You likely have heard of acupuncture therapeutic treatments for people, but did you know that this traditional medical therapy, originating in China, is available for pets too? If your pet is suffering from chronic pain, GI issues and more, acupuncture may be able to help them feel better. In this post, you can learn more about acupuncture and how this treatment can work for your pet.
Acupuncture & Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine (TCVM)
Acupuncture is a treatment based on ancient Chinese philosophy. It is used to help relieve pain and treat a range of illnesses affecting people. Now, veterinarians trained in traditional Chinese veterinary medicine—or TCVM— are able to offer their restorative therapy to their patients.
In pets, acupuncture is performed by a certified TCVM veterinarian and aims to treat your pet's symptoms of illnesses or injuries through the insertion of tiny needles into specific points of the body where nerves and blood vessels intersect.
TCVM includes different modalities of treatment such as; food therapy, herbal therapy, and Tui-na. These modalities can be combined with conventional veterinary care in order to provide a whole body approach to treating medical conditions affecting pets. TCVM considers the temperament, sex, age, activity, environment, and disease symptoms of the pet during treatment. This approach treats the body as an interconnected system of forces and functions. Therefore, disease causes disharmony or imbalance of the body’s forces and functions which can be corrected with acupuncture and other treatments.
Animals at any stage of life from puppies and kittens to adult and senior pets can benefit from acupuncture treatment to prevent illness, maintain their current quality of life, and treat disease conditions. These treatments are considered a safe and effective therapy that may provide relief from the pain or discomfort associated with injury and illness.
Acupuncture for Animals - The Process
Before our veterinarians are able to provide treatment of any kind to your pet, they first need to determine what it is that they are actually treating. What is the root cause of your pet's condition? Once we know the symptoms of the condition or disorder being experienced by your pet, we can start to hone in on the specific issue.
The aim of veterinary acupuncture is to help your pet's body heal itself by resetting its balance of energy through their body. This is also called "Qi." The acupuncture process involves the insertion of small needles into specific points (acupoints) along the body’s meridians, which is known to be where energy flows. This process is generally quite painless, as it promotes the release of endorphins that can help to alleviate some of your pet's chronic pain or discomfort.
This traditional form of Chinese medicine, based on traditional Chinese philosophy, helps pets to recovery by way of rebalancing the body’s energy and re-establishing the flow of Qi, the life force or vital energy that flows through the body.
Studies have shown that acupuncture treatment stimulates the release of serotonin, which can help to reduce anxiety levels and generate feelings of contentedness and happiness in your pet.
Benefits of Veterinary Acupuncture
Veterinary acupuncture has been shown in studies to produce a number of health benefits while avoiding the negative side-effects that can be brought on by some more conventional treatments and medications. The benefits of veterinary acupuncture treatment for pets includes:
- Localized pain relief may be achieved at the site of needle insertion due to the relaxation of the muscles in that area.
- Reduces chances of negative side effects related to some conventional procedures and medications
- Stimulating the release of endorphins, which are the body's natural pain relievers, and anti-inflammatory substances.
- Acupuncture treatments have been shown to create elevated blood flow and increased oxygenation as well as improved metabolic and toxic waste removal.
- There are no adverse interactions with other medications or supplements, making acupuncture a safe treatment for animals undergoing conventional treatments.