Acupuncture has been used as a treatment for thousands of years. We approach acupuncture from a Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine (TCVM) basis, but utilize our western medical training to integrate this treatment with that of your primary care veterinarian. As always, our goal is to promote health and prevent disease while allowing our patients to feel and perform to the best of their abilities.
Let's start by discussing acupuncture from a TCVM standpoint. TCVM teaches that every living being has a life force, referred to as qi (energy). Qi circulates throughout the body along meridians and along these meridians we find acupuncture points. The points are identifiable anatomical landmarks that correspond to various organs, structures, etc. When qi is not flowing freely or becomes "stuck" at a certain point it manifests as an injury or disease state. Sterile, single use, acupuncture needles are used at these points to unblock the qi and return the body to a balanced state.
Are you still with us? We know that is a lot to wrap your mind around and that it doesn't always make sense. Those of us that are trained from a western medical standpoint have difficulty with the ambiguity of this concept. It is hard to understand meridians and points that we are unable to physically see. Scientists have yet to find one answer to explain all of acupuncture's effects, but luckily there are western based explanations. These acupuncture points just so happen to be located in areas that have a high density of free nerve endings, tissue mast cells, blood and lymph vessels. Using a needle to stimulate specific anatomical landmarks we see a degranulation of mast cells, a release of endorphins, activation of inflammatory factors, changes to the flow of blood and impulses conducted through the central nervous system.
Whichever school of thought you choose, acupuncture has provided treatment options when we have exhausted the resources of western medicine. It also has a place when conventional medications are causing intolerable side effects for the patient. TCVM and western medicine both have their strengths and weaknesses- it is when we combine the two that we see the greatest results.
We look forward to helping your pet feel their best- whether as an adjunct to current therapy or maintaining their healthy state. Feel free to contact us with any questions that you may have and we look forward to joining your veterinary team.