-Channel System
In the six-channel system, the Gall Bladder channel (yang energy) and the Triple Heater channel (yang energy) make up the Shao Yang Channel. The Gall Bladder channel is called the foot Shao Yang and the Triple Heater is called the Hand Shao Yang. Like the Gall Bladder channels and acupressure points, the Triple Heater Channels of energy and acupressure points are only energetic influences. There is no physical organ called the Triple Heater in the horse or the human.

One strong function of the Shao Yang Channel is the support of the horse’s immune system. In TCM, points on the Gall Bladder and Triple Heater channels are known for their ability to strengthen the wei qi layer of energy at the surface of the horse’s body. When it is operating properly, the wei qi, also known as the defensive qi, keeps out anything that would be harmful to the body and keeps in anything that should remain in the body.
The wei qi layer of energy helps the horse resist what are called external factors. This protects the horse from colds, flu, and other respiratory infections. In addition, the wei qi layer can also help the horse expel the pathogen if it does invade the body and cause illness. Acupressure points on the Gall Bladder (such as Gall Bladder 20 and Gall Bladder 21) and Triple Heater channels (Triple Heater 5) support the function of the wei qi in getting rid of a pathogen, such as a virus or bacteria, once it’s entered the body and caused a cold, flu, fevers, or chills.

Catherine Harvey from New Zealand:
Hi Diana,
I have just watched the first video and have several questions:
How often should we use the Gall bladder Qi for optimal effect?
Is it important to have the right hand in the exact position shown in the photo?

Diana’s Reply:
Hi Catherine,
Good questions! How often should you apply acupressure to Gall Bladder 21 for optimal effect? That depends on many factors including the horse’s overall health and any stress he is experiencing due to the weather, work demands, and living environment. Gall Bladder 21 supports the correct flow of qi. This is a primary goal of acupressure so the point can be used daily as long as your horse enjoys it. In a situation where the horse is very tense due to pain, traveling to a show, etc, you could carry out acupressure on the point more than once a day. Generally speaking though, one or more times a week is quite helpful to supporting overall health.

In regard to the photo of Max in the Lesson One Video. Is it important to have my right hand in the exact position shown in the photo? No. It does not have to be in that location. The right hand in the photo, which is up near the top of Max’s shoulder, is my safety hand – it was not touching Gall Bladder 21. Notice in that photo, I was not holding Max’s lead rope.

When you work on Gall Bladder 21, located at the base of the horse’s neck and shoulder, you will have the fingers of one hand on the point and your other hand needs to be placed in a comfortable place as a safety hand. Where the other hand (your safety hand) is placed depends on if you are holding the lead rope, how tall you are versus how tall the horse is, etc

For more information on the placement of your body and hands while you carry out acupressure, and safety issues, see the video for Lesson Three: The Three Regulations. For a full video on how to find and work on Gall Bladder 21 (GB 21) see Video 1 in the 10 Point-Finding and Acupressure Video Section.

Most of the time when I do acupressure on Gall Bladder 21, I’m holding the horse’s lead rope. Here are two photos that show two positions for your hands. As you can see I am standing on the horse’s left side, but my hand positions are quite different.


The first photo shows me working with Wendzer, a warmblood gelding. The fingers of my left hand are touching GB 21. My right hand is my safety hand. I’ve rested it on Wendzer’s body with my fingers on the lead rope, which is draped over his back.


The second photo was taken the day my gelding Handsome arrived at my farm for the first time – almost two years ago. Handsome has just unloaded from the trailer and is standing in the barn driveway. He is staring at horses and people in the riding arena. I’m holding his lead rope with my left hand and I’ve put the fingers of my right hand on Gall Bladder 21 to help him settle. This is a good position to try in a situation like this where the horse is likely to be walking around.

Catherine Harvey from New Zealand:
Hi Diana,
I have started practicing using the GB 21 point on two of my horses, Summer and Jupiter.

With Summer I did notice the lip quiver, some chewing and eyes very slightly closed. She did turn her head to me regularly and look around at times. What I am not sure about is that her breathing became very noticeable through her whole body, her nostrils were flared during this breathing and it did seem to speed up a bit, is there a reason for this happening? I did briefly feel a pulsing feeling.

Diana’s Reply:
Hi Catherine,
Thank you for sending me this report. In response to GB 21, Summer showed you the deep relaxation signs of lip quivering, chewing, and slight closing of her eyes. This means your acupressure method activated the movement of qi in Summer’s body. Another wonderful thing is that you were able to sense a pulsing feeling in your fingers. Good work!

During the session you also noticed a change in the quality and rate of Summer’s breathing. I really like your description of what took place. You said her breathing became very noticeable throughout her whole body, her nostrils were flared, and her breathing did seem to speed up a bit.

From the TCM point of view, the increased activity of Summer’s respiratory system, which included faster, deeper breathing and wider expansion of her rib cage, was caused by acupressure on GB 21 stimulating the flow of qi to her chest and rib cage. When you first experience this response to acupressure, it can be worrisome. After all, in most situations, horses who are relaxed and standing still have slow respiratory rates with relatively shallow breathing.

Each point moves the qi in a unique way. Gall Bladder 21 is known for its ability to relieve qi stagnation. This incorrect flow of qi is described on pages 94-97 in the book Acupressure Methods for Horses. A key word for qi stagnation is tension, whether it is physical tightness, emotional tension, or both.

Because GB 21 relieves qi stagnation, it helps relax tight and/or painful muscles, tendons, and ligaments in the upper body, which includes the horse’s neck, shoulders, front legs, upper back, chest, and rib cage. Acupressure on GB 21, along with CV 17 and PC 6, helps improve breathing that may be tense or shallow due to emotional tension or the physical tightness in the chest and rib cage. Another point that would help with tension in the chest area and support the respiratory system is Lung 1 (LU 1), one of the points in Part Two of the Online Course.

In Summer, acupressure on GB 21 brought on the relaxation signs you described earlier plus the increase in her respiratory rate and the expansion of the rib cage. These responses tell me your hands-on technique and this particular point – Gall Bladder 21 – were just what Summer needed. In a different horse, the activation of qi at GB 21 may have relieved tension in the neck and shoulder muscles so the horse lowered his head and neck down towards the ground.

The first time I saw a horse start breathing deeply and somewhat rapidly while standing still during an acupressure session, I was concerned. The horse, however, was quite calm as the process unfolded and seemed to receive a positive benefit from the experience. In a short period of time, the rate of the horse’s breathing and effort returned to a calmer state.

Catherine Harvey from New Zealand:
During our acupressure session on Gall Bladder 21, my horse Jupiter continually looked around, chewed, and did sigh once. He also kept turning and pushing my arm or putting his head over my arm that was touching the point; he did this on both sides. I did not feel any sensation during the session. I am not sure if he was telling me to stop even though he was calm and I saw some changes or was just working out what was going on. He has had a lot of massage over the last five years by me and always enjoys it to the point of putting me where he wants me to massage. I look forward to hearing your thoughts on this session.

Diana’s Reply:
Jupiter had what I call a mixed response to acupressure on GB 21. Acupressure is quite different from anything he has felt before. It may take time and experimenting around with the points to help him understand and feel safe with the different input.

As you pointed out, Jupiter was calm and showed some signs of relaxing during the session. He also tried to move your hand away from the point. If Jupiter had truly wanted you to stop, he would have moved his body away from your touch or pushed your arm with enough force to actually move your hand away from the point. The fact that Jupiter did neither of these things tells me he found the acupressure at least somewhat relaxing and interesting. It seems like he was wondering why you weren’t doing a massage and he wanted you to get on with the usual type of session.

Since Jupiter is used to massage, and he’s used to moving you around to where he wants massage performed, it may take a few acupressure sessions for him to completely relax and let go. As I explain on page 23 of Acupressure Methods for Horses some horses easily relax with acupressure while others have a harder time accepting it. During your next couple sessions, pick a time of day when Jupiter is most likely to be relaxed. Make sure Jupiter has had some exercise and food before you start the acupressure session so he is likely to be content with standing still.

Another thing I would do is choose a point farther away from Jupiter’s head. Gall Bladder 21 is located at the base of the neck and shoulder. During your work on the point, Jupiter used his head to push on your arm. If you work on points that are out of reach of his head, it takes that option away from him. I try this strategy with horses who want to chew on my coat or pants, nip, or threaten to bite while I work on them.
For instance, it would be interesting to see what Jupiter thought about Bladder 17, 18, 19, 47, GV 4, Bladder 23, Bladder 52, or Bai Hui.

