What is acupuncture?
Acupuncture is the insertion of needles into specific points on the body to cause a desired healing effect. Acupuncture stimulates the nerves, increases blood circulation, relieves muscle spasm, and causes the release of hormones such as endorphins and cortisol (a natural steroid).
Is it safe for my pet?
Veterinary acupuncture is very safe when performed properly by a trained veterinarian. The needles are sterile and thin making the risk of infection extremely low. Other side effects are extremely rare. The majority of our patients tolerate treatment very well, and they quite often become relaxed and sleepy during their treatment.
This technique has been used in veterinary practice in China for at least 3,000 years to treat many human ailments. Acupuncture is used all over the world, either by itself or in conjunction with Western medicine to treat a wide variety of ailments in every species of domestic and exotic animals. Acupuncture is not a cure-all, but can work very well when it is indicated.
What does acupuncture treat?
We use acupuncture to treat many any diseases your pet may have. Most commonly, we use it to treat pets with chronic and acute pain, musculoskeletal diseases, neurologic diseases, general weakness, behavioral problems, renal failure, hormonal diseases, gastrointestinal problems and skin or allergy problems.
How does acupuncture work?
Acupuncture points are located in areas of concentrated nerve bundles and/or in close proximity to major blood vessels which are surrounded by a rich nerve supply. Placing a needle at these points creates both local and systemic (widespread) effects. Local effects include:
Stimulating a nerve at an acupuncture point will also affect the spinal cord segments from which the nerve originates. This will often decrease the amount of pain signaling transmission that occurs through the local region. In some cases, other body structures whose nerve supply originates in this same spinal cord segment can be positively influenced. Finally, acupuncture has been demonstrated to cause increased serotonin and endorphin levels, creating a widespread reduction of pain.
Is it painful? Is it safe?
The majority of our patients tolerate treatment very well and quite often become relaxed and sleepy during their treatment due to the release of serotonin and endorphins associated with acupuncture.
How many treatments will my pet need?
It usually takes at least 3-4 acupuncture treatments before resolution or improvement of clinical signs. Acupuncture usually does not work alone; a combination of acupuncture techniques, herbal supplements, diet change, and massage is necessary to achieve the desired goal.