Bridging the Gap Between Eastern and Western Veterinary Medicine

At Heart Equine our goal is true healing for our patients. Our treatment protocol masterfully combines the practices and principles of both Eastern and Western Medicine. The synergistic effect of the two approaches is overwhelmingly successful in the treatment of horses. An understanding of the strengths of each form of medicine will show that it is the balance of both that will restore health over time.

Western Medicine

In Western Medicine Doctors are trained to recognize and treat specific disease states or disorders in the body. The malfunction is located and repaired. The disease is identified by the symptoms that it causes and the specific effects it has on the patient. The illness is perceived as a distinct entity that is separate from the patient. One example where this is extremely effective is in the case of infections. There are many medications that are very important in their rapid control over acute and contagious disease states. Advanced surgical techniques are also provided by Western Medicine. In Equine Sports Medicine the identification and extent of an injury is combined with local therapy. This been very successful especially in acute or traumatic situations.

Eastern Medicine

Eastern medicine aims to restore the body to a balanced state. An Eastern style practitioner will view the patient, the disease, and then examine their relationship to each other. Every symptom as well as general characteristics are noted and reviewed as being pertinent to the patients current health. The practitioner attempts to use this information to find a pattern of imbalance in the patient’s body. A symptom is not traced back to a cause but approached as a part of the total animal. The pattern identified provides the guidelines for a treatment protocol which will restore harmony to the body. In the case of a chronic disease that does not have a specific cause this process of supporting the whole body can have many benefits over time. Often those subtle symptoms that we consider almost normal will disappear as the entire body starts to function better. The ability to handle a disease state of any type is based on the overall strength of the system. In Equine Sports Medicine, muscles that are free of stagnation and a balanced emotional and internal constitution will strongly contribute to the rate and success of the healing.

Bridging the Gap

A lot of times the injuries to our horses are accompanied by stress and pain that incite disease states like colic, founder, respiratory infections and even behavioral issues. As a Western doctor this is perceived as a normal secondary complication to a traumatic or stressful incident. We can treat the acute problem successfully but often fail in the long term due to complications and side effects of the therapies. The Eastern treatment regimes will balance the bodies homeostatic mechanisms giving it the strength to counter and prevent this cycle of complications. This strategy of maintaining harmony within the patient’s body is an integral component to restoring and maintaining long term health and soundness. Bridging the gap is learning that the balance of our therapies will treat the problems and at the same time strengthen the system to prevent the cycle of progression and reoccurrence.