Veterinarian Acupuncture: Where East Meets West
There’s no good reason for an animal to be in pain or under the weight of a chronic disorder like hip dysplasia, osteoarthritis, asthma, epilepsy, incontinence, tendinitis or allergies. That’s why we incorporate conventional medicine and surgery with alternative treatments such as acupuncture to diagnose and treat numerous conditions. We’ll do everything in our power to bring your pet our of discomfort and back to good health. Contact us today for more information or to book a consultation appointment.
What is acupuncture?
A form of therapy that stimulates specific points on the body, called acupoints, to achieve certain desired healing effects. Most commonly the acupoints are stimulated by insertion of needles. It is an integral part of Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine (T.C.V.M.) and has been successfully practiced in both human and veterinary fields in China for over 3,000 years.
How does acupuncture work?
Acupuncture stimulates the body to heal itself by activating certain physiological changes. In ancient Chinese medical terms, diseases cause imbalances in the energies in the body and acupuncture is able to restore this balance, and therefore restore health. In Western terms, studies have found that acupuncture can stimulate nerves, increase blood circulation, regulate blood pressure, have anti-inflammatory effects, cause the release of hormones such as endorphins and serotonins, as well as stimulate the immune system.
For which conditions is acupuncture indicated?
Acupuncture is effective for (but not limited to) the following conditions:
- Musculoskeletal problems – arthritis, pain, disc disease, muscle spasms.
- Neurological problems – paresis/paralysis due to disc disease, seizures.
- Gastrointestinal problems – diarrhea, stomach ulcers, constipation, vomiting, irritable bowel disease.
- Skin problems – lick granuloma, allergic skin disease.
- Support for cancer patients – can stimulate the immune system to fight cancer and improve/maintain good quality of life. Great for adjunct therapy along with chemotherapy.
- Generally, any chronic conditions – geriatric weakness, renal failure, asthma, cough, certain behavioral issues.
What are the special benefits for using acupuncture?
Acupuncture utilizes the body’s own healing potential. It is gentle and has minimal side effects. Human studies have found the rate of adverse events to be 0.001% in the hands of competent acupuncturists, with the most common events being forgotten needles. It is safe even in geriatric animals and is recommended in the AAHA Senior Care Guidelines for Dogs and Cats for treatment of pain. With the help of acupuncture, we can either decrease the usage of certain medications (ie.NSAIDS for pain) or even completely eliminate the need for them in certain cases.
Is acupuncture painful?
It is usually not painful to receive acupuncture. A mild tangling sensation can be felt with the insertion of needles. Most animals become very relaxed and may even seem lethargic after a treatment for 1-3 days, some will even seem a little worse for a couple of days – these are all signs that the body is changing and making adjustments to begin the healing process.
How long does each treatment last?
The initial evaluation session will be 1 hour, with follow up sessions being 30 minutes. The actual acupuncture treatment length will vary from 15-25 minutes most of the time.
How many treatments are needed?
It depends on the nature and the duration of the disease. The effects of acupuncture is cumulative. Acute conditions may be cured with 1 or 2 treatments. While more chronic problems may take a series of 4-10 treatments. With most degenerative conditions occasional tune-ups will be needed (ie. monthly or bimonthly treatments) overtime to maintain the patient.
Acknowledgement to Chi Institute of Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine.