Acupuncture and what it can do for your pet
What is acupuncture? This ancient art uses very thin, sterile needles that are placed into specific acupuncture points to gently awaken the healing potential of the body. Sometimes owners have concerns about how their pets will tolerate acupuncture, but the truth is that most of the needles do not create much obvious sensation. In fact, most patients seem to find it quite relaxing - and even those who may be a little restless surprise their owners by being happy to come back. The overall experience is typically gentle and benign.
What is acupuncture used for? Acupuncture is used effectively for everything from anorexia to inflammation, from pain sensation to liver function, from anxiety to advanced degenerative or neoplastic disease. We see benefits for animals on hospice care as well. Acupuncture can help with pain, anxiety, and the ability of the body to be resilient in the face of ongoing stress. Sometimes owners see responses quickly, sometimes the effect is seen over time. Often the more chronic the problem, the more time it takes to create a healing shift.
What kind of acupuncture do we use? There are many different styles of acupuncture, and Dr. Amy Matthews has pursued advanced studies beyond the regular veterinary acupuncture training. She employs that which is best suited to the individual patient, whether that is a myofascial/anatomical approach for a musculoskeletal issue, an ECIWO system for chronic pain, a Traditional Chinese Medicine eight element approach to balance the body, a complementary channel for chronic degenerative disease or behavioral issues, or Are Thoresen's low-needle-count approach that has been particularly well-suited for cancer patients.
Want to know more? Scientific research shows that stimulation of acupuncture points can cause the release of local chemokines such as adenosine, increase endorphin release in the brain, and release knotted muscle fibers, among other actions. A trained acupuncturist can feel subtle changes in the tissue texture and temperature that indicate an acupuncture point needs stimulation (yes, even in very furry dogs).
What kind of cases have we had success with? Here are a few examples: A brain tumor patient who stopped seizuring and regained normal mentation so he and his owner could enjoy his last few months. Disc disease patients (neck or back) who couldn't seem to recover until acupuncture support was added. A chronic vomiting patient who had normal function with monthly acupuncture. Arthritis patients who were no longer responding to pharmaceutical approaches but got relief with monthly acupuncture. A nerve sheath tumor patient who did so well with just acupuncture that the neurologist said it was like she'd had successful radiation therapy. Canine patients with chronic anxiety who stop having panic attacks. And there are many more.
Our patients say come give it a try!