Also, once you find an acupressure point or points that really meet his needs, Jupiter will most likely relax into a deeper state of relaxation and stop pushing at you. I talk about this idea on page 71 of Acupressure Methods for Horses: “Each point moves the qi in a unique way. Acupressure is most effective when the actions of the points match what the horse needs at that moment. Thus, depending on your horse’s age, work, and overall health, as well as the season and the weather, he may allow and need the actions of one, two, or three of the points more than the others.”

When you find a point where Jupiter does go into a relaxed quiet state, I recommend you stay on that point for 3 to 5 minutes (as long as he accepts it). The longer Jupiter stays in the deeper state of relaxation, the easier it will be for him to allow this to happen during future sessions. Depending on where the point is located, you might want to use it as the first point in a session for a while so Jupiter develops a pattern of relaxing with acupressure.

Patti Binner from Wisconsin: I seem to be struggling with working on Gall Bladder 21 (GB 21). I’m not getting the same response you do with horses on that point. I tried it on the mare I told you about who was having difficulty being confined to a stall. I’ve also tried it on my own horse, and 3 other horses at massage appointments. The other points I feel are going well but I’m feeling a road block with GB21. I am doing the breathing and calming of myself but it has not made a difference. Any recommendations? 

Diana’s Reply:
Hi Patti,

I want to help you with your struggles with acupressure on GB 21. It’s a really important point to use and feel confident about. Acupressure on GB 21 usually relaxes the horse. The point is particularly helpful for the horse who’s experiencing tight muscles, tendons, and ligaments. And, it’s a go-to point for supporting the health of the shoulder, neck, and front legs.

Here are some ideas. Do acupressure on one or two other points first to get the qi moving and help the horse relax. Then try acupressure on GB 21. For example, after applying acupressure to PC 6, move to GB 21. PC 6 and GB 21 have some shared functions. This sequence of points might help the horse receive the benefits of GB 21.  

Instead of moving right into the quiet, fingers-still position of acupressure, try working with the point first with a moving technique. Pet the region of GB 21 very lightly, using short, light sliding strokes of your finger pads in the direction of the hair. Slide down the crease where the neck meets the shoulder so you are smoothing along with the hair, don’t slide up the crease and ruffle the hair.

When you watch the GB 21 point-finding video in the Part One materials you’ll see me use this stroking motion several different times during the acupressure session. I use it when I start feeling for the point’s location at the beginning of working on the point. I also stroke or lightly pet the area of the point in between periods of holding my fingers still while I apply acupressure. I also use this gentle stroking process when I’m ending my work on the point.

Some horses like this gentle slow-moving touch and it helps soften the area of the point so you can find the exact location. Once you find the point and the horse is comfortable, stop moving your fingers and leave your fingers quietly on the point for even a short while before returning to some gentle stroking.

Another thing to do is review the point-finding video for GB 21 in the Part One videos of the Online Course. Watch how I use my fingers to find and work on the point. The point is in a hollow just above the column of the cervical vertebrae in the crease where the neck meets the shoulder. Be sure to find this crease by stroking your hand down the horse’s neck.  

If you’d like to e-mail me some photos of your fingers on the point or a short video of you finding and working on the point I might be able to give you additional ideas.

HOOF TRIMMING: ACUPRESSURE AND GROUND WORK HELP HORSES RELAX

In my previous Q & A, I responded to comments from Annette Popovich, a hoof trimmer in California. Annette reported that she’s successfully using acupressure to relax horses for their hoof trimming sessions. She asked for suggestions of additional points she could use to help relieve muscle tension and joint stiffness in the horses so they could stand more comfortably for hoof trimming.

For horses who have difficulty — as Annette describes it — “relaxing, balancing, stretching, etc. while being trimmed,” it’s important to use acupressure and other methods to help them relax and to relieve sore or tight areas of their bodies.

For successful hoof care, however, there’s another issue with horses that needs to be addressed. I call it diagonal balance or diagonal coordination.  When a horse lifts one of his hooves up off the ground he has to shift his weight onto the other three legs. The best way for the horse to organize himself in a secure 3-legged position is to move his legs using diagonal pairs. If your horse struggles when you pick up and hold a hoof for care, it often means he’s not using this coordination. 

What are Diagonal Pairs?
Humans and horses have four limbs that can be organized into two diagonal pairs. In my body, my right leg and left arm make up one diagonal pair of limbs while my left leg and right arm make up the other pair. In a horse, the left front leg and right hind leg make up one diagonal pair of limbs while the right front leg and left hind leg make up the other pair.

Here’s a very important thing to know about movement in horses. They need to coordinate the diagonal pairs of their legs to successfully carry out many activities including: cantering properly on both leads, extending the trot in clean powerful strides, backing up easily and fluidly, and standing in a relaxed manner for hoof care.

For instance, when I ask my gelding Handsome to pick up his left front hoof for cleaning or range of motion exercises, he needs to move his right hind leg and hoof (the diagonal pair) out to the side or back a bit then transfer some of his weight backwards to lighten the left front leg and hoof. This creates a solid three-legged position for Handsome to stand in and relax.

The opposite is also true: when I ask Handsome to pick up his right hind hoof, he needs to move his left front leg and hoof out to the side or forward, then transfer weight off of the right hind so it’s easy for him to pick it up and stand on three legs. In other words, no matter what hoof you want to pick up, your horse needs to shift his diagonal leg in order to lend support and free up the limb you’re holding.

I learned the important of diagonal coordination in horses approximately 35 years ago while studying with Linda Tellington-Jones, founder of the TTouch Method. I consider it one of the most important horse movement principles I’ve ever learned. Whether I’m using acupressure, massage, or training methods to in my horse care routine, how the horse uses or don’t use diagonal coordination gives me important information about their physical health and balancing ability.

Printable PDF Article
Years ago I wrote an article to help horse owners understand the topic of diagonal coordination. It’s called The Basics of Balance, Improve Coordination – Teach Your Horse to Use Diagonal Legs. This concept can be hard to grasp without visual aids so I included 20 photos in the article to help you understand the leg positions involved in diagonal balance. The article also includes easy-to-use ground exercises I learned from Tellington-Jones that help your horse improve this coordination.

Click Here to Read, Download, and Print My Article on Diagonal Balance.
Note: 
This article is posted in the Bonus Materials Section of the Online Course.

If you apply the exercises in the article with your horse for 5 to 10 minutes a day for several days (until he learns them), and put diagonal balancing into practice every time you pick up his feet, you’ll see improvement. The process eases the struggle of picking up the feet for hoof care and it helps the horse use his body more symmetrically. I’ve seen it many times: when a horse’s diagonal coordination improves, he not only relaxes while standing on three legs for hoof care, he often experiences an improvement in gait quality and the overall health of his muscles and joints. 

Note: If your horse is not able to adopt these diagonal postures after some practice, I recommend you contact your veterinarian to rule out any serious injury or neurological trouble.

Annette Popovich from Palmdale, California:
Hi Diana,
Thank you for this course! I deeply appreciate your work and so do the horses I come in contact with. I am a hoof trimmer, certified in 2005. So many horses have a difficult time relaxing, balancing, stretching, etc. while being trimmed. It’s especially hard on the senior horses. So, I started my equine bodywork journey in 2010. I’m always looking for some way to help horses cope with my trimming visits.

I use acupressure to relax the horse and help them release tension. I find acupressure also lets the horse know that I’m here to help them and I’m aware of their body issues. The breathing I follow during the acupressure session also helps me to be grounded while trimming.

I start by offering my hand to the horse to sniff during our first contact and then I usually begin with acupressure on the Ying Tang and Governing Vessel 24 (GV 24) combination on the horse’s head. Most of the time, these points will relax the horse before I start trimming their hooves.

I sometimes show the horse handler/owner the points on the horse’s head – Governing Vessel 26 (GV 26), Yin Tang, GV 24, and Governing Vessel 20 (GV 20) — to hold/experiment with while I’m working. I’m dealing with a time constraint while trimming the horse’s hooves, but I’ve found the points I’ve been using work fairly quickly. I understand acupressure and time constraints do not go well together, but it’s better than not doing anything at all.

