Acupuncture is a form of Traditional Chinese medicine. It involves the insertion of thin, sterile needles into discrete and specific locations along meridians located throughout the pet’s body. These meridians are channels that contain electrical current and connect to organs in the body. The ancient Chinese identified 173 of these acupoints in animals. The practice of acupuncture has been used for over 2000 years, but is still a fairly new practice in Western veterinary medicine.
A great number of studies indicate that the stimulation of acupoints induces the release of beta-endorphins, serotonin and other neurotransmitters which can lead to a reduction in pain and inflammation, promote tissue healing, support the pets immune system and reduce fever. Older dogs living with arthritis, patients with orthopedic injuries, neurological conditions, epilepsy or vestibular disease may benefit from acupuncture treatments as well.
Acupuncture is a very safe practice with few negative side effects. Most animals are very comfortable with acupuncture therapy due to the relaxation affect. Some patients will even fall asleep during their treatments.
Acupuncture treatment sessions can last 20-45 minutes with a varying number of treatments needed based on the condition being treated. Some treatments are daily and with others being weekly or monthly. Results may be seen immediately while others require several treatments. There are also a number of herbal formulations available that can supplement acupuncture treatment and support the targeted acupoints.