What is acupuncture?
Acupuncture usually involves the insertion of thin sterile needles into discrete and specific points on the body to cause a therapeutic effect, but may also include other methods such as electrical stimulation and moxibustion. The point on the body is called “Shu-uxe” or acupuncture point (acupoint). The ancient Chinese discovered 361 acupoints in humans and 173 in animals.
FAQ for Veterinary Acupuncture
Is there scientific evidence on how acupuncture works?
Modern research shows that acupoints are located in the area 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 the stimulation of acupoints induces the release of beta-endorphins, serotonin, and other neurotransmitters. The US National Institutes of Health’s National Library of Medicine (www.pubmed.gov) has more than 25,000 research papers regarding acupuncture and more than 400 animal-specific articles.
Is acupuncture safe?
Yes! Acupuncture is a very safe medical procedure when administered by a qualified practitioner. Very few negative effects have been found in clinical cases.
How soon can we expect results?
Some results can be seen immediately but others will require several treatments. Generally a minimum of 3 to 5 treatments 1-2 weeks apart for chronic conditions are needed before on can expect notable improvement.
How many treatments are needed?
As in all medicine, this depends on the situation and treatments can be done daily, weekly, monthly, or even further apart depending on the severity and chronicity of the condition.
Does acupuncture hurt?
Rarely! Acupuncture is not painful because acupuncture points are stimulated using very fine needles, almost as thin as hair. Over 95% of patients are comfortable with acupuncture therapy. Due to the relaxation effect, some animals will fall asleep during acupuncture treatments. In general, sedation is not needed before an acupuncture treatment.
When is acupuncture recommended?
Clinical trials indicate that acupuncture therapy can be effective in the following conditions:
- Musculoskeletal problems: muscle soreness, back pain, osteoarthritis, and degenerative joint disease
- Neurological disorders: seizures, intervertebral disc disease (IVDD), laryngeal hemiplegia, and facial and radial nerve paralysis
- Gastrointestinal disorders: diarrhea, gastric ulcers, colic, vomiting, constipation, and impactions
- Other chronic conditions: skin problems, heaves, asthma, cough, uveitis, renal failure, chronic liver diseases, behavioral problems, infertility, Cushing’s disease, hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, geriatric weakness, and anhidrosis.
- Quality of life, cancer and hospice care
- Performance enhancement and the prevention of disease
What physiological effects are induced by acupuncture?
- Pain relief
- Promotion of tissue healing processes
- Regulation of gastrointestinal motility
- Anti-inflammatory effects
- Hormone and reproductive regulation
- Antifebrile effects
Why is acupuncture frequently combined with herbs?
Many acupuncturists choose to combine acupuncture with herbal medicine because the use of herbs enhances the effectiveness of acupuncture.
Acupuncture should be used with caution in the following conditions: fractures, pregnancy, and open wounds and tumors.
For more information, please visit the Chi Institute of Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine at www.tcvm.com