3 Great Equine Acu-Points

3 Great Equine Acu-Points

The 3 points, Bladder 11, Large Intestine 4, and Governing Vessel 4 are super points, used for a variety of equine needs. Their Energetics, indicators of use, and their functions are noted below along with pictures of their location. 


Bladder 11 (Bl 11) is the important acu-point for any bone issue including arthritis, spondylosis, deformities, inflammation, osteoporosis, and joint issues. Bladder 11 has quite a few other uses for animals such as tonifying blood and marrow, and regulating and dispersing Lung chi. It is used consistently as a local acu-point for cervical spine problems. 

Turn to Bl 11 for broken bones, surgery involving bones and joints, plus all aging problems related to the animal’s bones. Because of Bladder 11’s location at the base of the neck, it can help with stiffness, pain, or other neck problems. A horse, dog, or cat can benefit from Bl 11 when it is experiencing any respiratory condition such as a cold or difficulty breathing. Animals with any blood diseases can also benefit from this acu-point.

Acupoint Classification 

Bladder 11 is the Hui-Meeting acupoint for bones, it is also called the “Influential point for bones.” This point powerfully affects the health of bone because it has a “weaving action” (Acupuncture Points: Images & Functions, Arnie Lade). Bones provide the structure of the body the way the warp and weft create the structure of fabric. 

Bladder 11 is a Sea of Blood point along with Stomach 37 and 39. The Sea of Blood Points regulate the amount and flow of blood in the animal’s body.

Indicators / Clinical Signs 

Bl 11 for horses

Bl 11 can be included in an acupressure session when the animal presents with the indicators or clinical signs listed below: 

  • Bone-related disease or injury
  • Joint problems
  • Neck issues
  • Anemia or other blood disease
  • Lung infection, cough, cold, or flu
  • Asthma and other respiratory disease

1.5 cun lateral to the dorsal midline, at the 2nd thoracic vertebral space, cranial to the withers and scapular cartilage.


Why is it so powerful? Because it’s a dynamic chi mover. LI 4 is the Yuan-Source point for the Large Intestine meridian. As a Yuan-Source point, LI 4 enhances the flow of Original Chi to the Large Intestines and thus supports its immune system capabilities. This point is the Master point for the face, mouth, nose, jaw, and neck. In other words, LI 4 can and should be used to resolve any issues related to those anatomical locations.

NOTE: Because LI 4 is a powerful chi moving point it’s contraindicated during pregnancy unless there’s a difficult birth or a need to induce labor. LI 4 is known to promote both labor and expel retained placenta.

Energetics & Functions Animal - Amazing Animal Acupressure Points #2 - LI 4
The energy of LI 4 is upward and outward, hence LI 4 Dispels Wind Cold or Wind Heat, releases pathogens from the body, clears Heat/Fire, strengthens Wei chi, resolves pain anywhere in the body, restores yang chi, while also directly influencing the face, nose, mouth, jaw and neck.

Like any powerful acupoint, the list of what LI 4 can resolve is lengthy: headaches, fever, nasal /sinus congestion, facial swelling or pain, eye problems, mouth issues, jaw/teeth pain, neck stiffness or pain, emotional stress, non-sweating issues (anhidrosis), retained placenta, and pain anywhere in the body. Because of its location LI 4 benefits the forelimb. It can soften hard masses and relaxes the soft tissues of the body. And, this point should be added to any acupressure session where the immune system has been compromised in anyway.

LI 4 is found distal and medial to the head of the medial splint bone.

Some Chinese texts refer to Governing Vessel 4 as the place where the animal’s “spark” of life originated. GV 4 resides between the two Kidneys. It is said that this is where yin and yang combined to create life, hence it as seen as the location of the original yin and yang of the body. This is why GV 4 is considered a powerful acupoint and is commonly used in so many of the healing arts.

Energetic Actions 
GV 4 tonifies Kidney yang, clears heat/fire, dispels internal wind, expels cold, dries dampness, benefits essence/Jing, regulates the Governing Vessel, strengthens the back and hind limbs, regulates water passages, replenishes blood, and clears the mind/shen.

Indicators / Clinical Signs

GV 4 for horsesGV 4 can be included in an acupressure session when the animal presents with the indicators or clinical signs listed:
  • Pain, spasms, weakness or stiffness in the lumbar spine and/or hind limbs
  • Fever or febrile disease, fatigue
  • Abdominal pain
  • Excessive fear or fright
  • Depression or Shen disturbance
  • Seizures
  • Anal prolapse
  • Urinary incontinence

Found on the dorsal midline in the depression between the 2nd and 3rd lumbar vertebrae.