Equine acupressure has the same roots and theory as acupuncture. It involves the application of pressure from fingers rather than the use of needles making it safe and noninvasive. It can be used as a stand alone treatment or integrated into a sport massage to help support your horse’s health.

Acupressure is based on traditional Chinese medicine, which offers a method of natural healing by trying to maintain the innate balance of the body. Acupressure uses invisible lines of energy flow called meridians, and along these lines are specific points which can influence the body when pressure is applied. There are 14 meridians connecting organs with other parts of the body. It is thought that energy (Chi) that flows along these meridians can get blocked causing symptoms to develop. By applying pressure the balance and energy flow can be restored. Chi (energy) is composed of Yin and Yang, which are two dynamic forces that are the opposite to each other. Yin is seen to be represented by water, wet, cold, nourishing, and dark (to name a few), whereas Yang is fire, dry, hot, active, red and consumes. When Yin and Yang are in balance Chi is flowing harmoniously and the body is healthy. However, when they are not in balance, there is disharmony and disease develops. Acupressure can help restore balance and act as a preventative.

Acupressure Benefits

Photo of Pollyanna's 2 horses that receive acupressure regularly.  One large bay stood in field with young yearling lying on ground nearby.

Acupressure can have the following benefits

  • Releases natural occurring pain relieving chemicals in the body
  • Reduces inflammation and swelling
  • Increases blood flow allowing an increased rate of recovery from injury
  • Increase energy levels and wellbeing
  • Decrease anxiety
  • Encourage relaxation
  • Help joint lubrication and movement

Acupressure on the horse

When working on equine clients, I often integrate acupressure points into my bodywork (massage) sessions to help create a bespoke and more holistic approach. I frequently find horses relax hugely with use of acupressure. Signified by their eyes softening, heads lowering, muscles relaxing and often dosing off. This allows me to be more effective in treating areas of discomfort, as well as, supporting the horse’s overall health.

Pollyanna on her horse jumping a tyre jump on a cross-country course.  Demonstrating an effective equine partnership.

Author, Pollyanna FitzGerald, is a human and equine sport therapist for Lightspeed Sports Recovery and covers the Oxfordshire area and surrounding counties. Pollyanna specialises in horse and rider, and offers tailored packages to help develop a deeper equine partnership through bodywork, exercises and EquiPilates™. For more information on treatments, please do get in contact via pollyanna@lightspeedsportsrecovery.co.uk or 07988899427.