To help horses who have front end issues I will hold Gall Bladder 21 (GB 21), which is located at the base of the neck where it meets the shoulder. While trimming the hindquarters I will try acupressure on Governing Vessel 4 (GV 4) and Bladder 40 (BL 40).

Here is my question: Are there acupressure points that would be more effective for horses having a difficult time holding their legs up or having their legs maneuvered into the positions needed for trimming? Thank you!

Diana’s Reply:
Hi Annette, Nice to hear from you. I’m glad acupressure is helping you calm the horses and keep them comfortable during hoof trimming. I’m pleased you brought up this topic. It’s so important that horses receive good hoof care throughout their lives. One way to make sure this happens is to teach the horse how to relax for the hoof trimmer or farrier and find solid three-legged balance. 

In this reply I’ll discuss your acupressure point choices (ALL GOOD!) and suggest some additional points. I’ll explain the TCM functions of the points to help you understand why they might help with hoof trimming and a number of other issues.

Note: Because of the time limits of a hoof trimming session, I’m not suggesting you use all of these points during your appointments. It’s nice to have a number of points to choose from, however, so you can find at least one or two points that work for you and each horse. Sometimes the horse accepts acupressure in one area of his body and dislikes touch in another area. And, if the horse is tall, you may need to stand on a mounting block or stool to reach GV 4, BL 23, and/or Bai Hui. This position is only safe if the horse is comfortable with you in this location – up on a block next to his ribs or hindquarters — and the environment is quiet.

In my next Q & A post, I discuss a related topic: how to help horses balance on three legs so they’re comfortable with you holding the fourth leg up for hoof trimming, stretching, and range of motion exercises. My discussion includes a printable pdf article (with lots of photos!) to show you how to help horses find a secure three-legged posture.

First: Calm the Spirit and Communicate Kindness

I really like your choice of applying acupressure to the link of Yin Tang and Governing Vessel 24 (GV 24) on the horse’s head at the beginning of your hoof trimming session. The acupressure method called linking is explained in Video Lesson Seven: The Linking Method of Acupressure, in Part Two of the Online Course. I demonstrate the hands-on position for the link of Yin Tang and GV 24 in a point-finding video in Part Two.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), both Yin Tang and GV 24 calm the Heart and settle the shen. These functions give the points a strong calming influence. Acupressure on the points, whether you touch them one at a time or together in a link, quiets the horse’s mind, relaxes his body, and, as you pointed out, helps you communicate your kind intentions.

Showing the horse’s owner/handler how to find and touch points on the horse’s head is also a wonderful idea. Your point choices of Governing Vessel 26 (GV 26), Yin Tang, GV 24, and Governing Vessel 20 (GV 20) are good ones. This instruction gives the owner/handler a gentle way to calm the horse while they hold him for hoof trimming. It also gives them a way to support the horse during other stressful situations, such as veterinary exams or before trailer loading.

Second: Address Stiffness or Pain in the Neck, Shoulders, and Front Legs
Recommended Points: 
Gall Bladder 21 (GB 21), Governing Vessel 14 (GV 14), Pericardium 6 (PC 6), Lung 1 (LU 1), and Conception Vessel 17 (CV 17)

In addition to using acupressure to relax the horse and build trust, your strategy of using specific points to help the horse with stiff or painful areas of his body is a wise one. For instance, your decision to touch Gall Bladder 21 (GB 21) to help horses with shoulder and front leg problems is just right. This point would be my first choice as well.

All acupressure points create a local effect, which is the ability to support the health of the structures in the area of the body where the point is located. GB 21 is located at the base of the neck where it meets the shoulder. Acupressure on GB 21 increases the flow of qi to this area, which increases circulation and relaxes tight and/or painful muscles, tendons, and ligaments in the neck, shoulders, front legs, and upper back. This is called the local effect of GB 21.

In addition, the primary TCM function of GB 21 is to support the TCM Liver in stimulating the correct flow of qi in the horse. This means acupressure on the point has the ability to relieve tight muscles and emotional tension in the upper body (neck, shoulders, front, legs, upper back, chest, and rib cage) caused by the imbalance known as qi stagnation.

If acupressure on GB 21 by itself doesn’t help the horse relax as much as you need him to, here are a few other ideas. The goal of these points is to relax the horse for the trimming session and to provide specific help for stiffness in the front legs and shoulders.

Gall Bladder 21 (GB 21) and Governing Vessel 14 (GV 14)

Start with acupressure on GB 21 by itself for one to two minutes, then add a link to Governing Vessel 14 (GV 14) to see if touching the two points in combination will create additional relaxation of the horse’s neck, shoulders, and withers.

Pericardium 6 (PC 6)
PC 6 is another point to try for relaxing the horse and helping with front end problems. As with GV 24, Yin Tang, GV 20, and GV 26, PC 6 calms the Heart and settles the Shen so it’s an excellent point to use to quiet the horse’s mind and ease anxiety and fear.
          PC 6 is also a master point for the chest, arm pit, and upper abdomen, and like GB 21 a strong point for relieving qi stagnation, so acupressure on the point helps physically relax the chest, front legs, and rib cage. This leads to improved range of motion of the front legs, which should help your hoof trimming efforts. In addition, the Pericardium channel runs from the side of the chest wall (behind the elbow) through the armpit and down the inside of the horse’s front leg so acupressure on PC 6 brings energy and awareness to the front leg.

Lung 1 (LU 1) and Conception Vessel 17 (CV 17)
Another choice for helping relieve tightness of the chest and front legs is the acupressure link of Lung 1 (LU 1) and Conception Vessel 17 (CV 17). This point combination stimulates deep breathing, which relaxes the horse. It also relieves physical tension in the muscles of the chest and rib cage where the front legs join the body. I show you how to link these two points in a video in Part Two of the Online Course.

Third: Address Stiffness or Pain in the Low Back, Hips, and Hind Legs
Recommended Points: 
Governing Vessel 4 (GV 4), Bladder 40 (BL 40), Bladder 23 (BL 23), Bladder 52 (BL 52), Kidney 3 (KI 3), Stomach 36 (ST 36), and Bai Hui.

You said you applied acupressure to Governing Vessel 4 (GV 4) and Bladder 40 (BL 40) to help the horses relax their low back and hindquarters so they’re comfortable when you trim the hind hooves. These are excellent point choices for relaxing and strengthening this area of the body. In the next few paragraphs I’ll discuss the TCM functions that make these two points so valuable for helping horses during hoof trimming and give you suggestions for additional points.

The Kidney Energy Influences the Health of the Lower Body
According to TCM theory, strong Kidney energy creates health of the internal organs and physical structures located in the horse’s lower body. This includes the physical kidneys, the bladder, and the reproductive organs, as well as the bones and joints of the low back, hindquarters, hip joints, stifles, hocks, and hind legs.
          This means acupressure on points that strengthen Kidney energy can help ease horses who have joint stiffness and arthritis, pain, or weakness of the low back, hindquarters, and hind legs. These individuals often have trouble standing comfortably for the hoof trimmer or farrier.

Kidney Energy Supports Older Horses

You said many horses have a difficult time relaxing, balancing, stretching, etc. while being trimmed — especially the senior horses. Acupressure on points that support the correct flow of Kidney energy is particularly helpful for horses who are showing signs of aging, such as joint stiffness and discomfort and weakness of the lower back and hind legs, no matter what their chronological age.

Governing Vessel 4 (GV 4)
One of the points you picked to help horses with hind end issues is Governing Vessel 4 (GV 4). This is a very good choice. GV 4 is a strong point for strengthening Kidney energy, which addresses issues of the lower body including stiffness, pain, and arthritis of the low back, hindquarters, hip joints, stifles, hocks, and other joints. GV 4 is also one of the primary points for supporting and strengthening older horses. To read about the many uses of GV 4, see pages 48-51 and page 77 in the book Acupressure Methods for Horses  

There are a number of acupressure points in the Online Course that strengthen Kidney energy and support the strength and comfort of the horse’s low back, hip joints, stifles (knees), and hocks (ankles). These points include: Governing Vessel 4 (GV 4) on the lower back, Bladder 23 (BL 23) and Bladder 52 (BL 52), which are located near GV 4 on the lower back, Kidney 3 (KI 3) on the inside of the hock, and Stomach 36 (ST 36), just below the stifle.

