Everyone knows that Acupuncture was developed thousands of years ago for the purpose of healing by the Chinese for humans. Acupuncture was, also, used by the Chinese as preventative medicine. The Chinese identified the specific points of the body that would stimulate a specific area to get a specific result. In the last decades Acupuncture has increased in use in humans and animals as an alternative to medication or as a combination with Western medicine. Veterinarians are finding that a combination of Western medicine and Acupuncture are producing great results. Acupuncture is not a cure all for every condition. You should consult a licensed Veterinary Acupuncturist so that a proper veterinary diagnosis can be determined to see if acupuncture would be beneficial. The diagnosis prior to acupuncture is important because acupuncture can mask pain or other clinical signs thus delaying proper veterinary medical diagnosis once the Acupuncture treatment has begun. In some cases Acupuncture will eliminate the pain allowing increased activity and worsening the original injury and/or healing process.
Some of the problems that the use Acupuncture might be considered are those that involve paralysis, noninfectious inflammation ( allergies) and pain:
- Musculoskeletal problems (arthritis, intervertebral disk disease, nerve injury)
- Respiratory problems (feline asthma)
- Skin problems (lick granulomas, allergic dermatitis)
- Gastrointestinal problems
How Does Acupuncture Work?
Depending on the diagnosis, specific points are selected, method of stimulation (dry needle, electro acupuncture, aquapuncture, etc) and the duration of the stimulation to get the desired results. Acupuncture helps the body to heal by affecting certain physiological changes by stimulation of nerves, increasing blood circulation, relieving muscle spasm and cause the release of hormones, such as endorphins (pain control) and cortisol (a natural steroid).
What are the Side Effects of Acupuncture?
Acupuncture rarely has side effects. It is considered one of the safest medical treatments for animals when administered by a licensed Acupuncture Veterinarian. Some animals will be lethargic or sleepy for 24 hours, while others will not show any improvement for 48 hours after treatment. The delay in improvement can be attributed to physiological changes the body is going through to start the healing process.
I know from firsthand experience how effective Acupuncture can be on some dogs. I have a dog that absolutely hates to have her feet touched especially trimming her nails. My Veterinarian is a licensed Acupuncturist and he suggested Acupuncture to calm her down. After two needles were placed in the top of her head you could see her visibly relax so that her nails could be clipped. She was lethargic for about 6 hours after the Acupuncture. He does a number of dogs with musculoskeletal problems like arthritis instead of using drugs.
Professional and amateur athletes will often use Acupuncture as a routine part of their training to treat minor sports injuries and help keep muscles and tendons resistant to injury. Acupuncture can help to keep athletically active dogs that are racing, jumping or competition, in top physical condition.
It is very important to have a licensed Veterinarian Acupuncturist because the differences in anatomy and the potential for harm if the treatments are improperly done. To find out about licensed Veterinarian Acupuncturist in your area go to www.ivas.org website. The International Veterinary Acupuncture Society, Inc was established in1974 with members worldwide and is located in Longmont, Colorado.