Dr. Cesar Parra Responds to Acupuncture Treatments for Horses

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A recent report reveals that dressage horses suffering from a condition known as PSSM may be able to achieve recovery through acupuncture treatment. As an equestrian trainer, Dr. Cesar Parra recognizes the benefits of acupuncture in horses.

Those involved in dressage competitions understand that a horse’s performance demands thorough training; however, as a recent article from The Aiken Standard reveals that it is also imperative for owners to observe and address health issues in their horses. The article focuses on the story of Fhantom, an 11-year-old Hanoverian gelding owned by Janet Nagar that is affected by Equine Polysaccharide Storage Myopathy (PSSM)—a glycogen storage disease. After careful observation, veterinarian Dr. Stephanie Simonson determined that Fhantom would benefit from acupuncture treatment. As a seasoned professional in the equestrian community, Dr. Cesar Parra comments on his experiences in treating horses with acupuncture.

According to the article, before Simonson and Nagar were able to determine the best course of treatment for Fhantom, they first had to fully assess the horse’s condition. The article explains the signs of PSSM presentation, which can be identified by the horse’s reluctance to move, muscle fasciculations, asymmetrical muscling, reluctance to back and a tucked up abdomen. Simonson explains that PSSM also carries risk in terms of causing muscle damage to the animal. Noting the soreness that Fhantom displayed through his entire body, Simonson and Nagar had to approach treatment carefully. Dr. Cesar Parra notes that while horses may be very large, powerful animals, their health requires expert care, especially if they are sensitive.

The article notes that Simonson pursued acupuncture as part of Fhantom’s treatment, in addition to several other procedures. She states, “My goal…was to get him comfortable and to see if he was going to improve in order to make further diagnostic changes like injecting hocks or further treating the PSSM.” After an initial chiropractic adjustment, Fhantom showed signs of improvement to which Simonson responded with continued acupuncture treatments. She explains, “I came out every two weeks for a while. I was able to put some acupuncture needles in him and addressed the PSSM as well as muscle soreness, trying to boost his immune system.”

The Aiken Standard states that, after the treatments, Fhantom continued to display signs of recovery. In response to this particular case, Dr. Cesar Parra notes that Fhantom’s situation shows just how important it is to pay close attention to the health of a horse and any subsequent treatment. In regards to acupuncture, Dr. Cesar Parra adds, “Acupuncture really helps some horses. I have had a lot of good experiences with it, especially with the hotter more sensitive horses.”


Dr. Cesar Parra, founder of Piaffe-Performance, runs a full-service equestrian organization. Through his classes, Dr. Cesar Parra teaches students the principles of classic German training methods. Additionally, Dr. Cesar Parra reinforces integrity, courtesy, sharing, self-control, perseverance and strength of character amongst his staff and students. Dr. Cesar Parra encourages riders to build strong, trusting relationships with their horses in order to work together to achieve their goals.

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Tania Cartledge
PR Management Inc.
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