Bladder 23 (BL 23) and/or Bladder 52 (BL 52)
If a horse relaxes with acupressure on GV 4, I recommend you build the point’s influence by adding links to Bladder 23 (BL 23) and/or Bladder 52 (BL 52). These links are easy to apply as GV 4, BL 23, and BL 52 are right next to each other in a line that crosses the lower back known as the Kidney Belt. I show you the locations of these points and how to apply acupressure to them in a video in Part Two of the Online Course.

BL 23 is the association or shu point for the Kidney. Acupressure on this point is a powerful, yet gentle way to support the organ of the Kidney and the energetic functions of the TCM Kidney, including strengthening the low back and the joints of the hind legs. In addition, BL 23 is said to have a cortisone-like pain-relieving effect.
          In Chapter 31 of the veterinary textbook Veterinary Acupuncture, Ancient Art to Modern Medicine, equine veterinarian Dr. Peggy Fleming writes that Bladder 23 (BL 23) “strengthens the caudal back and knees.” Note: In horses, the knees are called the stifle joints.

BL 52 is the point on the outer Bladder Channel of energy associated with the Kidney. Acupressure on this point supports all of the Kidney energy functions listed above. It also helps with the emotional aspects associated with the TCM Kidney: the horse’s will to live and the emotion of fear.

Kidney 3 (KI 3) and Stomach 36 (ST 36)
Kidney 3
 is the source point for the Kidney. This means it’s one of the strongest points for supporting Kidney energy and the lower body. In addition, since KI 3 is located on the hock, acupressure on the point improves the direct flow of qi, blood, and fluids to the hocks (the local effect of the point).
          Stomach 36 strengthens the qi of the whole body. This influence strengthens the function of every system, including the TCM Kidney and its role in creating health of the lower back, hips and hind legs. In particular, acupressure on ST 36 builds Kidney qi and Kidney essence, which strengthens all horses. ST 36 is located just below the stifle joints so acupressure on the point directly improves the flow of qi, blood, and fluids to the stifles (the local effect of the point).
          Note: I show you how to find KI 3 and ST 36 and how to link them in videos in Part Two of the Online Course.

Bai Hui (By-Way)

I would also recommend you experiment with acupressure on Bai Hui, which is located up on the top of the horse’s pelvis. Veterinarians often use Bai Hui to relieve both acute and chronic musculoskeletal problems in the horse’s hindquarters. Acupressure on this point can also be very calming. I show you how to find Bai Hui in a point-finding video in Part Two of the Online Course.

The late Dr. Kerry Ridgway, an equine veterinarian who used acupuncture and chiropractic care in his treatment of horses, said he often placed the first needle of an acupuncture treatment into Bai Hui because it stimulated a strong endorphin release. This chemical response causes the horse to relax and brings him natural pain relief. I’ve seen other veterinarians use this approach as well.

Link Bai Hui with GV 4
Applying acupressure to Bai Hui and Governing Vessel 4 (GV 4) in a link is a powerful way to support the strength of a horse’s low back and hindquarters.
 I show you how to apply acupressure to this link in a video in Part Two of the Online Course. It’s easy to apply because the two points are quite close to each other.  

Link Bai Hui with Bladder 40 (BL 40)
Since you know how to find BL 40 on the hind leg, try linking it with Bai Hui. This link often helps horses with weakness of the hindquarters as well as those with tight hind leg muscles. I used acupressure on the link of Bai Hui and BL 40 link to relieve contracted hind leg muscles in a quarter horse gelding who had suffered multiple incidents of “tying up”, also known as azoturia or equine exertional rhabdomyolysis.
          In TCM, Bladder 40 (BL 40) is the master point for the lower back, which means acupressure on the point can help relieve pain and stiffness of the lumbar, sacral, and coccygeal areas of the spine and back. Acupuncturist Arne Lade writes the following about Bladder 40 in his textbook Acupuncture Points Images and Functions: “Strengthens the lower back, benefits the hips, strengthens the knees, and relaxes the sinews.” Note: The word sinews refers to the tendons and ligaments.
          Note: Bladder 40 (BL 40) is not one of the points in the Online Course. You can find charts and photos showing you how to find this point in my 272-page chart book Acupressure Point Charts for Horses, An Illustrated guide to 128 Point Locations and Uses, which is one of the books listed in the Resources Section for the Online Course.

Diagonal Coordination is Key to Relaxed 3-Legged Balance
One last recommendation: In order to make sure a horse is comfortable and relaxed while standing on three legs, he needs organize himself using what is called diagonal coordination or diagonal balance. In my next Q & A post, I discuss how to help horses balance on three legs so they’re comfortable with you holding the fourth leg for hoof trimming, stretching, and range of motion exercises. My discussion includes a printable pdf article (with lots of photos!) to show you how to help horses find a secure three-legged posture.

GOVERNING VESSEL 4 (GV 4) LOCATION

Janice Kennedy from Norwalk, Iowa:
I would like to know more about finding Governing Vessel 4 (GV 4). Is there any way you could show where this is with a picture of a horse’s skeletal structure?

Diana’s reply:
Yes. Good Idea. I’m glad you’re taking the time to understand where GV 4 is located. It’s one of the most strengthening points in the acupressure system.

Click here to view, download, and print pages 251-252 from my 272-page chart book Acupressure Point Charts for Horse, An Illustrated Guide to 128 Point Locations and Uses. This two-page Bonus PDF includes two illustrations of the horse’s skeleton marked with the location of GV 4 and nearby bony landmarks. It also has three photos and text with detailed point-finding directions. Two of the three photos are in the book Acupressure Methods for Horses.The third photo is shown at the beginning of the point-finding video for GV 4, which is in the Part One materials of the Online Course.

Once you review the skeletal charts and photos, take some time reading the finding instructions in the two-page PDF, and in the text on pages 48 and 49 of Acupressure Methods for Horses.With these details in mind, watch my hands-on-horse demonstration in the online course video for Governing Vessel 4.

As I explain in the video and in Acupressure Methods for Horses, the first step in finding GV 4 is to find the place where the last rib curves the farthest back toward the horse’s tail. Then slide your fingers straight up to the horse’s back. Once you reach the midline of the back, your fingers should be close to the dip (space) between the tops of the lumbar vertebrae where Governing Vessel 4 is located, if not directly on it.

Cupping Method is Best
Use the cupping method of acupressure when you work on GV 4. 
This technique is explained on page 21 of Acupressure Methods for Horses and I demonstrate how to use it over GV 4 in the point-finding video.

Because you’re putting your palm over the area, cupping makes it easier for you to activate the qi of GV 4 without being perfectly on the exact location of the point. Another aspect of GV 4 that helps you find it is that the energy of the point is quite large. I refer to GV 4 in the video as a field point.

Finding Tips
If your horse is calm enough, stand on a stool or mounting block next to his lower back. The extra height makes it easier for you to find the midline of the back and feel the bony tops of the lumbar vertebrae and the dips (spaces) in between them.

Be persistent as you familiarize yourself with the anatomy. It gets easier once you spend some time with the process. It’s harder to find the bony landmarks (the last rib and lumbar processes) on an overweight, or heavily muscled, broad-backed horse. Winter hair also adds a layer of padding that can get in the way. If your horse is of the chunkier build, try to find a lean-muscled or older horse who has a bonier frame for your practice sessions.

Let me know if you have any additional questions. I worked on my horse Handsome’s GV 4 this morning and went through this exact point-finding process myself.

CASE REPORTS: POOR APPETITE AND DISCOMFORT, COLIC, HOOF ABSCESS

Susan Baudanza from Marston’s Mills, Massachusetts:
Hi Diana, Happy New Year!
Today (January 6, 2020) one of the horses boarded at my barn, a 23-year-old Quarter Horse named Elvis, went off his hay. He was dull-eyed and not interested in activities around the barn. His owner is away caring for her mother, but he seemed to be handling her absence fine for the past two weeks.

Last night at night check I saw Elvis pass a “cow plop’ poop (wet and unformed), but he was bright and eating well. I checked his temperature which was normal. This morning his manure had returned to a normal, formed shape and his output was near his average, which is about 12 piles of manure in a 24-hour period. The problem was that Elvis was barely interested in his hay. He stood in his stall with his head hanging low, not venturing out at all to his “out” portion of the in/out. He was also shifting his weight quite a bit between his hind legs.

Elvis does have some arthritis, and lately the weather has been very damp, unseasonably warm, and changeable. Today was much colder with a rise in the barometric pressure. I wondered if Elvis was experiencing gas due to the weather change and inactivity, arthritis pain, or a slight impaction? I called my veterinarian for advice but had to leave a message on voicemail.

