Acupuncture is an ancient healing procedure developed in China around 3000 years ago and is progressively being recognised as a useful treatment for a large number of conditions. It is especially sought as a pain relief.
By law, veterinary acupuncture can only be performed by a qualified veterinary surgeon that has undergone special training in the technique.
What is acupuncture?
Acupuncture consists of the insertion of very fine needles through the skin at specific points for the treatment or prevention of disease, alleviate pain, increase recovery rates and resistance to diseases. It can be used for almost any medical condition, in conjunction with conventional medicine or as a sole treatment.
How does acupuncture work?
Traditional Chinese Medicine sees the world from a holistic point of view in which patterns of disease or illness originate from states of imbalance. Because this holistic approach doesn’t directly relate to western minds, they tried to find a scientific explanation of the benefits of the acupuncture.
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) explanation:
Health is considered a state of harmony of an animal with complete physical, mental and social well-being. Traditional acupuncture is based on the belief that an energy (called Qi) flows through the body. When Qi doesn't flow freely, this can cause illness. Acupuncture can restore the flow of Qi and so restore health by stimulation of specific points (acupoints).
Western Scientific explanation:
For those that are sceptical of TCM, modern studies have revealed that 95% of the acupoints are close to nerve branches that carry impulses to the spinal cord and brain. This results in responses within the nervous and endocrine systems leading to the release of neurotransmitters and hormones, which bring about changes within the body: release natural painkillers, promotion of blood flow, stimulation of the body's built-in healing mechanisms, relaxation of shortened muscles and reduction of stress.
Acupuncture is usually very well tolerated by the animals, with some falling asleep during the treatment. However, some animals are very needle-shy. For those, Low-level Laser Therapy can be applied to the desired point. LLLT is completely painless and most animals really enjoy this method of treatment.
Which conditions can I treat?