Colic is the leading cause of premature death in domesticated horses. The reasons horses colic vary, including diet, activity, dehydration, exposure to toxins, emotional distress and the list goes on and on. The severity of colic can be as simple as minor digestive upset to severe digestive upset requiring surgery, and the most severe causing death. One major reason the early onset of digestive upset is not usually as serious in dogs, cats and humans, is that they all have what I like to call beneficial rebellious chi, commonly referred to as the ability to vomit. Horses CANNOT vomit, therefore when a horse has a little digestive upset it cannot be relieved by vomiting.
If you own a horse you know the most common “talk at the water trough” is sharing ideas on how to prevent colic . Diet is probably the most common discussion. Realistically, colic prevention requires a holistic approach, including making good choices regarding your horse’s diet, exercise, housing, hoof care, and good overall physical and emotional support. I believe, based on my own experience, massage and acupressure on a routine basis for your horse is very beneficial for horses to maintain optimal health.
You can perform acupressure to help prevent colic. I routinely perform acupressure for colic prevention on my horses and my clients’ horses. It will take you less than 5 minutes a week to use these Colic Prevention points on your horse.
1st: Tonify ST36, which is located at the head of the tibial crest on the lateral side of hind leg, near the stifle. Rub this point with your thumb gently clockwise on the right side of the horse until it displays a release of energy*, such as a licking their lips, chewing, dropping of the head, passing gas or moving away from your touch. This point is the Master Point for the gastrointestinal system and helps maintain a healthy digestive system. Repeat on the left side.
2nd: Tonify Ki 3, which is located at the thinnest part of the hock on the medial aspect of the hind leg. With your thumb, rub this point gently clockwise on the right side of the horse until the horse displays a release of energy*. The Kidney Meridian governs Water and balances hydration and water metabolism. Repeat on the left side.
3rd: Tonify ST25, which is located on the abdomen approximately one and one half cun lateral to the umbillius. A cun is the width of your horse’s last rib. With your thumb, rub this point gently clockwise on the right side of the horse until the horse displays a release of energy*. This is the Alarm Point for the Large Intestine, and helps with movement of energy in the intestinal tract. Repeat on the left side.
*Note: If the horse does not have an obvious release of energy, stimulate the point for 30 seconds, and move to the next point.
To help students, practitioners and horse owners, Colorado renowned artist, Tara Seren, and I collaborated to create an amazing and informative Equine Acupressure Chart. You can purchase her chart at http://www.rmhhai.org/shopping/instructional/equine-acupressure-chart-8-5-x-11/
You can use these same points on dogs with digestive upset. RMSAAM offers an excellent a Canine Acupressure Book http://www.rmsaam.com/product/canine-acupressure-workbook-laminated
If you want to learn more, Rocky Mountain Holistic Healing Arts Institute offers acupressure and massage, dowsing, chakra balancing, essential oils, and many other healing modality courses for animal owners. http://www.rmhhai.org
If you are interested in becoming a Certified Animal Acupressure and Massage Practitioner, Rocky Mountain School of Animal Acupressure and Massage offers programs to become a certified. http://www.rmsaam.com