While I waited for my veterinarian to call, I took Elvis for a walk and graze on the tiny bit of remaining grass, which he ate without great enthusiasm. I rechecked his temperature and it was normal. I’ve used acupressure on Stomach 36 (ST 36) for my horses in the past and decided to try that while awaiting the vet’s call.

Elvis’s response to ST 36 was almost immediate. He experienced deeper, more rapid breathing, then eye blinking, licking and chewing followed by yawning, I counted at least 4 yawns! Then he sighed and I heard the sound of passing gas. I stayed on the point but then he turned, walked to his hay pile, and began to eat. He ate for about 10 minutes then took a nap. He woke up acting bright and normal, and eating much better.

Of course we’re watching him very closely but as of now, 10 hours later, Elvis is acting almost totally normal. I was astonished at Elvis’s rapid improvement as was my husband who was watching the acupressure session. He had seen Elvis earlier and been concerned. This was the most profound and immediate change I’ve ever seen from acupressure, and I was so relieved, for the horse, and for his owner.

I will now use Stomach 36 more regularly as part of our Wellness program, especially in changeable, challenging weather! I wish every horse person was aware of the benefits of acupressure!

Update: Just now, about 30 hours after episode, Elvis has completely regained his appetite over the last day and now has a voracious appetite. His manure is back to normal.  The photo I took of Elvis is missing part of his muzzle because he was head-tossing for his supper!

P.S. Another day has gone by and Elvis continues to do great, totally himself!  I had reduced his grain as a precaution and he is happy to be almost back to full rations. I still can’t believe how quickly the acupressure helped him and I am so grateful.

Diana’s Reply:
Hi Sue,
Thank you for sending in this Case Report about Elvis. It was wonderful to read your account. Your photo shows us how strong and sassy Elvis is when he feels healthy!

In this reply, I’m going to comment on Sue’s role in Elvis’s recovery and discuss the four topics listed below. I’m also adding two new PDFs of printable charts to your Bonus Materials.
1) The vital signs of the horse with a printable color chart.
2) The Three Factors that cause incorrect flows of qi and may contribute to illness.
3) Stomach 36 (ST 36) – Powerful functions of the point and a four-page PDF of location charts.
4) A list of acupressure points in the Online Course that are known to support good digestion and overall health. The points may also be helpful, along with veterinary medical care, for a horse with a poor appetite, colic, or rebellious qi with digestive issues.

Sue, your observation skills and daily horse care routine created the best possible situation for Elvis. You know what his normal attitude, eating and pooping schedule, and activity looks like when he’s healthy. You also watch the weather for changes, carry out night checks, and educate yourself in methods like acupressure. From my point of view, Elvis could not be in better hands, literally!

Your response to Elvis’s lack of appetite and depressed attitude was just right. You checked his vital signs, including his temperature, and called your veterinarian for advice. Then, you applied acupressure as time and safety permitted.

Because you noticed the changes in Elvis’s digestion, appetite, and attitude soon after they appeared, you were able to address his movement away from full health at an early stage. This is important no matter what methods you use help the horse, be it Western medicine, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) or other techniques.

I’ve learned in my study of TCM — and the horses have shown me — that when you use acupressure to correct the movement of the qi before it slides too far and too long into a state of incorrect qi, the horse often rebalances pretty quickly. That said, no matter how many times I see the type of quick response to acupressure Elvis experienced it amazes me!

Understanding Vital Signs
A horse’s vital signs include his heart rate, respiratory rate, gut sounds, gum color, capillary refill, and rectal temperature. They also include daily basics of horse health such as the amount of food and water the horse eats and drinks, and the amount of manure and urine he produces.These items reflect the horse’s physical and emotional state. Each function has a baseline reading that remains steady when the horse is healthy and increases or decreases when the horse isn’t feeling well.

For instance, the normal range of a resting horse’s heart rate is 26-40 beats per minute. If it’s hot outside, 44-48 beats per minute is considered a high normal. A heart rate of 48 beats a minute or higher indicates the horse is experiencing pain of some kind. It tells you something is wrong with the horse and you need to contact your veterinarian for advice. A heart rate of 60 beats a minute and higher tells you the horse has a medical emergency that requires immediate veterinary care.

Click here to view, download, and print a Vital Signs Chart from my color laminated chart Emergency Acupressure Points for Horses. The information on this chart lists the baseline readings of the vital signs of a healthy horse as well as measurements that indicate illness. I’ve added this chart to the Bonus Materials section for the Online Course.

The Three Factors that Cause the Incorrect Flow of Qi
Sue, in your report, you mentioned several things that may have contributed to Elvis’s loss of appetite and lethargy.Elvis’s owner was out of town, the weather changed from unseasonably warm to cold, and Elvis wasn’t moving around as usual — possibly due to arthritic pain. Your observations were invaluable to helping Elvis with this situation. In addition, they may give you ways to prevent further illness or emotional distress.

The TCM principles known as the Three Factors give us a way to understand how stresses, such as emotional upset and physical events like the weather or the demands of training, cause incorrect flows of qi in the body, which may cause illness. Understanding these factors helps us choose acupressure points with specific functions and daily horse care methods that maintain the correct flows of qi.Your idea to use acupressure on Stomach 36 (ST 36) as part of your Wellness program, especially around weather events, is part of this approach. As you’ll read below, weather is one of the Three Factors.

TCM practitioner Sean Fannin is the technical advisor for my books and class materials. His background and website resources are described on page 118 of the book Acupressure Methods for Horses.
Here’s a quote from Sean about the Three Factors:
“When a health problem first begins it almost always begins at the level of the qi. The normal, healthy, correct movement of the qi is either dispersed or congested and this leads to the disease. From the traditional viewpoint there are three factors that can initiate this movement away from health: Internal Factors, External Factors and Life Choice Factors (conduct of life).” 

The Internal Factors: The Emotions of Anger, Joy, Sadness, Fear, and Worry
Emotions in TCM are viewed as a direct expression of the movement of qi. Emotional states that move and shift from one to another are normal and healthy. Emotion of any kind is not a bad thing unless it becomes too strong or becomes stuck in the body. If an emotion is too strong or experienced for a long period of time, it will adversely affect the flow of qi and possibly contribute to emotional and physical problems.

Any of the emotions can negatively influence any of the organ channels of energy and their related organs. Each organ, however, is particularly influenced by one emotion. For instance, a lot of strong fear may affect the function of the Kidneys. Strong grief might affect the function of the Lungs. Chronic worrying upsets the Spleen, which plays a strong role in digestion. The Liver and the Heart energies are upset by any kind of strong or prolonged emotion although strong anger, in particular, stresses the Liver and too much joy can put the Heart out of balance.

External Factors: Influences from the Environment
An external factor is something from outside of the body that comes into the body where it does not belong. External factors are also called external pathogens, external pathogenic factors, or environmental factors. They include environmental wind, heat, cold, dryness, and dampness. The term is also used to describe pathogens from the environment such as bacteria, molds, viruses, and pollution.

If it’s strong enough, any environmental factor can negatively influence any of the organs channels and its related organ of the body. Each organ, however, is particularly susceptible to one or more factors. For instance, too much moisture, also called dampness, upsets the digestive function of the Spleen. Too much cold can interfere with the Kidney function. The Lungs are damaged by too much drynessHeat agitates the Heart and the environmental factor that has the strongest effect on the Liver is the wind.

Life Choice Factors: The Conduct of Daily Life
Physical activity, sleep, diet, and other details of daily life have a tremendous influence on the movement of qi in the body. Adult humans choose how they conduct their daily life in terms of exercise, diet and other daily activities. Most domesticated horses depend completely on their human caretakers to make good choices for them in these areas.

Physical Activity – A Life Choice Factor
For example, here’s a quote from Sean Fannin about how Physical Activity can help or harm the horse.
“If there is too much or too little physical activity the balance of the energy within the body can be thrown off. Too much physical activity disperses the qi and eventually depletes the jing essence. Not enough physical activity causes a congestion of qi and may lead to depletion over time as well.”

