At Colony Veterinary Hospital, we believe in offering the most comprehensive care available. There are often many approaches to medical care ranging from standard Western medicine to more holistic methods. Complementary therapies can be recommended based upon conventional diagnostic methods as well as traditional Chinese medical pattern diagnosis. These therapies can be used as stand-alone treatments or combined with conventional Western therapies.
What Is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is a type of traditional Chinese veterinary medicine (TCVM). It is an ancient medical practice that has been used on people for over 3000 years. This therapy has become a more common practice in domestic animals in the last 30 years.
Acupuncture is the insertion of fine needles into specific points on the body to cause a desired healing effect by balancing the energy or “Qi” (pronounced “chi”) in the body. Acupuncture works by stimulating the nervous system, endocrine system and immune systems in the body. Plain “dry” needles, electostimulation (electo-acupuncture), injection of substances into acupuncture points (aqua-acupuncture), or moxabustion (heat applied to needles or acupoints) can be used to stimulate acupoints.
By stimulating chemicals such as endorphins and serotonin to be released by the brain, acupuncture can help control and relieve pain. Acupuncture has also been shown to support the immune system, increase white blood cell counts, improve endocrine function, relax muscles, regulate the intestinal tract, reduce inflammation, improve local blood flow and speed healing.
Acupuncture can be used to treat many different problems in animals. It is especially useful to control chronic pain and disease. It can often replace western pain medicine when animals cannot take them due to kidney, liver or stomach disease. Acupuncture can also support and improve organ disease when western medicine has little to offer, or help western medicine regulate diseases such as renal failure or neurologic conditions.
Benefits of Acupuncture Include:
Safety: One of the safest forms of medical treatment when administered by a properly trained veterinarian.
Pain: Usually painless. Needles are the width of a human hair and are virtually imperceptable during placement
Side effects: Rare and substantially less common than with many drugs and other accepted conventional treatments.
Integrated Medicine: Can be used in combination with conventional Western therapies.
Uses of Acupuncture
Neurologic Disease: Seizures, Vestibular Disease, Cranial Nerve Disease (mastecetory myositis, optic neuritis), Intravertebral Disc Disease (IVDD), Fibrocartilaginous Embolism, Periferal Nerve Disease (Brachial Plexus Avulsion), and Degenerative Myelopathy.
Musculoskelatal Disease: Arthritis (hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, spinal arthritis, knee arthritis), Tendon Sprains and partial tears (cranial cruciate injuries, achilles injuries), Luxating Patellas, and Geriatric Hind-end Weakness
Gastrointestinal Disease: Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), Anorexia, Vomiting, Diarrhea, Constipation, Megacolon, and Gastric Reflux.
Other Diseases: Skin Allergies, Feline Asthma, Liver Disease, Chronic Renal Failure, Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease, Urinary Incontinence, Chronic Infections, Uveitis, and Chronic Corneal Ulcers.
What Should I Expect During an Acupuncture Appointment?
The first appointment includes a consultation, western examination and TCVM examination followed by an acupuncture treatment if indicated. The first appointment typically lasts one to one and one half hours. Followup acupuncture appointments are one hour.
Please bring all medical records, xrays and current medications to your first appointment for my review.
How Long Does It Take For Acupuncture To Work?
It can take 3 to 5 acupuncture treatments before significant changes are seen. It is important to commit to giving the treatments the time to work. If no significant changes are seen after the first 3 to 5 acupuncture treatments,I will recommend another approach for helping your companion.
Useful Acupuncture Links:
The International Veterinary Acupuncture Society www.ivas.org
The American Academy of Veterinary Acupuncture www.AAVA.org
The American Holistic Veterinary Medical Society www.ahvma.org