VCA Veterinary Referral Associates offers Veterinary Acupuncture Services for your pet. According to Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine theory, life force (Qi) flows through the body via 14 invisible channels known as meridians, regulating all physical and mental processes. Opposing forces within the body (yin and yang), must be balanced to keep Qi flowing properly. The meridians run deep to the internal organs and along lines in the body’s more superficial tissues, surfacing at some 360 places identified as acupuncture points. Research has shown that these meridians strongly correlate to neurologic pathways. Therefore, stimulating these points is said to balance and restore the flow of Qi as well as stimulating local nerve channels. Acupuncture point stimulation has been shown to modulate signals within the nervous system and even cause endorphin release.
Stimulation of the points is performed by inserting thin, smooth, sterile needles. The depth of insertion, type of stimulation, and duration of treatment vary according to the disease or the condition being treated. Veterinary acupuncturists may use needles alone, needles with electrical stimulation, or stimulation using a specific type of laser.
Research studies on veterinary acupuncture are limited, but numerous human studies have demonstrated that acupuncture is an effective treatment option for many disorders. Veterinary acupuncture is most commonly used for the treatment of pain, arthritis, and neurologic disorders. However, acupuncture may also be used in conjunction with traditional Western medicine to help pets with chronic kidney disease, chronic digestive disturbances (i.e. inflammatory bowel disease), dry eye, epilepsy, and more.
Although acupuncture is often considered in cases of joint or generalized pain, it should be considered for many other conditions and in particular when western medicine has failed to bring about the desired result. Although acupuncture and herbal medicines are quite powerful, to appreciate their effect one should be prepared to try several treatments before considering the results.