Note: There’s additional information on each of the Three Factorsand other TCM principles in my E-book titled: Acupressure for Horses, Course Manual. The E-book contains Chapter One of my Course Manual, which includes a glossary of more than 100 terms that describe flows of qi and point functions.
Click here for information about the E-book Acupressure for Horses, Course Manual     

Stomach 36 (ST 36)  A Must-know Point for Horse Owners
Stomach 36 (ST 36) is one of the most powerful points in the acupressure system. It’s known in TCM for its ability to support day-to-day health and build strength. ST 36 is also used during times of poor health along with appropriate medical care. It’s one of the primary points to use during any digestive upset, such as colic or a lack of appetite.
Note: Contact your veterinarian any time a horse in your care is not eating normally or showing signs of colic or other digestive problems.

I demonstrate how to locate Stomach 36 (ST 36) in a point-finding video with the quarter horse King in Part Two of the Online Course.

For additional help finding ST 36 click here to view, download, and print pages 101-104 from my 272-page chart book Acupressure Point Charts for Horse, An Illustrated Guide to 128 Point Locations and Uses. This 4-page PDF provides photos, illustrations, and instructions on finding Stomach 36 (ST 36) from two different views of the horse’s body. I’ve added it to the Bonus Materials section of the website.

Functions of ST 36 that make it valuable for supporting the overall health of a horse and helping a horse with digestive issues:
ST 36 is the master point for the abdomen and the gastrointestinal tract, the area of the digestive system that includes the stomach, small intestine and large intestine. A master point has powerful effects on the health of the structures, organs, and functions of a region of the body.

Acupressure on ST 36 tonifies or strengthens the qi of the whole body. This means it has the ability to strengthen the function of every system, including the digestion, respiration, immune system, etc.

Acupressure on ST 36 regulates the flow of qi. It moves the qi in the correct direction and helps create a smooth even flow of qi. In particular, ST 36 regulates the flow of qi of four organ systems: the Lungs, Stomach, Large Intestine, and Small Intestine. The qi of these systems and organs should move downward. As all horse owners know, for the horse to remain healthy food needs to move downward through the digestive tract in a smooth, regular manner. 

Acupressure on ST 36 redirects rebellious qi downward. When the qi of the body is moving in the wrong direction it’s an incorrect flow of qi called “rebellious qi” or a “counterflow of qi.” Problems such as coughing, nausea, bloating, and the regurgitation of digestive material during a colic or choke indicate rebellious qi — the qi is not moving downward as it should.
Note: Colic and choke are medical issues. If your horse shows any sign of these problems, be sure to contact your veterinarian for advice.

Here’s a list of acupressure points in the Online Course that are known to support good digestion and overall health. The points may also be helpful, along with veterinary medical care, for a horse with a poor appetite, colic, or rebellious qi with digestive issues.
As stated earlier, contact your veterinarian any time a horse in your care is not eating normally or showing signs of colic or other digestive problems. Don’t Delay! Your ability to get timely medical care for a horse with these problems may save their life.

Gall Bladder 21 (GB 21), Pericardium 6 (PC 6), Stomach 36 (ST 36), and Governing Vessel 4 (GV 4) by itself or linked with Conception Vessel 8 (CV 8).
Point-finding videos for GB 21, PC 6, and GV 4 are in Part One of the Online Course.
Point-finding videos for Stomach 36 (ST 36) and CV 8 (CV 8) are in Part Two of the Online Course.

Governing Vessel 26 (GV 26), on the horse’s upper lip, and Er Jian, the ear tip points, are often helpful during emergencies, including colic.
Point-finding videos for GV 26 and Er Jian are in Part One of the Online Course.
Information about GV 26, Er Jian, and GV 20 and printable charts are in the 21-page Printable PDF titled Emergency Acupressure for Horses E-book that’s already posted in the Bonus Materials section of the Online Course.

Other Resources: 
The entry in the Q & A section of the Online Course titled: Case Report: Using Acupressure During or after Colic features questions from student Lisa Daigle about her mare Savannah who colicked one evening. Savannah’s story, Lisa’s questions, and my reply provide information on applying acupressure to a horse with colic.

For additional information on rebellious qi and acupressure to address it, see pages 98-99 in the book Acupressure Methods for Horses.

 

Lisa Daigle from Massachusetts:
Hi Diana, I’m progressing through the online acupressure training. I’m finding I can listen to some of the videos in addition to watching them, so I’ll listen for the 2nd or 3rd time while driving. Two weeks ago, my horse experienced a gas colic. It was her first colic episode. She’s 17.2 hands, 1600+ pounds.

This colic experience brings up the following question: It can be hard to do acupressure until the colic has stabilized. Was there a time in the sequence of events described below where I could have done acupressure?

At the beginning of the colic, Savannah stretched out her back legs, and was grunting and sweating profusely. The veterinarian authorized giving her Banamine. I arrived 40 minutes after the phone call from the barn, and hand walked her. Fairly quickly, she passed manure. Her gut sounds could be heard.

I kept Savannah in the indoor arena until the veterinarian arrived about 90 minutes from the onset of the colic, as she got anxious when I tried to put her in the stall. The vet was impressed with Savannah’s calm demeanor and normal vital signs. The vet felt the gas colic had passed, but I opted for tranquilization, a rectal, and a naso-gastric tube for hydration. He left directions for me to give Savannah a small amount of food a few hours after the treatment along with hand-walking.

Around 9:30 pm, some 5.5 hours after the phone call, I did some acupressure on points that Savannah likes (PC 6, GB 21, Bladder meridian) and she was also fine with ST 36 and Liv 13/14. Some of the colic points in your plastic printout are down by the hoof, and I’m not comfortable doing those points if my horse is in a bit of distress.

Savannah and I already have a relationship around acupressure. On the colic night, I mostly did points she was already familiar with, which speaks to the point of practicing on one’s horse. Her “Go To” point is PC 6. I use acupressure on that point most days of the week, and she seems to understand that the point brings calmness. She really likes GB 21. Liv13/14 can be touchy points for Savannah, but she’s now had acupressure many times on those points; I sometimes use a flat hand in that area.

Savannah’s initial signs appeared around 4 pm, and I stayed at the barn until 11:30 pm. The first worker appears at 5:30 am, so I felt she’d be OK while I was gone. Plus, the 20 horses in the barn seemed to want me to leave!

Diana’s Reply:
I’m sorry to hear your mare colicked. Thank heavens everything turned out well. I think you did a wonderful job during this crisis. The prompt veterinary care, your relationship with Savannah, the choices you made during the colic, and using acupressure after the colic all contributed to her coming through the colic episode in good shape.

The first thing to do if your horse shows signs of poor health or illness, is call your veterinarian and follow his or her advice. Then, use acupressure only as time and safety permits. It sounds like this is exactly what you did during Savannah’s colic.

Handling a horse during a colic or other painful episode can be quite dangerous. When you’re by yourself, as you were during this colic incident with Savannah, things are even more challenging. Flexibility is the key. What works for a horse during one colic situation may not work the next time or be the answer for a different horse.

Your decision to keep Savannah in the arena, where she was comfortable and where you could walk her when necessary to relieve her discomfort, was really smart. And I think it was wise not to work on points on the lower leg (or anywhere else you or the horse aren’t comfortable with) unless Savannah became quite calm and you had another person holding her.
Note: I just checked my laminated chart (the one you referred to), which is Emergency Acupressure Points for Horses. On the page showing recommended points for colic, there is only one point that’s located below the knee: Large Intestine 4 (LI 4). When the horse is restless, needing to move around due to the pain, this location would definitely not be safe to work on.

I agree with you that Savannah was more likely to be receptive to acupressure during the colic because you’d already made it part of your relationship. She was familiar with the calming influence of acupressure and likely to recognize it and respond positively despite her pain. The fact that you were familiar with the methods and the point locations before this colic also made it more likely for you to be able to apply acupressure correctly and calmly during such a stressful time.

Your Choice of Points included PC 6 and ST 36: You said Savannah’s “Go To” point is PC 6 and you used it following Savannah’s colic. Great! Not only does Pericardium 6 (PC 6) have a strong calming influence, it greatly supports the digestion. You also included Stomach 36 (ST 36) in your acupressure work following the colic. This point is one of the most powerful points in the TCM system. It’s a primary point for strengthening the digestion and use during any kind of colic. Note: I will be showing you how to find and use ST 36 in several videos in Part Two of the Online Course. These materials will be released on or before September 30, 2019.

Because of their functions, PC 6 and ST 36 are one of the most famous point combinations in TCM for strengthening the digestion and strengthening the qi to keep the horse healthy. They are also an excellent choice to use during a colic situation (and other types of digestive upset) along with veterinary care. Good for you for including both of these points during your work on Savannah.

