Holistic Horsekeeping Newsletter March 2022

Bony Bi Syndrome

Holistic Horsekeeping
How to have a healthy happy horse.
Volume 27, Number 3


In This Issue:

1. Bony Bi Syndrome

2. Holistic Horsekeeping Resources

Ever wonder why the miracle product that works on so many horses does not do a thing for your horse? Or why the wonder cure you found and shared with all your friends did not help their horses one little bit. The reason is not all pain is the same. Western Medicine tends to lump all pain symptoms together and treat them the same. Traditional Chinese Medicine(TCM) divides types of pain into 5 types and treats each type quite differently. 

According to TCM, except for acute injury, all pain is the result of an underlying weakness in the immune system. A healthy body should have an abundance of defensive Qi(Wei Qi) circulating through the meridians to protect against external pathogens such as Wind, Cold and Damp. Qi represents the life force of the body and meridians are the pathways through which this energy flows. TCM looks at pathogens like Wind, Cold, Heat, and Damp where Western Medicine looks at viruses, bacteria and parasites. Anyone who has experienced the achy joints and muscles with a the flu, a sinus headache or lymes disease understands how viruses, bacteria and parasites can cause pain. 

Pain in TCM is referred to a Bi Syndrome. Bi means obstruction in the meridians caused by the invasion of Wind, Cold and Damp. Bi syndrome may show as pain, soreness, numbness, or swelling of the joints, bones, muscles, and connective tissues. Western Medicine would label these conditions as rheumatism, arthritis, osteoarthritis, bursitis, fibromyalgia, sciatica, etc. 

The 5 types of pain according to TCM are Wandering Bi(Wind), Painful Bi(Cold), Fixed Bi(Damp), Febrile Bi(Heat) and Bony Bi(long standing Damp). 

Bony Bi is the result of long term invasion of Wind, Cold and Damp. You will see muscle atrophy, joint deformity and joint degeneration. Osteoarthritis is the Western equivalent of Bony Bi. Bony Bi will show up on radiographs but at this stage the condition is very difficult to treat. 

Types of TCM Pain:

Wandering Bi(Wind)

Painful Bi(Cold)

Fixed Bi(Damp)

Febrile Bi(Heat)

Bony Bi

Treatment and prevention for all Bi syndromes should begin with a strengthening of the Wei Qi. Overall health and nutrition should be examined. Nutritional products such as CitrusC/Q (Lungs/Wandering Bi), Immubiome Joint and Recovery and AniMotion (Spleen/Fixed Bi), Immubiome Strength and Stamina (Kidney/Painful Bi) and algae with Probiotics will support the underlying organ systems. General supportive acupressure points include, LI 11, GV 14, SP 6, ST 36 BL 11 and GB 39. 

Treatment of Bony Bi can be very disappointing so prevention is your best option. Treat all other Bi syndromes early and consistently to avoid degeneration into Bony Bi. To treat Bony Bi focus on pain relief and gentle exercise. Use the entire arsenal of treatments for all the other Bi conditions including Adequan injections and/or daily non steroidal anti inflammatory drugs if needed. Additional acupressure points specific for Bony Bi are BL 11, GB 39 and ST 40. 

Treatment and Prevention of Bony Bi

Treat all other Bi conditions early 

Gentle exercise

All other treatments for Bi conditions leading up to Bony Bi


Non steroidal anti inflammatory drugs on an ongoing basis

BL 11, GB 39, St 40

Pain from a TCM approach is not all the same and thus requires different plans for treatment and prevention. Western Medicine is often unable to explain pain before obvious pathology exists so targeted relief is limited. The TCM approach to pain can begin long before pathology occurs and can be targeted based on identifying the external pathogen as primarily related to Wind, Cold or Damp. You can save your horse much suffering with the TCM approach to relieving or preventing Bi syndromes. 

2. Holistic Horsekeeping Resources

Make this the year you commit to deepening your understanding of your horse and his/her needs according to temperament type. You will find lots of information on the Horse Temperament website, including an online course, help from temperament consultantsbalancing formulas, and books/audios. Then check out the “5 Element Personality” sections of articles on our blog and the Intro to 5 horse types and temperaments on Holistic Horsekeeping.

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Unless otherwise attributed, all material is written and edited by Madalyn Ward, DVM. Copyright (c) 2021 HolisticHorsekeeping.com and Madalyn Ward, DVM. All rights reserved.

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