Acupuncture has been practiced in both people and animals for thousands of years in China. Acupuncture can be defined as the stimulation of a specific point on the body (acupuncture point) with a specific method that results in a therapeutic effect. There are hundreds of acupuncture points (energy outlets) on a human or animal’s body. Modern research shows that acupuncture points are located in areas where there is a high density of free nerve endings, mast cells, small arterioles, and lymphatic vessels. Through evaluation of acupuncture points and stimulation, with the appropriate style of acupuncture, the goal of balancing the body and energy flow can be accomplished.
There are a variety of ways in which a Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medical (TCVM) practitioner can stimulate acupoints. These techniques include dry needling, moxibustion, aqu-acupuncture and electro-stimulation. Whichever style is used, the goal is always the same: restore the flow of Qi (energy) and allow balance to return.
Acupuncture is a very safe medical procedure when administered by a qualified practitioner. Each treatment session will take between 20-60 minutes. The amount of sessions an animal requires depends heavily on the nature, severity and duration of disease. In general a minimum of three sessions is recommended.
Clinical trials support the effectiveness of acupuncture therapy in several conditions including:
- Musculoskeletal problems: soreness, back pain, disc disease, osteoarthritis, degenerative joint disease
- Neurologic Disorders: seizure, laryngeal hemiplagia, facial and radial nerve paralysis
- Gastrointestinal disorders: diarrhea, gastric ulcers, colic, vomiting, constipation
- Other: anhidrosis, behavioral issues, cough, uveitis, infertility, geriatric weakness, renal failure, skin conditions
- Performance Enhancement and prevention of disease
ONLY licensed veterinarians are eligible to practice acupuncture in most states. Finding a qualified acupuncturist near you can be done using the following website: www.tcvm.com