Acupuncture is an ancient form of medicine that is widely used by people and can also be used very successfully with animals. It can be used to treat a whole range of conditions but is especially effective for treating arthritis and related diseases.
I treat many animals regularly using acupuncture as these photos show.
Acupuncture involves the insertion of tiny, fine needles through the skin. This is very well tolerated by most animals. If animals are too sore or do not have an easy going disposition then the points can be stimulated using other means such as pressure (acupressure) or laser torch. For conditions like epilepsy, having gold bead implants done under anesthetic are also an option to provide long term relief.
I have been trained in animal acupuncture with the International Veterinary Acupuncture Society (IVAS) and am a member of the AVAG (Australian veterinary Acupuncture special interest group).
Acupuncture has been closely studied to understand how it works, within the framework of the western medical model. Simply put, it has been shown that the acupuncture points are indeed “special”: when examined under the microscope, these areas have special arrangements of nerves and blood vessels. The association with major organs has been confirmed also, using dye studies. Acupuncture has been proven to influence many chemicals in the body, including blood flow, endorphins and serotonin. Acupuncture works for providing pain relief,aiding healing and slowing degenerative processes
From the Chinese perspective, acupuncture works by balancing the flow of energy in the body. Disease is a manifestation of an imbalance of energy in the body, and acupuncture treatment aims to even out the flow once again. The theory says that energy flows around the body in daily cycles, along pathways called meridians. There are various points along the meridians that can be needled to influence the flow of energy along the channel or meridian, and thus bring about balance. Some of the points are close to the bodies surface and these are the ones we access with an acupuncture treatment.
There are 14 major meridians on the body and over 300 acupuncture points. The location of the meridians and specific points are remarkably consistent between species, and the actions are always the same.