Acupuncture is one of four components of Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine (TCVM). It usually involves inserting thin, sterile needles into specific points on the body (called acupoints) in order to cause a therapeutic effect. Acupuncture has been practiced in animals and humans in China for thousands of years. Modern research shows that acupoints are located in areas where there is a high density of free nerve endings, mast cells, small arterioles and lymphatic vessels. Studies show that stimulation of these points induces the release of beta-endorphins, serotonin and other neurotransmitters.
Acupuncture has been shown to be effective in treating many conditions such as musculoskeletal problems (muscle soreness, degenerative joint disease, reducing post-operative pain and swelling), neurological disorders (seizures, intervertebral disc disease, laryngeal hemiplegia), gastrointestinal disorders (vomiting, diarrhea, constipation), chronic diseases (renal failure, endocrine diseases, behavioral problems, infertility) as well as addressing quality of life concerns, health maintenance and hospice care.
Acupuncture is a very safe medical procedure and very few negative effects have been found. Some results may be seen immediately, but others will require several treatments. Generally a minimum of three to five treatments performed once weekly are needed before notable improvement can be expected. Once improvement is seen, further treatments can be done weekly, monthly, or even further apart depending on the individual patient.
If you have any questions about how acupuncture may be helpful for your pet, please call me, I'd love to chat with you!
Dr. Brenda Evans, DVM, CVA