Healing with Acupuncture

What is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is an ancient art of healing that dates back to at least 5,000 years.  The vital energy of the body, called Qi (pronounced It"chee"), circulates all through the major organs and the head and extremities in circulatory channels called meridians.  If the Qi is in balance, the animal is healthy.  If it is blocked, there is illness or pain.  Acupuncture treats these diseases and imbalances by stimulation of specific acupuncture points in the meridians, and by doing so unblocking and restoring the flow of Qi throughout the body relieving pain, promoting healing and increasing the immune system.  This stimulation is produced in a variety of ways including dry needling with a small needle, aquapuncture (injecting a small amount of vitamin B12 on the acupuncture point), moxibustion (adding heat) and electrostimulation of the acupuncture point, as well as Laser therapy on acupoints.

Clinical trials have shown acupuncture to be helpful in the following conditions:

  • Musculoskeletal Problems:  Muscle soreness, back pain, disc problems, osteoarthritis, degenerative joint disease.  

  • Neurological Problems:  seizure, laryngeal paralysis, facial and radial nerve paralysis

  • Gastrointestinal Problems:  diarrhea, gastric ulcers, colic, vomiting, constipation, megacolon, and Inflammatory Bowel Disease.

  • Behavior Problems:  anxiety and aggression.

  • Other Chronic Diseases:  Asthma, cough, geriatric weakness, skin problems, cancer and lessening clinical signs associated with chemotherapy and radiation therapy.

  • Performance enhancement and prevention of disease

How Many Treatments are Necessary?

In Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine each treatment plan is individualized, depending on the particular patient's condition- the nature, severity and duration of the problem.  For most conditions, weekly treatments for the first 3 to 6 visits, and most beneficial reactions will start within that time.  Sometimes that is all that is needed.  In very acute injuries or paralytic conditions, treatments can be given as often as daily or every other day.  Some degenerative conditions may require monthly treatments over time.  It is recommended that you commit to at least 3-5 treatments before deciding if acupuncture is right for you or your animal companion.

What Can I Expect During my Visit?

When your pet comes into our hospital for acupuncture, we start with a detailed history of the problem including questions about the personality, habits, diet and home environment of your companion.  Dr. Cook will perform a detailed conventional exam along with a TCVM exam- looking at the patients tongue and feeling his or her pulses, along with other details.  Once a treatment plan is formed, she will insert needles into the beneficial points.  It is common to use 10 or more needles per treatment.  Most needles are left in for 20 minutes.  Most patients will relax once the needles are inserted.  

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