The way that Low-Level Light Therapy works is based on the same principles as acupuncture or acupressure; in other words, it works by making use of the meridians within the body. For the people who are unaware of the aspect of meridians, there re a total of twelve meridians running throughout the body; and could be compared to the electrical circuits that run through your home. Just as your home has electrical current running through those same circuits all living creatures have electrical current running through them, this is what is referred to as Chi (pronounced Chee), in Oriental terms, or the life force energy, scientists refer to it as an electrical charge. This energy, magical, invisible, but real, consists of negative (Yin) and positive (Yang) polarities. It travels throughout the healthy body in an on-going and self-regulating balance, just like the electricity in your home, along energy pathways called meridians; which is your body’s wiring.
The meridian system balances Yin and Yang and keeps Chi moving; regulates conditions of excess and deficiency; resists external and internal disease-producing organisms, and indicates when there are disharmony and imbalance.
Along these meridians are approximately 350 points on the human body and close to 365 points on the horse’s body, which are located very close to the surface of the skin and referred to as acupoints. These specific points are about the size of a dime and can be stimulated to either increase or decrease the energy level in order to restore balance and allow for healing. The stimulation of these acupoints can be done by the use of needles, as in acupuncture, with fingertip pressure, as in acupressure, as well as with the use of low-level light sources and other techniques.
So how do we work with all of this information?
It’s all about getting the feel and that is known as Meridian Tracing….
Meridian tracing is a simple method in acupressure that allows the practitioner to begin to feel the energy and its flow through the meridian, and it has therapeutic value as well. The therapeutic value is not as great as specific point treatment, but tracing moves and stimulates the energy along the meridians, enhancing its flow. Tracing the meridians is also used to begin a treatment session, and end it. Tracing begins to release blocked energy, and increase circulation.
Indicators of an effective treatment include points which were warm returning to normal body temperature and feel, points or areas of the body that were cool coming up to body temperature, a decrease of inflammation, a nervous or pained horse becoming calm and relaxed, body posture changes, and attitude adjustments. The practitioner’s positive intent while doing any of the energy work also increases the beneficial effects of a treatment.
There are additional points that are known as Alarm Points and Association Points. These points will allow the practitioner to determine which meridians need to be worked upon. By utilizing the Alarm and Association Points, one can determine which meridians need work the most. Alarm Points are specific points that, when painful or tender, indicate an organ problem. Alarm Points are located on the underside of the horse, on or near the midline, on the abdomen and chest, and near a particular organ.
Association Points are specific points that, when painful or tender, indicate a blockage in the corresponding meridian or a problem in the corresponding organ. Each Association Point is directly connected with an internal organ and a meridian; each of the twelve meridians has a unique association point. The Association Points directly affect the organs and can strengthen the organ. The Association Points are located on the back between the withers and the rump, along the Bladder Meridian, which runs parallel to the spine.
A qualified practitioner can use both the Alarm and Association Points to determine the depth of the problem. For instance, when there is sensitivity at an Association Point it will usually denote a problem in the Meridian; while sensitivity in both the Alarm and Association Points usually means there is a problem in both the Meridian and the Organ.
Having sensitivity to a light pressure will most likely be a problem that would be classed as acute in nature, while sensitivity to deep pressure will point towards a chronic problem. A painful or sensitive response would be moving away from the touch or pressure, quivering of the muscle, ducking the back, or attempting to bite or kick.