What is Acupuncture?
Veterinarians have used acupuncture alone or in conjunction with Western medicine in almost every wild, domestic, and exotic species for over 3,000 years. It is characterized by the insertion of needles into specific points on the body to produce a healing response for numerous ailments. Each acupuncture point has specific actions when stimulated. Acupuncture operates on the concept that pathways in the body, called meridians, have access points. These are the locations, or points used for acupuncture. Double blind clinical trials have established that acupuncture does improve clinical outcome in the treatment of many conditions in both animals and people, but we do not have a full understanding of the neurologic or biochemical basis of how acupuncture works. Researches continue to study the effectiveness of acupuncture and we are confident as new study results become available our understanding of how and why acupuncture works will become clear. Although not every condition responds to acupuncture many do. It provides a safe and effective alternative and/or additive treatment modality that will keep your pet more comfortable.
How does it work?
From a traditional Chinese veterinary medicine point of view, acupuncture helps return the body’s balance of Qi and blood flow to normal, so the body can heal itself from sickness or injury. When an acupuncture point is stimulated, normal flow of energy and blood can be increased or restored. From a Western veterinary medicine point of view, acupuncture stimulates nerves, increases blood circulation, improves flow of inflammatory cells, relieves muscle spasms, activates the immune system, and causes the release of hormones, such as endorphins (one of the body’s pain control chemicals) and cortisol (a natural steroid).
What is it used for?
• Osteoarthritis/Degenerative joint disease
• Intervertebral disc disease
• Neoplasia (cancer)
• Trauma (surgery, car accidents, animal fights, and falling)
• Muskuloskeletal conditions
• Metabolic disorders (kidney/liver failure, pancreatitis, feline hyperthyroidism, Cushing’s disease, Addison’s disease, hypothyroidism, and diabetes mellitus, etc.)
• Cardiomyopathies, respiratory illness
• Behavioral modification, athletic performance
• Skin problems, GI upset, reproductive issues
• Immune-mediated condition