Horse People Never Stop Learning
This simple fact was brought home to me one day as I entered the barn to find a small group of people gathered around Shadow, a beautiful black Tennesse Walking Horse. These were all experienced horsemen and woman, but as we watched the practitioner attach small electrodes to Shadow's fetlocks and croup and hook her up to the overnight bag-sized machine, we were all seeing something we hadn't seen before.
I think a little of Shadow's history is in order first. Shadow has not had a lot of luck in recent years. She first foundered a few years ago and when I met her owner she was nearing recovery and was beginning to be ridden again. Unfortunately, she foundered again and since that time she has undergone vigorous treatment including a hoof resection on both front feet. She was in the recovery stages but had recently sprained her suspensory ligament. Her owner heard about the benefits of electro-acuscope therapy and decided to give it a try.
Electro Acuscope Therapy
The Electro-Acuscope is an FDA approved machine which has been used on humans for a number of years. Aprroximately five years ago, it was adapted for veterinary use on horses, cats and dogs. It has both diagnostic and therapeutic functions. It provides feedback which indicates the location of an area of pain. With this machine, your horse can actually tell you where it hurts! It also tells the therapist when an area has been successfully treated.
The Electro-Acuscope does not heal. It helps the body to heal itself by stimulating the supply of blood and oxygen to the involved area. It does not involve the use of drugs or needles and is effective in the treatment of many types of tissue damage. It is particularly useful in the treatment of swelling, inflammation, and soreness.
There is a small, but growing group of qualified people who have been trained by a licenced instructor in the use of the Acuscope on horses. Therapists often work in cooperation with equine practitioners. Acuscope therapy can supplement the traditional veterinary procedures to ecsure a quicker recovery for the horse.
The Acuscope System is indicated for use, and is effective in the treatment of the following equine conditions:
I was intrigued by this therapy and had a million questions. The therapist gave me a FAQ (frequently asked questions) sheet which I would like to share with you here.
What is the Electro-Acuscope?
The Electro-Acuscope is a highly sophisticated electronic medical instrument which is designed to scan and treat many types of pain. It is one of a class of electrical stimulators called TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation.) TENS means that the instrument uses electricity to treat pain by stimulating the nervous system of the body without puncturing the skin in any way.
Who Uses the Acuscope?
The Acuscope is currently being used by professional athletic teams, sports medicince practitioners, hospitals, and by thousands of private physicians and therapists in every field of medicine throughout the world. The Acuscope is very effective on animals and is being used extensively in veterinary as well as human medicine.
How Does It Work?
The Electro Acuscope establishes a two-way communication between its computer circuitry and the area of the patient's body being treated. It measures such things as tissue conductivity which is generally very low in an area of pain. It treats by introducing a gentle current in waveforms similar to the body's own electrical currents. This increases the electrical activity of the affected tissue so that the cells can begin the work of self-repair.
How much Electricity does the Acuscope Produce?
The amount of electricity produced by the Acuscope is measured in microamps (millionths of an amp), an extremely tiny amount of current in comparison to the amount of electricity flowing from a wall socket. It has been scientifically proven that this level of current produces the most beneficial effect on the body's cells.
How Does the Acuscope Reduce Pain?
The body (human or equine) is made up of a vast number of cells. In many ways, the cells of the body act like tiny batteries, storing and releasing energy. Each cell has a measurable electrical charge and therefore there is a constant energy flow maintained between cells throughout the electrical circuitry of the body.
When damage or trauma occurs, there is a disruption in the production of electricity and a measurable decrease in the flow of energy through the tissues involved. This condition is generally accompanied by a sensation of pain and usually results in the body's inability to readily repair itself.
During treatment, the Electro Acuscope introduces mild electrical currents into the cells of the body in order to return the tissue to a normal level of electrical activity. This process may be likened to a "jump-start" and "putting a charge" on the battery of a car. In this way, the instrument assists the body in accelerating the natural self-healing processes.
In addition to providing the body with beneficial electrical currents, the treatment causes the body to produce its own natural pain reducing chemicals called "endorphins." The immediate pain relieving results of an Acuscope treatment may therefore be considered an electro-chemical response occuring in the involved area at a cellular level.
Why are the Results from an Acuscope Treament Cumulative?
By definition, the cumulative effect means that each treatment of a given area will take a shorter time and the pain relief which follows will last longer and longer. Unlike some other forms of pain relief, such as therapy with certain drugs, the body does not buld up a tolerance to Acuscope treatments. In fact, just the opposite occurs. Mild electrical stimulation has been proven (Cheng, 1972) to stimulate the cells of the body to produce chemicals which are responsible for cellular energy production and may be thought of as the fuel which allows the cells to begin to repair themselves. As these chemical reactions build up, the body's response to each treatment becomes stronger and the pain relief lasts longer. With each treatment the tissues are able to repair themselves more completely. In most cases, a series of treatments leads to permanent relief or to a greatly diminished level of pain.
Other Forms of Therapy have Resulted in little Lasting Relief, can Electro Acuscope Therapy treatments really help?
Possibly: The Electro Acuscope delivers a different type of treatment than any other form of pain management. It is very often effective where nothing else has been able to help in the past.
Real Life Response
While I read this information I thought that perhaps it may be a little "too-good-to-be-true". However, once Shadow had completed her course of treatments it was obvious that she was a lot more comfortable than before and the suspensory ligament problem had been relieved, even though the founder was still being treated.
And this treatment is good for humans too. That reminds me, my back is killing me...