Alternative Medicine

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Employing a holistic approach to treating patients, Palm Beach Equine Clinic considers all the available avenues for equine healthcare. Alternative therapies are often used in conjunction with traditional medicine and can be uniquely tailored to enhance a horse’s performance and overall health. Palm Beach Equine Clinic boasts skilled alternative medicine practitioners who specialize in:

  • Acupuncture and electro-acupuncture
  • Veterinary medical manipulation (chiropractic adjustments)
  • Laser therapy
  • Shockwave treatments
  • Chinese herbal medicine

Equine Acupuncture


Acupuncture is based on the principles of energetic pathways throughout the body that influence associated internal structures. Energy from these pathways surface at certain intersections of tissue, identified as acupuncture points, and may be stimulated by extremely fine gauge needles.

Acupuncture treatment activates the body’s natural healing abilities and can address a wide variety of issues. Research has indicated that acupuncture may be an effective adjunct therapy for musculoskeletal, neurological, gastrointestinal, respiratory and endocrine conditions. Acupuncture may induce physiological effects such as pain management, gastrointestinal regulation, decreased inflammation and increased circulation. Chronic conditions such as anhidrosis, heaves and behavioral issues, may also be addressed with acupuncture therapy. Acupuncture treatment plans are unique for each horse with sessions typically lasting 45 minutes to an hour in length.

Veterinary Medical Manipulation

Commonly referred to as Chiropractic Adjustments.

Veterinarians apply this form of manual therapy with varying amounts of pressure to specific anatomical areas. Veterinary medical manipulation is most often focused on the vertebral column and used to address joint issues, muscular development, to stimulate nerve reflexes and reduce pain. Horses with a decline in their performance, uneven gait, collection issues or intermittent lameness may benefit from veterinary chiropractic manipulation.

Veterinary medical manipulation is a popular treatment for high level performance horses across disciplines. The Palm Beach Equine Clinic team is complete with veterinarians specialized in equine chiropractic services to properly evaluate and treat a variety of disorders that traditional medicine may not address.

Herbal Medicine

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Herbal, or botanical, medicine is the foundation of modern pharmaceuticals and can be used to promote optimal health and remedy a wide range of issues. As herbivores, horses naturally seek out different plants for self-treatment. Chinese herbal medicine is aimed at treating the underlying causes of an issue to encourage the body to heal itself, rather than synthetic medications that only temporarily treat the presenting symptoms. 

Horses can benefit greatly from Chinese herbal medicine and these therapies are often used to address anhidrosis, behavioral issues, and aid digestion and circulation. Herbal treatments are often combined with other alternative therapies, such as acupuncture, in keeping with ancient Chinese tradition.

As with any medication, herbal medicine should not be used casually. Consultation with a Palm Beach Equine Clinic veterinarian is recommended before beginning herbal medicine treatment.

Laser Therapy

Palm Beach Equine Clinic’s Dr. Natalia Novoa goes far beyond standard treatment by utilizing Regenerative Laser Therapy.

Laser therapy (photobiomodulation) is a safe, non-invasive “cold” light used to penetrate tissue structures. Laser therapy is well tolerated and does not require sedation and increases cellular activity, blood flow and enhances tissue oxygenation. Essentially, it enhances the body’s natural healing mechanisms and expedites the restorative process.

There are four classes of lasers with different application protocols for power, duration and wavelengths. Palm Beach Equine Clinic uses different classes of laser therapies based on each horse’s individual conditions.

Marilyn Connor shockwave therapy palm beach equine clinic website size

Shockwave Therapy

Extracorporeal Shockwave therapy is a non-invasive treatment option offered by Palm Beach Equine Clinic to encourage the body’s self-healing process. Shockwave therapy targets high energy sound waves on the skin surface to reach an intended tissue depth. In veterinary medicine, shockwave therapy has shown to increase blood flow, tissue regeneration and circulation, therefore, resulting in success with conditions such as navicular disease, tendon and ligament injuries, osteoarthritis, fractures and wound healing.

Palm Beach Equine Clinic veterinarians utilize shockwave therapy as part of the sports and general medicine treatment plans of many patients and advise owners entering the competition arena of the proper withdrawal practices issued by the United States Equestrian Federation and International Equestrian Federation.

Contact our veterinarians to learn how alternative medicine may benefit your horse.