What is acupuncture?
Acupuncture involves the application of needles at specific points of the body to cause a desired healing effect. This technique has been used in veterinary practice in China for at least 3000 years to treat and prevent many ailments. Chinese medical philosophy describes the disease as the imbalance of Qi (energy) in the body, and acupuncture is believed to balance this energy. Recent studies of this ancient practice demonstrate that stimulating acupuncture points causes specific physiological changes in the body, including increasing blood circulation, relieving muscle spasms and releasing hormones.
What problems can acupuncture be used to treat?
Acupuncture is an excellent treatment for some diseases that are difficult to treat only with Western Medicine, and it is part of the many modalities that we use in rehabilitating lame or injured animals. Some of the conditions successfully treated with acupuncture are inflammatory bowel disease, kidney disease, arthritis pain, muscle pain and back and disc pain.
Will acupuncture be painful?
Needle placement is usually so quick that most animals barely notice. Once the needles are set, acupuncture causes the release of natural body endorphins which are very relaxing, block pain receptors and stimulate innate healing mechanisms. Most dogs and cats become relaxed after about 10 minutes and rest quietly for the treatment.
What side effects are associated with acupuncture?
The relaxation experienced by most patients is the main side effect of acupuncture and may continue for some time at home. In a few cases, a patient may be temporarily more lame or weak after a treatment. This effect should be short-lived and followed by improvement.