of years, the most consistently prevalent and popular system of medicine in the world has been Traditional Chinese Medicine.
Even now, it is first line medicine for a huge proportion of the world's population.
not achieved these laurels because of mythology and belief but as a direct result of its manifest benefits.
of TCM is
which is often used in the modern Western world in isolation but is
more properly and
integrated with natural internal medicine, chiropractic manipulation and holistic management,
lifestyle, and dietary measures to achieve its seemingly miraculous effects.
This applies to human acupuncture
but is no less applicable to horse acupuncture, dog acupuncture and cat acupuncture. For this reason, the
author prefers not to consider vet acupuncture (needling) in isolation but within such a holistic context.
Vet acupuncture is applicable to all species of animals and patients
generally enjoy their treatment sessions.
The fundamental belief of Chinese medicine is that of a life force
), which circulates throughout the body in a regular and rhythmic twenty-four hour
cycle (the ancient equivalent of the modern well-known circadian rhythm), within a series of channels or meridians distributed
over the body.
These meridians connect the limbs, the internal organs and the exterior of the body, via
In addition, the life energy must be balanced with respect to
the eternal and ubiquitous opposites of the universe (night and day, cold and hot, wet and dry, female and male, dark and
light are just examples of natural and essential pairing of opposites, in our natural world).
The principles of Traditional Chinese
Medicine and its attention to diet and lifestyle set out to recreate and re-establish balance, both between
and in proper rhythmic circulation of energy, when those have been disturbed in disease.
sounds deceptively simple, but in fact is the very essence of the philosophy.
Acupuncture treatment is the use
of needles as part of this strategy.
The acupuncture vet inserts needles into precise locations along
the meridians where these approach the body's surface.
They may be inserted at sites far removed from
the supposed site of symptoms.
The usual response in animals is of willing acceptance and profound relaxation
Often, more than one treatment may prove necessary to initiate the response.
Sometimes, there can be an apparent worsening before improvement sets in.
Since needling is part of the
balancing process, and imbalance is the root of disease, the scope of
with the other holistic facets of treatment discussed) is vast.
just as useful in animals as in humans, although there is less certainty about the
exact route of the meridians in animals. Veterinary acupuncture is widespread in Europe (incl. UK), North America (incl. USA),
Australasia and Asia. The rewards offered by veterinary acupuncture to the acupuncture vet, the client and the patient are
is of particular value in locomotor disorders (e.g. lameness, OCD,
DJD, Navicular syndrome, back pain), periodic ophthalmia (aka ERU, recurrent uveitis, recurrent ophthalmia, moonblindness
or moon blindness) and back problems. There are very promising results from the use of horse acupuncture in cases of
head shaking (head-shaking or headshaking) and wobbler syndrome.
acupuncture in dogs has been of especial help with hip dysplasia, disc disease (prolapsed disc, PID, IVDD [IVD],
intervertebral disc disease), paralysis, elbow dysplasia, arthritis and disorders of the back (back problem, back pain,
bad back) but can be used as part of an integrated treatment programme for all manner of metabolic and immune disturbances.
likely to be only partially effective if used in isolation, rather than integrating it with compatible natural internal medicine,
chiropractic manipulation and diet control in all species, along with attention to saddling, shoeing, etc. in horses.
only one way of stimulating acupuncture points. Heat (moxibustion), LASER, electro-stimulation and pressure are also part
of the experienced acupuncturist’s repertoire.
for your animal in the UK, it is important to ensure that this is performed
by a veterinary surgeon as a point of law (Veterinary Surgeons Act 1966).
Sadly there are few veterinary
surgeons well-versed in acupuncture and even fewer in the wider holistic aspects of the practice.
situation is improving.
The International Association for Veterinary Acupuncture (IVAS) and the Association of
British Veterinary Acupuncturists (ABVA) are foci of interest.
Always ask your own veterinary surgeon in the first
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veterinary acupuncture is well-accepted
Acupuncture vet - Animal Acupuncture in Practice
, we usually suggest an initial programme of three treatment sessions.
In responsive cases
, the typical response pattern is that little will be seen before the second treatment,
with the third bringing great improvements. Some rare cases can, however, respond well with a single treatment. Very rarely
would more than three sessions produce a positive result, if none has been forthcoming after the first three.
is well-accepted by the vast majority of patients, although occasionally an owner must overcome a fear of needles
if attending a session. If an animal objects to the use of needles, we do not use drug sedation to force compliance. Sedation
also masks the body's responses and may even alter them. In such cases we use painless and relaxing LASER Acupuncture
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is without side effects
safe in all species
is safe for all ages, including during pregnancy or suckling
no laboratory animal experimentation
, properly (holistically) applied, treats the
not the symptom
The curative effect of
comes from the body's own responses,
not directly from the treatment
stimulates the body's own healing ability
at the bio-energetic level
can form part of an integrated pain control programme
Veterinary Acupuncture - Horse Headshaker
Acupuncture vet - Horse Navicular