Acupuncture is a branch of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) that has been practiced in China for over 4,000 years. It is based on the concept of vital life energy, or Qi (pronounced chee). Modern research has proven that Qi circulates through the body along defined pathways called meridians. These meridians are connected to the surface of the skin at specific points called acupuncture points. A great number of scientific studies indicate that stimulation of these points induces a release of endorphins, serotonin, and other neurotransmitters. This in turn stimulates the flow of Qi and blood, enabling the body to heal itself.
During an acupuncture treatment, needles smaller than a human hair are gently inserted into specific points chosen for specific illnesses. Over 95% of patients are comfortable with the needles. Some even fall asleep during the treatment due to extreme relaxation. Sedation is not needed nor recommended during an acupuncture treatment.
What Can Acupuncture Treat? (Click Here For A Complete List)
- Arthritis/Hip Dysplasia
- Kidney, Heart, or Liver Diseases
- GI Disorders
- Urinary Problems
- Skin Problems
- Behavioral Problems
- Quality of Life
How Acupuncture is Performed
Acupuncture is performed with thin sterilized needles (one-time use only) most often made of stainless steel. There is often brief pain of a minor nature as the needle passes through the skin. As the energy changes, the animal may experience other sensations equivalent to the subjective human experiences of relaxation or local numbness, heat, dull aching, or tingling.
In veterinary acupuncture, a primary emphasis is placed on the initial and subsequent clinical evaluations. These evaluations are based upon clinical history, physical examination, and diagnostic tests of the patient. The owner is encouraged to be present during treatment.
While interval and duration of treatments vary, the procedure generally lasts from 20 to 30 minutes, although a 2 hour appointment is initially scheduled to provide time for a complete physical along with a thorough history. Patients are often treated every 1-2 weeks for 4-6 treatments. A positive response is often noticed within the first 3-4 treatments, sometimes earlier, depending upon the condition treated. Animals usually require “tune-ups” at regular intervals, usually every 3-6 months.
Acupuncture Techniques include dry needling, aquapuncture (with Vitamin B12 or saline), electro-acupuncture, moxibustion, and acupressure.