How to have a healthy happy horse.
Volume 26, Number 11
In This Issue:
1. Fixed Bi
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).
Fixed Bi acts like damp with edema, numbness and stiffness more than pain. Wet weather will aggravate symptoms. Western Medicine would call this type pain rheumatism. Stocking up in the legs would also be a characteristic of Fixed Bi. This horse will have sound days and lame days depending on the weather. The area of concern may be obvious due to swelling but other times no outward symptoms are seen.
Fixed Bi – The horse that has sound days and lame days depending on the weather
Treatment and prevention of Fixed Bi include providing a dry place for the horse to get out of the rain or mud. Nutritional support includes drying foods such as blue green algae and diuretic herbs such as those included in AniMotion. Food based enzymes with digestive aids help prevent dampness in the body. Avoid over feeding poor quality fat such as animal fats or vegetable oils. Homeopathic remedies to consider include Bryonia and Dulcamara. Acupressure points are SP 6 and 9, and ST 36.
Earth and Earth/Metal horses are subject to Fixed Bi types of pain. The Earth Balance formula helps to drain dampness and clear toxins in Earth horses. It can be given when the horse is showing discomfort or as a preventative when the weather is damp.
AniMotion is a unique formulation of Devil’s Claw and Yucca. I knew the developer of this formula and she was so knowledgeable in her herbs and formulas. I have seen this product work wonderfully on horses with Fixed Bi symptoms. It does not have to be fed all the time but if it is fed continually you may want to increase the amount if your horse is having a bad day. AniMotion has a detoxifying action on the muscles and connective tissues. It also supports the liver and spleen.
Treatment and Prevention of Fixed Bi
Provide a dry place for the horse to stand and sleep
Food based digestive enzymes with added digestive aids
Avoid poor quality fats and oils
Byonia and Dulcamara
SP 6 and 9, ST 36
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 consultants, balancing 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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