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Alternative Veterinary Medicine Centre - Acupuncture


Acupuncture is a form of holistic therapy, if properly applied

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Veterinary Acupuncture

For thousands 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. It has not achieved these laurels because of mythology and belief but as a direct result of its manifest benefits. Part of TCM is Acupuncture which is often used in the modern Western world in isolation but is more properly and more effectively 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.

Veterinary Acupuncture:
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 ( Qi - pronounced chee ), 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 definite routes. In addition, the life energy must be balanced with respect to yin and yang , 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 yin and yang and in proper rhythmic circulation of energy, when those have been disturbed in disease. This 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 during treatment. 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 acupuncture treatment (together with the other holistic facets of treatment discussed) is vast.

Veterinary Acupuncture

Acupuncture is 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 very exciting.

Equine acupuncture
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.

Canine acupuncture: Using 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.

Acupuncture treatment
is 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.
Needling is only one way of stimulating acupuncture points. Heat (moxibustion), LASER, electro-stimulation and pressure are also part of the experienced acupuncturist’s repertoire.

If seeking acupuncture treatment 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. Happily, t his 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 instance.

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Acupuncture Vet:

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veterinary acupuncture is well-accepted

Acupuncture vet - Animal Acupuncture in Practice

At the AVMC , 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.

Acupuncture 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 [Acupuncture-by-LASER].

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Veterinary Acupuncture

Veterinary acupuncture is without side effects

Veterinary acupuncture
is safe in all species

Veterinary acupuncture
is safe for all ages, including during pregnancy or suckling

Veterinary acupuncture
requires no laboratory animal experimentation

Veterinary acupuncture
, properly (holistically) applied, treats the patient , not the symptom

The curative effect of veterinary acupuncture comes from the body's own responses, not directly from the treatment

Veterinary acupuncture
stimulates the body's own healing ability

Veterinary acupuncture
operates at the bio-energetic level

Veterinary acupuncture
can form part of an integrated pain control programme

Veterinary Acupuncture - Horse Headshaker
Acupuncture vet - Horse Navicular

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