針灸是中醫常見的治療方式，但許多人不知道的是，這項古老的技術也可以被運用到動物身上。來自北京的 Dong Wenchao 是馬匹針灸療法的專家，更與西藏馬術團隊合作，將針灸運用於提高賽馬對疼痛的忍受度及傷後復原速度，以增加賽馬的競爭力。
Acupuncture is a common treatment in Traditional Chinese Medicine, but many don’t know that this ancient practice can also be used in treating animals.
Dong Wenchao, an expert in studying equine acupuncture, has worked with the Tibet Equestrian Team to improve racehorses’ competitiveness through pain management and injury recovery.
Dong Wenchao said that most of the time, she prefers using Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine including acupuncture, moxibustion, massage, and consumption of traditional medicines to prevent and treat diseases of horses.
Just as with humans, a horse acupuncturist first conducts a routine physical examination on the horse by measuring its body temperature, heartbeat and respiratory sounds.
However, every horse reacts to acupuncture differently.
“Some horses easily overreact because they are very sensitive to needles, while others are quieter and enjoy people petting them. With horses afraid of acupuncture, I usually sedate him, then start the treatment.” She said.
Dong Wenchao 觀察到，針灸和艾灸對於有腹痛、腹瀉症狀的馬匹而言十分有效。她解釋道，艾灸就是將熱量傳導到特定的穴位或經絡，以達到改善氣血運行的功效。
Dong Wenchao observed that acupuncture and moxibustion are helpful for horses suffering from abdominal pain or having diarrhea.
She explained that moxibustion transfers heat to some specific acupoints via a lit moxa. It expels cold and warms the body with better blood circulation.
She pointed out that though horses have some similar acupoints like a human, they also have their unique ones too, which are called ‘classic acupoints.’
Though acupuncture can be applied for many conditions in horses, such as sports injury, skeletal muscle injury, issues related to the respiratory tract and digestive tract, Dong Wenchao admitted that there are problems that acupuncture can only cushion but not solve.