What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is 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 acupuncture point (acupoint). The ancient Chinese discovered 361 acupoints in humans 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 induces the release of beta-endorphin, serotonin and other neurotransmitters. Therefore, acupuncture for pain relief is well supported by these scientific studies. As more studies are conducted, the mechanism of this ancient therapy will be better understood.
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-acupuncture. 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 long does each treatment take?
Each session may take 20 - 60 minutes.
How many treatments are needed?
It depends upon the nature, severity and duration of a disease. 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.
Does Acupuncture hurt?
A proper acupuncture treatment may induce distention, and a heaviness sensation along with contraction of local muscle. Over 95% of patients are comfortable with acupuncture therapy. Due to the relaxation effect, some animals will fall asleep during acupuncture treatment. Sedation is not recommended before acupuncture treatment, as it may interfere with the acupuncture effect.
Who is qualified to perform Veterinary Acupuncture?
Only licensed veterinarians are eligible to practice acupuncture in most states in the USA. A veterinarian certified in acupuncture is highly recommended to perform veterinary acupuncture.
What physiological effects are induced by Acupuncture?
Numerous studies show that acupuncture stimulation induces the following physiological effects:
Regulation of gastrointestinal motility
Hormone and reproductive regulation
Anti-febrile effect; microcirculation promotion
When is Acupuncture indicated?
Clinical trials indicate that acupuncture therapy can be effective in the following conditions:
Musculoskeletal problems: muscle soreness, back pain, disc problems, osteoarthritis and degenerative joint disease.
Neurological disorders: seizure, laryngeal hemiplegia, facial and radial nerve paralysis.
Gastrointestinal disorders: diarrhea, gastric ulcers, colic, vomiting, constipation and impaction.
Other chronic conditions: anhidrosis, heaves, asthma, cough, uveitis, behavioral problems, Cushing's disease, hypothyroidism, infertility, hyperthyroidism, renal failure, geriatric weakness and skin problems.
Performance enhancement and the prevention of disease.
Cautions and Contraindications
Acupuncture is cautiously used, or may be contraindicated with the following conditions:
Why is Acupuncture frequently combined with herbs?
Sometimes the application of Chinese Herbal Medicine is chosen by the knowledgeable veterinarian as a support for acupuncture, or on occasion, in lieu of it. Herbs are frequently used in situations that have not responded to traditional western veterinary medical practices.