You asked if there was a time in the above sequence of events where I could have done acupressure?
As long as the horse is receptive, I think it was a good idea for you to use acupressure on Savannah after medical treatment from the veterinarian. Savannah most likely benefitted from your working on the points as they help to re-establish the correct movement of the qi and support the function of digestion that was interrupted by the colic.

As far as working on the horse during the colic, every situation is different. If possible, once the veterinarian has been notified of the horse’s illness, I try to apply acupressure to the horse while the veterinarian travels to the farm. My goal is to calm the horse’s response to the pain and support the digestion.

In your timeline of events, you said you were by yourself walking Savannah in the indoor arena before the veterinarian arrived to start medical treatment. If Savannah was able to stand still from time to time, you might have tried acupressure GB 21 or PC 6. Even holding your fingers for 15 to 30 seconds to one minute on the point is helpful. When the horse is walking, things are obviously much harder! I have touched GB 21 at the base of the neck when the horse is walking. I hold one hand on the horse’s halter and the other one on the point.

Other points to add to your colic and emergency group of points are Governing Vessel 26 (GV 26), on the horse’s upper lip, and Er Jian, the ear tip points. Both points are both known for their use in colic situations. In his book Alternative and Complementary Medicine, veterinarian Dr. Are Thoreson says that the combination of Governing Vessel 26 and the ear tip points (Er Jian) “are very effective in colic. It has a general analgesic (pain relieving) effect and relieves spasm.”

Since these points are located on the horse’s head (and you are at her head leading her and handling her) you might have been able to touch them when Savannah was standing still.
Note: I have held my fingers on GV 26 on the upper lip while walking the horse. With Savannah being such a tall horse, however, this is probably not a possibility.

Here are resources in your Part One materials that may give you additional information:
Video 8 is Acupressure on Governing Vessel 26 with Diana Thompson and Handsome. It includes quite a bit of information on using GV 26 during a colic situation.

Video 9 is 3 Emergency Points: Er Jian (Tip of the Ear), Governing Vessel 20 (GV 20), and Governing Vessel 26 (GV 26). It gives you a close-up view of how to find all three of these points.

The e-book Emergency Acupressure for Horses is in your Bonus Materials Section. It goes into detail on using GV 26, GV 20, and Er Jian (ear tip) during emergency situations, including colic. It includes recommendations from veterinarians and case histories. One of the case histories is a colic case by stable owner Carol Hess. That story is also in the book Acupressure Methods for Horses on page 110.

Lisa Daigle from Massachusetts:
Soon after the colic, my normally healthy horse got a right hind foot abscess. It took 6 days for the abscess to rupture as Savannah has very large hooves and the vet said the abscess was deep. Again, I mainly did acupressure on points that Savannah likes, as I’m not comfortable with the ting points. An abscess is damp heat, correct? If I did ting points on a healthy front point, does that impact the diseased back foot?

Diana’s Reply:
Hi Lisa,
In the list of cautions on page in the book Acupressure Methods for Horses, the first listing says: “Do not use acupressure on horses who have abscesses, tumors, or skin infections.” This caution is listed because you need advanced knowledge to use acupressure in these types of medical situations. The goal is to move the qi in a way that helps the body move the infection out of the body. If my horse were experiencing hoof abscesses and I wanted to apply acupressure, I would consult with a veterinarian trained in acupuncture to choose the points that were safe for the situation.

Homeopathy is another choice to assist your horse with healing from a hoof abcess, along with the appropriate veterinary medical care. Dr. Joyce Harman is an experienced holistic veterinarian practicing in Virginia. Her skills include acupuncture, chiropractic care, homeopathy, and nutrition. Her website is https://harmanyequine.com
Dr. Harman has written a handbook you can purchase called Equine Homeopathic First Aid. You may want to contact her office to see if the booklet includes remedies for a hoof abscess.
She is also available for phone consultations.

The other resource I can recommend is a booklet called:
Horses and Homeopathy, A Guide for Yard and Stable. It was first published in 1994 in England. The authors are veterinarian Mark Elliot, BVSc., MRCVS, and Tony Pinkus BPharm., MRPharmS, director of a homeopathic pharmacy. This booklet does list homeopathic remedies for hoof abscesses and other conditions.

CASE REPORTS: MASSAGE AND ACUPRESSURE HELP RESTLESS HORSE, DIFFICULT MARE

Cyd Broshears from California: I’ve started your Online Course and find it really interesting. I just finished an equine massage course. Can I throw some massage into the session along with acupressure or should they be used on their own?

Diana’s Reply:
Yes, acupressure and massage work well when used together in a session. Actually, acupressure can be added to just about any training, grooming, or body work session quite successfully by itself or mixed with other methods. I encourage you to read the case history in the book Acupressure Methods for Horses on pages 108-109 about a talented, challenging horse named Weltano. Equine body worker Tamara Yates explains how she used acupressure to relax Weltano so that she could carry out her individualized body work on him. Tamara lists the points from the book that she used at the beginning and end of the session. The points are included in the Part One materials in the Online Acupressure Course.

Just one caution for you as a new acupressure student:
While you’re learning acupressure, I encourage you to do a number of sessions with your horse that are mostly acupressure. Focus on using just 2-4 ounces of pressure on the points, quiet your hands, and practice using the Three Regulations to help you connect with the qi.

Acupressure is quite a different process than massage. Both are wonderful, just different. As I demonstrate in the Lesson Five videos, acupressure does not involve much movement of your hands at all and very little pressure whereas massage involves sliding your hands across the body using varying depths of pressure. Sometimes I need to coach massage practitioners to lighten their pressure when they start doing acupressure and be quite still with their hands.

Here are some ideas on how to add acupressure into a massage session.
There are several reasons to add acupressure to a massage session. The first is to calm the horse’s mind and relax his body so he or she is able to fully accept massage or range of motion exercises. For this purpose, use one or more of the points listed in Point Combination 1, on page 89 of Acupressure Methods for Horses. These points include GB 21, PC 6, CV 17, etc

Another reason for adding acupressure to a massage session is to bring the circulation of qi and blood to a specific area of the body. For instance, if you were about to do some shoulder massage or range of motion exercises, it would help to apply acupressure to Gall Bladder 21 (GB 21), which is located at the junction of the base of the neck and shoulder, before the massage to get the qi and overall circulation moving in the area. The point also helps relax the horse, which further helps him be receptive to massage.

If the horse’s shoulder was a bit stiff, it would be wise to use one of the points with strong calming abilities that are not near the shoulder first, such as Pericardium 6 (PC 6) just in front of the chestnut on the front leg. Then, I might use acupressure on GB 21 (at the base of the neck and shoulder) before trying some gentle massage or careful range of motion near the stiff area. As explained in the List of Cautions on page 12 of Acupressure Methods for Horses, don’t use acupressure in areas of the body that have open wounds, inflammation, or swelling.

Cyd Broshears from California:
Hi, I practiced acupressure on one of the horses that I’ve massaged in the past. I touched Gall Bladder 21 (GB 21), Conception Vessel 17 (CV 17), Pericardium 6 (PC 6), and Governing Vessel 20 (GV 20). He liked them all. He did a lot of licking and chewing, softening of the eyes, lowering of his head. At first there were flies bothering him, so the owner applied more spray, so he had fewer flies bothering him. After applying acupressure on the 4 points, he could care less if there was a fly on his face. He didn’t move at all and this is a horse that never stands still. He doesn’t get shoes on his back hooves, because he had a traumatic experience with getting his back legs caught in some wire.

I did some massage on him also, so he was putty in my hands. At the end of the session, the horse was not done with me. He put his chin on my shoulder and held it there so I could give him kisses on the side of his nose. Afterwards he put his nose on my chest and proceeded to close his eyes. He felt so safe with me. Later on that day, the owner took him out on a ride and said he felt calmer. It was a great experience to see all this.

Diana’s Reply: Cyd, Thank you so much for sharing your experience. It brings me joy to hear about the acupressure working so quickly for you and this horse. You are definitely skilled and kind with your hands and overall way with horses.

