What is acupuncture?
Acupuncture may be defined as the stimulation of a specific point on the body with a specific method, resulting in a therapeutic homeostatic effect. The specific point on the body is called “Shu-xu” or acupucture point (acupoint). The ancient Chinese people discovered 361 acupoints in people and 173 acupoints in animals.
Modern research shows that acupoints are located in the areas where there is a high density of free nerve endings, mast cells, small arterioles and lymphatic vessels. Most acupoints are motor points. A great number of studies indicate that stimulation of acupoints induce the release of beta-endorphin, serotonin and other neurotransmitters. Therefore, acupucture for pain relief is well supported by these scientific studies. As more studies are conducted, the mechanism of this ancient thereapy will be better understood.
What’s the History of Acupuncture?
Acupuncture has been practiced in both animals and human beings for thousands of years in China. The first written of acupucture was believed to have been produced in 659 B.C to 621 B.C. Since then, acupuncture was and still is part of the mainstream veterinary medical system in China.
What are acupuncture methods and goals?
Acupoints may be stimulated in a variety of ways. These techniques include dry needling, moxibustion, aqu-acupuncture and electro stimulation. Whatever tools are used, the goal is always the same: to restore the flow of Qi and allow homeostasis to return.
How safe is acupuncture therapy?
Acupuncture is a very safe medical procedure when administered by a qualified practitioner. Very few side effects have been found in clinical cases.
How many treatments are needed?
It depends upon the nature, severity and duration of diseases. A single treatment may be enough for an acute condition. A series of 3 to 10 treatments can resolve many chronic problems. Some degenerative conditions may need monthly treatments over time.
Who is qualified to perform veterinary acupuncture?
Only licensed veterinarians are eligible to practice acupuncture in most states in the USA. A certified acupuncture training course is highly recommended before performing veterinary acupuncture.
What physiological effects are induced by acupuncture?
Numerous studies show that acupuncture stimulation induces these physiological effects:
- Pain Relief
- Regulation of gastrointestinal motility
- Anti-inflammatory effect
- Hormone and reproductive regulation
- anti-ferile effect; microcirculation promotion
Cautions and Contraindications
When acupuncture is performed, the following conditions are cautioned or contraindicated:
- Open Wound
- Infectious Disease
Why is acupuncture frequently combined with herbs?
Sometimes the application of Chinese Herbal Medicine is chosen by the knowledgeable veterinarian as a support for the acupuncture, or on occasion, in lieu of it. Herbs are frequently used in situations that have not responded to traditional western veterinary medical practices.
What about massage?
The veterinarian may also choose to use Tui-na, which is an ancient Chinese method of medical manipulation that enhances the other methods, and can be taught to the animal owner to be done at home. This helps move energy past blocked points and eases muscle tension, thereby offering comfort and energy to lift to the patient.