College opens new equine acupuncture center in Ocala

The new UF equine acupuncture center.

The new UF Equine Acupuncture Center is now open for business in Marion County. (Photo courtesy of Dr. Huisheng Xie)

The University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine has opened a new acupuncture center 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.”

The UF Equine Acupuncture Center, which opened on Sept. 4, consists of a 6,240-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 Huisheng Xie, B.Sc.V.M., Ph.D., 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 is 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,” he 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.”

Hours of operation are between 9:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. All visits must be made through appointments scheduled with the UF Large Animal Hospital.

For more information about the new center, visit vethospitals.ufl.edu. To make an appointment, call 352-392-2229.