Allan Moffatt shares an ancient Chinese technique to treat old scar tissue in horses.
This technique from the old-fashioned traditions of Chinese Medicine really works in treating old scar tissue in horses. I have seen it completely clear up the worst scarring, which looked like leather, in two weeks. (I am not selling you anything. There is nothing to sell.)
You need to get some of what is called moxa rolls from a Chinese store or acupuncturist. It is a herb, mugwort, compressed into long rolls like a cigar. When burned it emits a fragrant, pleasant smoke which the horses don’t mind once they get used to it. It burns slowly and has the added advantage of not producing any ashes, so accidental burning is reduced to a minimum. The technique of using the moxa is called moxibustion. Originally it was designed to be used on acupuncture points and sometimes the needles themselves to enhance blood flow, to disperse hardness due to chill or swellings caused by dampness. The warmth moves the chill and the dampness.
Using it will stimulate the self-healing forces to come to an area. This self-healing force is called chi.(Qi). So what you do with scars is bring the lit moxa to about an inch from the scar tissue, making sure it is not hot at the skin level, just warm.
Then beginning slightly outside the scar make a slow circle around the outside level and then gradually make slow circles towards the inside of the scar to the center then back out again. Continue working this way, outside into centre and back out to outside. Imagine you are drawing something out with the warmth if that helps.
This needs up to 20 minutes each day. You will be amazed. I was.
One time I saw this dreadful scarring on a horse’s inside thigh about two feet diameter. It was black and hard. I taught the owner this technique and he did what I said with enthusiasm and caring. Within one week when I returned it was all new young flesh and when another week had gone by all the hair had grown back. There you go.
This technique can also be used for new scar tissue to speed the healing and prevent scar formation. As moxa stimulates the immune system it can be used lightly with fresh wounds after a certain time to prevent sepsis but one must be careful not to let it get too hot, and also if there is existing inflammation. It is not recommended if there is much inflammation with swelling.
Allan Moffatt has trained as a human acupuncturist. He has been practising equine acupuncture with traditional Chinese methods for more than 20 years and has a good understanding of the underlying processes involved. He teaches these via his online courses. He is the author of the Equine Acupuncture And Acupressure Reference Manual.
First published on Horsetalk.co.nz in March, 2010.