Acupressure for Equine Head Shaking

Equine Head Shaking Syndrome

Cause of Equine Head Shaking Syndrome

Equine Head Shaking can be a frustrating and painful issue for you and your horse. Causes of Head Shaking include allergies, infections, cranial nerve disorders, nasal issues, mite infestation, or middle ear disorders. The condition can be painful, to the point of equine self-mutilation. Humans with this issue have described the pain as a burning, crawling or electrical pain sensation.

These symptoms are often worse while a horse is exercising, but they can show up even at rest. Some recent studies have found that a large number of horses are affected in the spring or early summer. Photophobia (or photic head shaking), is a condition not completely understood. It may occur when light activates the optic nerve. Some of the nerve signals travel to the trigeminal nerve running to the nose, perhaps giving the horse the feeling of something foreign in the nasal cavity. 
Trigeminal neuralgia. Itmay be the result of a problem with the part of the trigeminal nerve in the brain, the other end of which is in the nose. This is thought to make the nerve hypersensitive to warmth, cold, pollen, dust, allergies or many other irritants.

To learn more about equine acupressure check out our series of Acupressure books, or click here to see the acupressure training classes available to you and your animals!

Acupoints known to benefit the condition of equine head shaking are shown on the chart below.

acupressure points for head shaking in horses

As always, consult your holistic veterinarian first as this is a serious and possibly dangerous condition.