What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is one of the pillars of TCVM (Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine). The goal of any acupuncture exam and treatment is to identify patterns of energy imbalance and correct those imbalances by inserting small needles into acupoints.
All acupoints exist on meridians, or channels, and are related to internal organs. In TCVM, acupuncture works by balancing different forms of energy (Qi, Yin, Yang, Jing, Blood, etc). Specific acupoints to treat pattern diagnoses were developed over many thousands of years in ancient China.
At Wachusett Animal Hospital we believe we can get the best results by using acupuncture as a supplement to medical therapy to help restore your cat or dog's health and vitality.
The Science Behind Acupuncture
Acupoints are locations where there is a high density of free nerve endings, cells, small arteries, small veins, and lymphatic vessels. Placement of needles in these acupoints increases blood flow, relieves pain, relaxes muscles, and promotes healing, among many other effects.You can expect to see results from acupuncture almost immediately. However, many pets require 3 - 5 treatments 1 - 2 weeks apart initially for the best outcome. As your pet improves, we can increase the interval between treatments.
Common Acupuncture Uses
We recommend acupuncture or other types of TCVM in many situations, including (and certainly not limited to):
- Palliative Care
TCVM can relieve pain, nausea, and anxiety in combination with other end-of-life care. Many pets feel anxious, uncomfortable or upset during this time, and acupuncture can help alleviate these feelings in your beloved pet.
- Neurological Abnormalities
Acupuncture has been shown to decrease healing time in dogs with IVDD.
When used in tandem with other treatments, acupuncture can be quite effective in helping to alleviate distressing symptoms associated with neurological abnormalities in your companion pet.
- Musculoskeletal Issues
Acupuncture is often used for injury rehabilitation. Conditions such as arthritis, nerve injuries and hip dysplasia can also respond well to acupuncture.
Acupuncture can speed healing and relieve pain in ligament tears, muscle spasms, and other soft tissue injuries
- Dermatology & Skin Issues
Acupuncture treatment can help encourage increased circulation, which can help hot spots, granulomas and allergic dermatitis. It can even improve healing and reduce pain, leading to reduced itching and subsequent over-grooming.
- Gastrointestinal Issues
Acupuncture may stimulate digestive secretions and gut mobility, which helps promote healthy digestive activity. Issues including diarrhea or nausea may benefit from increased blood flow.
- Asthma and Other Respiratory Issues
Acupuncture can be immunomodulatory, and can help relieve asthma and airway inflammation caused by allergies or other health issues.
- Urinary Incontinence or Blockage
Specific acupoints can help cure leaking urine and relieve urethral obstructions. When your pet has lost control of their bladder's function and is leaking urine, acupuncture treatment may help alleviate their symptoms and regain control.
Acupuncture is a non-invasive, safe treatment that can be used in combination with all traditional, western medicine approaches. Here are just a few things acupuncture provides:
- Pain relief
- Muscle relaxation
- Decreased inflammation
- Fever reduction
- Regulation of GI motility
- Increased blood flow (expedited healing)
Welcoming Cats & Dogs to Our Animal Hospital
Wachusett Animal Hospital and Pet Retreat is accepting new patients! Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of Westminster companion animals. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.