Hox Zodiac Final Assignment: Acupuncture Therapy in Horses

Hi everyone!

My name is Nisma and I am a psychology student. I am born in the year of the Horse! Horses and dragons are both large, strong, 4-legged animals whose importance in various cultures dates back centuries. According to My Pandit, Horses belong to the fire element and Dragons belong to the earth element, and while they might not be the most perfect match, they complement each other well in certain areas. For example, “the Chinese horse animal sign is excellent with money, and dragons are natural money collectors”. (Link 1). Additionally, neither the horse nor the dragon likes to stay at home, both opt towards explorative lifestyles. There are certainly similarities between these two strong and independent signs.

One of my passions is natural medicine and ancient healing systems such as Chinese medicine, Tibetan medicine, and Ayurveda. I would like to pursue a degree in psychology so I can begin to understand the mind-body-spirit connection more deeply.  

Upon doing some research, I found that a form of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), acupuncture, is often used on horses! According to the University of Florida Large Animal Hospital, “the earliest veterinary acupuncture book “Bo Le Zhen Jing” is believed to have been written by Dr. Bo Le in the Qin-mu-gong period (659BCE to 621BCE)”! (Link 2)

According to The American Association of Equine Practitioners, “the use of complementary therapies continues to increase in veterinary practice…the two most utilized are veterinary acupuncture and chiropractic” (Link 3). According to UC Davis Center for Equine Health, “acupuncture typically involves the insertion of fine needles through the skin at particular points to cause therapeutic effects” and “It can be used in conjunction with conventional veterinary medicine to treat various equine medical conditions and to relieve pain” (Link 4). I also learned from this source that horses were “among the first animals treated with acupuncture due to their importance in warfare and farming” (Link 4)! By helping relieve musculoskeletal problems, gastrointestinal disorders, neurological disorders, and other chronic conditions in horses, acupuncture not only helps horses physically but also mentally and emotionally as a by-product. Certain acupuncture points are known to release serotonin, known as the feel-good chemical! According to the National Institute of Health, “Spirit-regulating acupuncture has been proven to calm the mind, decrease hyperarousal and daytime fatigue, and adjust emotions” as well as affect areas such as the amygdala, hippocampus, and occipital lobe (Link 5). My research indicates that there are clear links between physical and mental/emotional/spiritual health. After all, every system in our body is connected! It appears that practitioners of Traditional Chinese Medicine are well aware of this link. As described, there are clear links between the horse zodiac, Traditional Chinese Medicine, and psychology. I hope this inspires you to do some research of your own!


VIDEO: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oOQUtGKfyvI

Shows an example of acupuncture being done on a horse that serves as a therapy animal for a young child.


Image descriptions:

IMAGE 1: A vet standing next to a horse who is about to get some needles inserted.

IMAGE 2: The horse’s owner is about to insert the needles into the horse’s neck area.

IMAGE 3: This type of acupuncture involves stimulation via an electrical current that adds to the therapeutic effects of the treatment.


  1. https://www.mypandit.com/chinese-horoscope/zodiac/compatibility/horse-dragon/
  2. https://largeanimal.vethospitals.ufl.edu/hospital-services/acupuncture-rehabilitation/
  3. https://aaep.org/horsehealth/veterinary-acupuncture-and-chiropractic-what-when-who
  4. https://ceh.vetmed.ucdavis.edu/health-topics/acupuncture-horses
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8725477/#:~:text=According%20to%20traditional%20Chinese%20medicine,and%20adjust%20emotions%20%5B33%5D.

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