What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is the stimulation of acupuncture points located at anatomical locations on or near the surface of the body by sterile, filiform needles of different lengths, gauges, and metals. These points have an increased electrical conductivity due to a large number of nerve endings and immune cells as seen by electron microscopes. These points may produce changes in the body's internal organs and its functions. The location and method used (Dry needling, electro-acupuncture, aquapuncture, hemoacupuncture)affects the therapeutic reaction. One therapeutic effect is pain relief caused by the releasing of endorphins as natural painkillers. The use of acupuncture has been shown to provide generalized oxygenation and increased blood flow to specific areas of treatment, produce endogenous cortisone and other anti-inflammatory secretions to decrease inflammation and stimulate immunity by increasing white blood cells and antibodies. Other therapeutic effects consist of reproductive regulation, gastrointestinal regulation, fever reduction and stress relief.
Simply stated, acupuncture is the stimulation of certain points on the body that have the ability to alter various biochemical and physiologic conditions to achieve the desired effect. It is a means of the body helping heal itself. In Traditional Chinese Medicine theory, disease is an imbalance of energy in the body. Acupuncture therapy is based on balancing the energy, correcting the flow of energy, and thereby healing your pet.
What is Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine (TCVM)?
TCVM encompasses acupuncture, moxibustion, herbal medicine, food therapy, and tui-na (Chinese massage). Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine is a medical system that has been used for thousands of years to treat animals in China. The first known veterinary text was Bole's Cannon of Veterinary Acupuncture (Bole Zhenjing) by Sun Yang in 659 to 621 B.C. The Chinese had transposed the acupuncture points to animals from the human body. In fact, one of the oldest human medical textbooks dates back 4700 years called Huang Di Nei Jing (The Yellow Emperor's Classic of Internal Medicine).
What are the Length of time and Frequency of the Treatments?
The actual Acupuncture treatments commonly are between 10-30 minutes. The initial examination, evaluation and treatment will be 60-90 minutes. The frequency varies with the condition. Typically, the acupuncture treatments are spread weekly then require monthly treatments once initial response level has peaked and maximum effect is to be maintained. Animals undergoing athletic training can benefit from acupuncture as often as twice a week to once a month. The frequency will depend on the condition of the athlete and the intensity of the training
Does Acupuncture hurt?
Most pets find acupuncture virtually painless. The needles are sterile, hair-thin and sharp without a cutting point. Once the needle passes the skin and are in place there is no pain. Nevertheless, acupuncture treatment may cause tingles, numbness, or a warming sensation which may be uncomfortable to some animals. Most animals with become sleepy and relaxed during the treatment.
As most people know acupuncture treats musculoskeletal problems such as degenerative joint disease, pain and trauma and tie-up in Horses very well. Acupuncture is indicated mainly for functional problems, not structural problems.
Most people do not know that Acupuncture and Herbal therapy together can treat a large amount of Internal Medicine cases and others such as the following:
The following are a few of the disorders, but not limited to:
Musculoskeletal Disorders including arthritis, hip dysplasia, sprains, sore backs in horses
Gastrointestinal Disorders including megacolon, IBD, chronic idiopathic diarrhea or vomiting, colic
Skin Disorders including lick granulomas, chronic ear infections
Urinary Disorders including incontinence, cystitis, renal failure
Neurological Disorders including facial or limb paralysis, seizures, IVDD, Degenerative Myelopathy
Reproductive Disorders including infertitlity
Endocrine Diseases including Cushing's Disease, Diabetes, Hypo and Hyperthyroidism
Behavioral Disorders including noise phobias, anxiety
Others: Laminitits in Horses, Anhidrosis, Autoimmune diseases, Cancer
Is Acupuncture safe for animals?
Acupuncture is one of the safest forms of medical treatment for animals when administered by a properly trained veterinarian. An animal's condition may worsen up to 48 hours after a treatment. Other animals may become very sleepy for 24 hours after the acupuncture treatment These effects indicate there are physiological changes developing, and they are most often followed by an improvement in the animal's condition. This is the result of the energy or Qi moving in the body.
What is Medical Manipulation?
Veterinary Medical Manipulation is using motion palpation to find restrictions in the joints.
A restriction can cause pain, muscle tension, decrease Range of Motion, decrease reflexes, cause motor weakness which in turn decreases muscle tone and cause laxity in adjacent joints. This all can lead to lameness.
If an animal is standing square, its balance is normal and its proprioception is normal thus its nervous system is working properly. If its nervous system is working properly then the musculoskeletal system is also working properly.
Western Veterinary Medicine treats damaged tissue.
Veterinary Medical Manipulation restores Range of Motion.
Veterinary Acupuncture supports BOTH.
Veterinary Acupuncture and Veterinary Medical Manipulation are synergistic.