What is Medical Acupuncture?
Acupuncture may be defined as the insertion of needles into specific points on the body to produce a healing response.
Acupuncture has been practiced for thousands of years to heal humans and animals and has traditionally been “Chinese based”. More recently, now that we have a much better understanding of how the body works, important studies have been done to indicate how acupuncture works and what physiologic mechanisms are involved in its actions.
For example, acupuncture can:
- stimulate nerves
- increase blood circulation
- relieve muscle spasm
- release endorphins (the body’s natural pain control)
- release cortisol (a natural steroid)
We select certain points to stimulate based on the desired affect to treat the current conditions.
Can my pet benefit from medical acupuncture?
Acupuncture can be a great adjunct to western medicine and has been shown to improve the following conditions:
- Degenerative Disc Disease
- Ruptured/bulging spinal discs
- Acute sprains/trauma
- Chronic/acute lameness
- Post surgical pain
- Renal Disease
- Plus many more conditions. Contact us if you have questions about acupuncture helping your pet!
Are there any dangerous side effects?
Medical acupuncture is an extremely safe form of treatment. Side effects are very uncommon with acupuncture. You may see some sleepiness for 24 to 48 hours, but rarely patients will seem worse following acupuncture treatment. This typically is followed by an improvement of condition within 24 to 48 hours.
How long does a treatment take?
On average, the needles stay in place for 10 to 30 minutes; this, however, will vary greatly from patient to patient. Many different factors play a role in the time and frequency of treatments. Such as: age; current state of health; condition that is being treated; and toleration of needles.
Dr. Beyers’ overall thoughts on medical acupuncture.
Overall, I feel acupuncture is an amazing tool that can help so many pets. Acupuncture is no longer just a theory about “GI” (gastrointestinal) or “energy” moving through body channels. It is a proven scientific form of treatment that has been shown to greatly improve many pet’s ailments. As we have continued to understand more about the scientifically proven benefits of acupuncture, it has become more popular in the veterinary community. I expect its popularity to continue to grow as people begin to see the drastic changes it can make in a pet’s life!