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)
- Hemoacupuncture (2-5 drops of blood from specific points)
Chinese Herbal Medicine
Chinese Herbal Medicine is another branch of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). In fact, approximately 80% of all traditional Chinese medical patients are treated with herbs, while only the remaining 20% are treated with acupuncture or other manual therapies. Chinese Herbal Medicine has ancient roots in China.
Herbal Formulas and Quality Control
Chinese herbal formulas are typically composed of 8-12 substances, ranging from plants and minerals to animal parts and insects. Federal law prohibits the inclusion of endangered species or pharmaceutical drugs in any formula. These herbal formulas are specifically created in a balanced manner with each herb or substance providing either a direct therapeutic action or a balancing effect. This technique creates a product that produces fewer side effects when compared to pharmaceutical drugs. By contrast, pharmaceutical drugs are highly refined down to a specific chemical that produces the desired result of the medication. Unfortunately, this also leads to that long list of the potential side effects.
Herbal medicine is used in China to treat almost any condition which would be treated with Western pharmaceutical drugs. Commonly, herbal medicines are combined with acupuncture, food therapies, and lifestyle changes to promote healing (a truly holistic approach to healing!).
Quality Control is essential for Chinese Herbal Medicine (CHM). A third generation practitioner of CHM, Huisheng Xie, DVM, Ph.D, established Dr. Xie’s Jing-tang Herbal, the first United States-based Chinese Veterinary herbal pharmacy, in 1999. The herbal quality control is always Dr. Xie’s top priority as it is important for clinical efficacy and also animal safety. TLC (thin layer chromatography) and HPLC (high performance liquid chromatography), are used to insure potency and test for active constituents. Every batch of herbs is tested before, during and after processing. All these raw material and herbal products comply with the new stringent Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP). GMP certification means that the site and methods employed in the production of the herbs has been subject to a thorough quality control investigation and is certified to be in compliance. Tests for moisture content, dissolution, heavy metals (lead, arsenic, mercury, cadmium) and microbial content are performed on every batch of finished product. When the products arrive in the U.S. they are subject to an additional review by the FDA, ensuring that the products meet every safety standard.
Food Therapy (Energetics of Food):
Food Therapy is one of the branches of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). It is a practice of healing using natural foods along with or instead of medications. Individual recommendations are developed using TCVM theory and are designed to treat specific health conditions. The recipes can be classified into the following categories:
Health Promotion and Prevention — to improve health on a regular basis and to prevent seasonal climate related problems.
Disease Treatment — to treat many clinical conditions including skin problems.
Adjunct Therapy — to complement the primary treatment to treat diseases including otitis, urinary crystals & stones, UTI, IBD, CHF, cancer, renal failure and liver failure.
Essential Oil Therapy
Essential oils are the highly-concentrated, volatile, aromatic essences of plants. Essential oils contain hundreds of organic compounds, including hormones, vitamins and other natural elements. They are 50 to 100 times more concentrated than the oils in dried herbs.
Pure (therapeutic-grade) essential oils, are the quintessential life force of aromatic plants, often called the “soul” of the plant. Essential oils are absorbed into the fluid surrounding the cells beneath the skin’s surface for a variety of effects including deep cleansing, nourishing, rejuvenating, and balancing.
Dr. Cianelli employs the use of therapeutic-grade oils by the following methods:
- Diffusion – oils selected specifically for your pet can be aerosolized into the air during the appointment to promote calming and balance. Daily diffusion of oils may be recommended depending on your pet’s response.
- Ingestion – some oils can even be added to your pet’s food as part of the therapy.
- Acupuncture using oils – in some cases, the needles will be dipped into the oils prior to insertion. This can enhance the effect of the acupuncture treatment.
- Acupressure using oils – for those patients that are hesitant with needle insertion, oils can be massaged into the skin at selected acupuncture points.
There are significant differences between synthetic fragrance oils and pure essential oils:
- Therapeutic-grade oils are pure, medicinal, and contain all the desired therapeutic compounds. Therapeutic quality oils are usually made from organically grown plants, and are carefully distilled at the proper temperatures. Young Living Essential Oils is the only company dedicated to the medicinal use and application of essential oils that is able to guarantee essential oil quality from seed to seal. Dr. Cianelli only uses Young Living Essential Oils in her practice.
- Synthetic or nature-identical oils may have been created in a laboratory. They could contain synthetics, pesticides, fertilizers, extenders, or carrier oils.
- Extended or altered oils are perfume-grade and may contain the same type of adulterating chemicals as synthetic oils. They usually contain chemical solvents.
- Floral Water is a byproduct of the distillation process, of very high quality, IF it comes from a therapeutic-grade distillation process. Accordingly, it is a low quality if it comes from poor quality raw materials and/or poor distillations processes.
- Natural oils (organic) and certified oils may not contain any, or just a few therapeutic compounds.
Tui-na is Chinese manual therapy used for preventing and treating disease. Tui-na practitioners use various manipulations applied to acupuncture points and meridians; or apply special limb-stretching movements to prevent and treat diseases. Tui-na can regulate meridians, soothe joints and sinews, promote circulation of Qi and Blood, promote balance, and strengthen the immune system.
These techniques of manual therapy have been successfully used for treatment of :
- musculoskeletal conditions
- disc problems
- peripheral nerve paralysis
- Wei syndrome (wasting and general weakness
- internal diseases
Both geriatric and pediatric patients are perfect candidates for Tui-na therapy. Tui-na overlaps two very useful bodywork systems currently becoming part of mainstream modern Western medicine: massage therapy and chiropractic.
Reiki Energy Healing
Reiki is an ancient Japanese technique used to relieve pain, encourage relaxation, and promote self-healing. It is a gentle, hands-on method based on the idea of unseen “vital life energy” that flows through all living beings. Reiki treats the mind, body and spirit and has been effective in helping virtually every known illness. Reiki works in conjunction with all medical treatments to improve results and relieve side-effects.