Vet school to open equine acupuncture center in Florida

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An architect's rendering of the new UF Equine Acupuncture Center.
An architect’s rendering of the new UF Equine Acupuncture Center.

A world-renowned veterinary acupuncturist is to head a new acupuncture center for horses in Florida.

Chi Institute founder Huisheng Xie, B.Sc.V.M., Ph.D. will head the University of Florida Equine Acupuncture Center. It is to open on September 4, catering for horses in the Ocala/Marion County area, which is home to several Kentucky Derby winners and is often referred to as the “horse capital of the world.”

Huisheng Xie
Huisheng Xie

It comprises a 6240-square-foot barn which includes 12 stalls and a treatment area, and a 12,500-square-foot arena. The center will function as a clinic through which Xie, a clinical professor in the integrative medicine service at the UF Veterinary Hospitals, will provide acupuncture therapy to aid in treatment of a variety of conditions affecting horses.

Xie, who founded The Chi Institute of Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine in 1998, is a world-renowned veterinary acupuncturist with decades of experience in the field. The new center will be located adjacent to the Chi Institute, about two miles west of Interstate 75 in Reddick.

“Acupuncture has been practiced in both animals and humans for thousands of years in China,” Xie said. “The benefits of acupuncture have been documented in an increasing number of clinical trials, and, as a result, we have a better understanding of acupuncture’s method of action. Our patients can benefit greatly from these new developments.”

Acupuncture involves the use of specific methods to stimulate points on the body in order to elicit a therapeutic effect. These points are referred to as Shu-xu, or acupuncture points, Xie said.

Studies have shown that acupuncture therapy may be effective in treating musculoskeletal conditions, lameness, neurological disorders, reproductive, respiratory and gastrointestinal disorders, dermatological issues and even behavioral problems.

“Although we have occasionally provided equine acupuncture through our farm call service, this new operation will be offered regularly, every Monday through Wednesday,” Xie said. “I am very honored and also proud of being part of the UF College of Veterinary Medicine to bring this unique medical care to our local equine community.”

North Carolina veterinarian Dr Cathy Mittenson needles rear points of a horse.
North Carolina veterinarian Dr Cathy Mittenson needles rear points of a horse. © Chi Institute


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