The horse’s body language you observed during the session, including licking and chewing, softening of the eyes, lowering of his head, and the ability to stand still and ignore the flies, show us your acupressure helped the horse reach a very deep state of physical and emotional relaxation. This is where all sorts of beneficial changes in the horse’s health occur, both in his muscular system and his internal organs and functions.
In addition, the fact that the horse put his chin on your shoulder and then on your chest, closing his eyes, tells me – as it did you – that he felt completely safe with you and safe in the world around him. This is a very important event for any horse. For this horse, however, it was profound because it’s likely he hasn’t felt completely safe since his back legs were caught in the wire.

Acupressure Calms the Heart and Settles the Shen
The fact that this horse doesn’t allow shoeing on his back hooves tells us he remembers the trauma and guards against something bad happening again. From the TCM viewpoint, it’s likely that the horse’s Heart and shen (spirit) have been unsettled since he was traumatized. During your acupressure and massage session, your work helped that state of imbalance shift towards a healthier place. The horse not only relaxed deeply during the session, he was able to remain calmer during a ride later that day. Additional acupressure on some or all of the four points you used during your session would continue his recovery process.

Here’s a quote from Sean Fannin, my primary teacher in acupressure, about the importance of applying acupressure that calms the Heart and settles the shen: “When you work at the level of spirit to spirit with the horse profound healing can take place.”

Many of the acupressure points in Part One of the Online Acupressure Course directly or indirectly calm the Heart and settle the shen. This creates a place of deep emotional calmness and physical relaxation in the horse so he can think clearly and build trust with his owner and handlers. For more information on this topic, review pages 84 – 89 in the book Acupressure Methods for Horses.

Patti Binner from Wisconsin: I have a massage appointment coming up with a difficult horse that I’m hoping acupressure can help. The horse, a mare, rarely gets turned out. She is in the stall almost all the time due to issues with her feet. She is very violent for the vet as she does not like needles. I tried to massage her a few times a year ago and she literally would try to kick, bite, and hurt me.

I was working as a groom at a show recently and worked with her and she was fine. I did a little massage on her and she was fine. So they scheduled me for an appointment and I finished at about 85% done before she started kicking at the wall. Not kicking at me thankfully!

I have another appointment coming up on Monday with her. My last appointment I did a lot of brushing with her also to keep her relaxed when she started getting irritated which worked most of the appointment. Can you recommend an acupressure point for her? The owners really want me to help her and I really want to help her.

Diana’s Reply:
Hi Patti, I’m glad you’re trying to help this mare. She sounds quite frustrated with her stall confinement so whatever methods you use – stay safe! Good for you for using brushing during your last massage to keep her relaxed. That was good thinking on your part.

In TCM, the correct flow or activity of qi in the horse’s body is what creates optimum emotional and physical health and strength. An incorrect flow of qi in the horse’s body often leaves the horse vulnerable to illness, injury, and emotional unrest. Incorrect flows of qi are also called patterns of disharmony, or just a pattern.

The mare you are describing is showing us the pattern of disharmony known as qi stagnation, also called Liver qi stagnation. A horse with this imbalance is physically and emotionally very tense. They often have chronically tight muscles, tendons, and ligaments that make the body uncomfortable if not painful. This discomfort often causes the horse to be irritable, angry, and aggressive to the point of threatening to bite or kick or actually biting and kicking other horses or people.

You can read more about this pattern, and what specific acupressure points to use, on pages 94-97 in the book Acupressure Methods for Horses. GB 21, PC 6, and GV 20 are the top three points I list in the book to address Liver qi stagnation. You can watch videos of how to find and work on these points in the videos in Part One of Online Acupressure Course. You might also try GV 24, just under the forelock.

I also encourage you to read the case history on pages 108-109 of Acupressure Methods for Horses, which tells the story of a talented show horse named Weltano. The gelding had a history of kicking at grooms and trying to bite anyone who walked by the stall. In the case history, equine body worker Tamara Yates explains how she used acupressure to relax Weltano so that she could carry out her individualized body work on him. Tamara lists the points she used at the beginning and end of the session. They include GB 21, PC 6, GV 20, GV 24, and Yin Tang, all of which are in your Part One materials.

Here are a couple other ideas to help you during the session. Schedule your appointment after the mare has been exercised and eaten some food. Avoid working on the mare when she is in heat; qi stagnation can add to difficult behavior during a mare’s heat cycle. Talk with the owners about getting the mare out of the stall more than once a day. A fifteen to twenty-minute session of hand-walking added to her regular training program might make some difference in her overall physical and mental health.

Chinese herbs are often used to address physical and emotional tension caused by qi stagnation. They may help this mare deal with confinement in the stall in a calmer, safer way. Dr. Chris Bessent is a holistic veterinarian in Wisconsin who uses acupuncture and Chinese herbs to help horses. The mare’s owners may want to consult with Dr. Bessent on some herbal formulas. You can read about Dr. Bessent, her education, and herbal products for horses and dogs at www.herbsmithinc.com.

Best wishes with your session with the mare. It takes time to build a relationship and trust with any horse, especially a horse with this type of problem. I hope you have the opportunity to work with her on an ongoing basis.

Let me know how the sessions go. In Part Two of the online class, which will be released on or before September 30th, I will be showing you the locations of four additional points that may be helpful for this mare’s pattern of imbalance.

Patti Binner from Wisconsin: Hello Diana, I’m following up to tell you about acupressure and massage on the difficult mare I told you about earlier in the class.  I also want to tell you about some challenges I’m having with Gall Bladder 21.

First off the horse’s owners are very happy with me. The use of acupressure on their difficult mare was amazing. I make the owners (mother & daughter) stay through the session, as the horse will kick, bite and rear. So, for safety, and if I have to protect myself, I want to make sure they are witness to it.

However, I had great success with acupressure on PC 6, GV 20, GV 24, and Yin Tang. I was able to touch the horse in areas where even the owner is unable to touch without the horse kicking at them per the owner telling me that. They are now excited to have me out again and want me to come out every month now to work on her. The daughter wrote a recommendation on my massage Facebook page after my work. Here it is:

I have two horses who both get massages from Patti. One is an older gelding who benefits greatly from massage. The other is a mare who is extremely reactive to even the slightest pressure… she’s a bit of a drama queen. In the beginning, there wasn’t very much we could do with her, but Patti didn’t give up on her. She tried some new things and a couple different approaches and now she loves her massages and is so relaxed both during and afterwards. I highly recommend massage to anyone, whether you have show horses or trail horses or anything in between. Patti has a great way of working with the horses and the benefits my horses have had from her definitely show!

I am very excited as this horse has been a great challenge and acupressure made a significant improvement in working with the mare. The owners were amazed as well as myself!

Diana’s Reply:
Hi Patti,

I’m delighted you’re doing so well using acupressure on the difficult mare. Good for you!!! Your skill, kindness, and perseverance created these wonderful results. It’s wise of you to have the owners attend the session. They need to help keep you safe and be part of the solution for their horse’s problems.

The points you used — PC 6, GV 20, GV 24, and Yin Tang — are quite powerful for calming the shen and quieting the mind. In addition, PC 6 strongly addresses qi stagnation, which is one of the patterns of incorrect qi that causes angry, agitated, aggressive behavior. As you continue working with the mare, you could use all or some of these points to begin each session to ease her into your massage and other acupressure work.

With the issues this mare is facing, I would love to hear how she does with acupressure on some of the points from Part Two of the Online Course. Bladder 17, 18, 19, and Bladder 47 should directly address her agitation, frustration, and aggression over having to be confined to a stall. The points are powerful, yet gentle, so almost all horses accept them.

You don’t have to work on all four of these points to get a result. Just see which one or two points the mare she likes and go from there. If you get a chance to use these points, let me know how she responds. In this situation, the bottom line is that any acupressure point that helps her relax so you can help her is a good one!

Comments

Leslie Fiering from California:
The Chart of Uses for the 8 Acupressure Points cheat sheet is brilliant. THANK YOU!! It takes so lo-o-o-ng to compile this much information and then consolidate it into such a succinct and useful format.

Susan Baudanza from Massachusetts:
I just wanted to say I am enjoying this course so much! The materials are excellent. I have three boys, all with different issues and am so excited to have this resource to enhance their health Thank you!

Diana’s Reply:
Hi Susan,
Thank you very much for letting me know you’re enjoying the course. Keep me posted on how your three horses respond to acupressure. Be sure to use the Acupressure Session Form to record the details of the acupressure sessions. This form is a printable pdf listed in the section: 10 Point-Finding and Acupressure Videos. Have fun, Diana

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