What is Veterinary Acupuncture?
Acupuncture was originally developed in China over 4,000 years ago. It is a part of an integrated natural healing system referred to as ‘Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine’ (TCVM) in which small, sterile needles are inserted by the acupuncturist into specific points (acupoints) on the patients body. TCVM also incorporates other natural modalites such as food therapy, herbal medicine and Tui-na (acupressure). TCVM views the body in it’s entirety and centers primarily on the idea that a body must maintain a balanced, unhindered flow of energy, or Qi ( pronounced ‘Chi’), in order to remain healthy. Qi runs along meridians or channels like water down a stream. At specific points, decided upon through scientific research and thousands of years of empiricism, this flow can be influenced: where there is excess, we use needles to drain energy or sedate; where there is deficiency we tonify or strengthen; where there is stagnation, we remove obstacles. Any clinical manifestation, whether mild or severe, is a reflection that ‘Qi’ is not flowing freely. The degree of illness reflects the degree of disharmony within the body.
In order to maximize healing effects other modalities, such as:
moxa (Artemis vulgaris aka mugwart) is heated to gently add heat to a body system, electroacupuncture (EA) to gently add electrical current to the body, and aquapuncture (injections of vitamins/supplements), may be added if and when appropriate.
Is acupuncture safe? Does it hurt?
Those practicing veterinary acupuncture must be licensed veterinarians with specific training in veterinary acupuncture. The disposable needles used are flexible and slender and because they are sterile, there is a minimal risk of infection . While there may be a slight pinch on needle insertion (‘De-Qi’ sensation or ‘arrival of Qi’) , most patients appear quite comfortable and often become sedate during the acupuncture session. As needles begin to correct the energy imbalance, patients may feel a slight tingle, warmth or pressure. They usually leave the treatment feeling relaxed and energized.
Is acupuncture effective?
Acupuncture has stood the test of time and rigorous scientific investigation.
Acupuncture is an extremely effective, natural process of treatment and healing of the whole body system. Of course, individual variation exists which can be further influenced by age, condition, and overall well being. Some patients experience results after one session and some require a series of sessions.
What conditions can benefit from acupuncture?
The list of conditions that acupuncture can improve is at least as extensive as the conditions treated in Western medicine. Most commonly it is used for:
- Wellness and maintenance of good health
- Pain Management (arthritis, DJD, hip/elbow dysplasia, musculoskeletal abnormalities)
- Chronic disease: asthma, irritable bowel disease, chronic renal failure, hyperthyroidism, allergy, ear infections, eye infections, gingivitis, autoimmune disorders
- GI disorders
- Behavioral issues such as anxiety
- Improve quality of life in terminally ill patients
Intial visit and first treatment $120
Follow up visits $65
For more information go to:
www.ivas.org International Veterinary Acupuncture Association
www.aava.org American Academy of Veterinary Acupuncture