What is veterinary acupuncture?

Acupuncture is a therapy where small needles are inserted into points along the surface of the body. Traditional Chinese Medicine recognizes that there are meridians of energy or qi, which flow through the body. Disease and dysfunction arise when the flow of qi through these meridians is blocked or when the qi does not flow smoothly. Insertion of acupuncture needles removes blockages and reestablishes the flow of smooth qi throughout the body. Scientific studies have shown that acupuncture blocks transmission through pain receptors, increases blood flow to organs, and releases substances in the body, which stimulate the immune system. Acupuncture utilizes the body’s own ability to heal which can lead to cures for many chronic conditions. In my practice I combine acupuncture with traditional chinese herbal medicine.

Will my animal tolerate acupuncture?

The needles used in veterinary acupuncture are very small and most animals are very tolerant of their placement. I have treated a variety of dogs, cats, and rabbits.

Stewart the cat lying calmly with acupuncture needles in him

Stewart the cat getting an acupuncture treatment on his deck – click the picture to see a larger version.

What conditions is acupuncture commonly used to treat?

Acupuncture can be used to treat a variety of conditions by realigning the systems of the body. Here is a list of the most common conditions I treat:

  • Chronic pain and decreased mobility – from arthritis and back conditions
  • Neurologic conditions – including stroke, seizures, vestibular disease, paraparesis, and disk disease
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Urinary incontinence and chronic urinary infections
  • Cancer– Acupuncture can be used to increase immunity, decrease pain, improve life quality, stimulate appetite and slow the spread and progression of cancer. It can also be used with chemotherapy and radiation treatments to increase white cells counts and decrease the side effects of these treatments.
  • Post Surgery – Acupuncture can improve recovery and help decrease pain and promote healing.
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Chronic pancreatitis

How often will my animal need acupuncture?

I initially recommend three treatments, generally a week apart. In acute conditions this is sometimes all that is needed. With chronic conditions, I treat animals anywhere from twice a week to once every three months.

What is traditional Chinese Herbal Medicine?

Traditional Chinese Herbal Medicine is based on the same system of diagnosis that acupuncture utilizes. Chinese herbs and acupuncture used together have a synergistic effect and can bring about more healing than the sum of both modalities separately. Unlike western herbal medicine, Chinese herbal medicine uses herbs together in formulas of anywhere from three to twenty herbs. The action of the herbs is achieved by how the herbs work with either other and not just what the single herbs do alone.

Many of the animals I treat receive both acupuncture and herbs.

For more information on how I work with herbs, see my article, My secret world of plants.