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Reasons to Consider Acupuncture for your Pet
Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese medical therapy that humans have used to improve their health and relieve their pain. It wasn’t long before acupuncture also became a way to help animals improve their health.
Today, veterinary acupuncture is something that a growing number of practitioners are seeking training for. Those individuals are known to be qualified for traditional Chinese veterinary medicine, or TCVM. For pets, acupuncture is not only generally well-tolerated, but its calming and comforting effect causes pets to look forward to subsequent treatments.
Conditions That Acupuncture Can Help Your Pet to Overcome
Acupuncture can help your pet to overcome a wide range of conditions. It is instrumental in rehabilitation following surgery and is used to treat neurologic disorders like limb weakness and back pain. It can also help with emotional stress and gastrointestinal, kidney, and liver disease, as well as cancer, to name but a few.
Types of Acupuncture Treatments
Acupuncture defines several types of treatment which involve the insertion of needles into specific places on the body where nerve bundles and blood vessels meet. Included in the acupuncture method of treatment are laser, electrostimulation, moxibustion, aquapuncture, and acupressure.
Acupuncture points can be stimulated with laser energy, which can be ideal if your pet doesn’t readily tolerate needle insertion. Laser treatments do not generate a lot of heat, so there is no threat that hair or skin will become burned.
Electrostimulation, or Estim
Electrostimulation sees acupuncture points being stimulated by a holistic veterinarian via an electric current. Needles are first inserted into acupuncture points, and then the electric current moves between them. This particular treatment can help pets rehabilitate from nerve damage, as it can help to re-establish nerve impulses. E-stim treatment can also help to relax spasming muscles.
For older pets who are suffering from muscle soreness or joint stiffness, the application of heat can provide much relief. Moxibustion involves the application of a Chinese herbal compound that’s been heated onto acupuncture needles prior to insertion.
Aquapuncture sees liquids with an energetic charge being injected into acupressure points. These liquids can include homeopathic medicine and vitamin B12.
Acupressure also stimulates acupuncture points without needles. This is done by placing pressure on points with the fingers to achieve the same effect as needle insertion. Acupressure is ideal for points difficult to reach with needles and is also effective for pets with behavioral challenges.
Common Acupuncture Points
Although there are hundreds of acupuncture points on your pet’s body, there are a few which are more commonly used.
For Improved Mobility and Pain Relief
The sides of and webbed spaces between your pet’s digits can help them to recover sensation, as well as regain their motor function. These are called the Eight Evils, for the eight points in the forelegs, and the Eight Winds, for the eight points in the hind limbs.
For Reduced Fatigue and Improved Vigor
The point located on the outside of each hind leg is very effective at improving pet wellness by treating many medical issues. Called Leg Three Mile, the point can assist with hind limb weakness, immune dysfunction, relief of knee pain and colic, along with several other disorders. This particular point is where the nerve supply to the gastrointestinal tract, low back, hind limb, and stifle joint is located.
For Relaxation and Improved Blood Flow
If a pet is high-strung or feeling stressed, the Hundred Convergences point can help to bring immediate calm. This point, located just behind the highest point on the head can, in addition to promoting relaxation, also improve the oxygenation of the brain and blood flow in your pet.
For Reduced Pharmaceutical Medication
Acupuncture allows for the natural medicine that exists within your pet’s body to be used, which may reduce the need for pharmaceutical medications. This kind of therapy can also be useful in situations where a pet needs to be weaned off of medication, or where rehabilitation needs to continue at home.
Where it involves the insertion of needles into your pet, only a certified TCVM practitioner should do this. If you feel that this type of therapy is what your pet needs, it’s important to speak with your veterinarian about available options in the Fort Collins area.