Pain Explained with Traditional Chinese Medicine – Part 2

If you missed part 1 of this article on how Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) divides types of pain into 5 types and treats each type quite differently, you can see it at

Treatment and Prevention of Bi Syndromes:

Wandering Bi – The horse that is off for no reason.
Treatment and prevention for Wandering Bi includes protection from the wind by providing good shelter or blanketing. Nutritional support would include Citrus C/Q or Bleeder’s Blend to support the lungs, and chia seeds for fatty acids and minerals to support the skin, connective tissues and joints. Di magnesium malate can also be helpful for muscle soreness. Glucosamine based joint supplements or non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs will not give the desired pain relief with early signs of Wandering Bi. As the Wandering Bi syndrome develops the Wind can transform into heat and manifest as inflammation. At this time Wandering Bi will respond to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and glucosamine based joint supplements, but the underlying cause will not be eliminated. The homeopathic remedy, pulsatilla, can be helpful. Acupressure points would include LI 11, TH 5, GV 14, BL 11 and 12, GB 39.

Treatment and prevention of Wandering Bi

  • Provide good shelter or blanket during windy weather
  • Citrus C/Q, Bleeder’s blend
  • Chia seeds
  • Di magnesium malate
  • Pulsatilla
  • Acupressure points LI  11, TH 5, GV 14, BL 11 and 12, GB 39

Painful Bi – The horse that starts out lame but warms out of it.
Treatment and prevention of Painful Bi includes providing shelter from the cold or blanketing if needed. Nutritional support would include glucosamine based joint supplements such as Cosequin ASU and MSM which have a slightly warming effect on the tissues due to the sulfur they contain. Liniments such as Formula 11 will warm an area by increasing circulation. Hot compresses and rubbing will relieve pain. Regular exercise is important to keep circulation going so blood does not become congealed or stagnated in one area. Arnica, Ruta and Rhus tox are good homeopathic remedies to consider for Painful Bi syndrome. Acupressure points to consider include ST 36, LI 11, CV 6 and GV 4. The herb, moxa, can be burned over the acupressure point to provide an additional warming effect.

Treatment and Prevention of Painful Bi

  • Providing shelter from the cold and blanketing as needed
  • Cosequin ASU
  • MSM
  • Hot compresses and rubbing
  • Regular exercise
  • Arnica, ruta and rhus tox
  • ST 36, LI 11, CV 6 and GV 4

Fixed Bi – The horse that has sound days and lame days depending on the weather.
Treatment and prevention of Fixed Bi includes 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.

Treatment and Prevention of Fixed Bi

  • Provide a dry place for the horse to stand and sleep
  • Blue green algae
  • AniMotion
  • Food based digestive enzymes with added digestive aids
  • Avoid poor quality fats and oils
  • Byonia and Dulcamara
  • SP 6 and 9, ST 36

Febrile Bi
Treatment and prevention of Febrile Bi focuses on supporting the Wei Qi and expelling external pathogens. Citrus C/Q, Garlic plus C or Equinacea are all good products for support of the Wei Qi with Febrile Bi. Liniments such as Sore no More and Draw solution will relieve pain. Drawing agents such as Sore no More poultice, epson salts and Draw solution will help pull toxins to the exterior. Avoid bandaging if possible because it can increase the pain. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs may be needed to control pain. The homeopathic remedy, Apis, may help with hot swollen joints. Hepar sulph and Silica are good remedies for hoof abscesses. Acupressure points include ST 44, LI 4, GV 14 and LI 11.

Treatment and prevention of Febrile Bi

  • Citrus C/Q, Garlic plus C or Equinacea
  • Sore no More
  • Draw solution
  • Poultices and epson salt soaks
  • Avoid bandaging
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
  • Apis, Hepar sulph or Silica
  • ST 44, LI 4, GV 14, LI 11

Bony Bi
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 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.

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