What is acupuncture in pets

Acupuncture may be defined as the insertion of needles into specific points on the body to cause a desired healing effect.

This technique has been used in veterinary practice in China for at least 5000 years to treat many ailments. Acupuncture is used all over the world, to treat a wide variety of maladies in every species of domestic animals.

Modern veterinary acupuncturists use solid needles, and acupuncture is not a cure-all, but can work very well when it is indica.

Why Acupuncture in the Veterinary Medicine?

Like all professions, veterinary medicine is changing rapidly. Several new medicines have been developed for humans and animals during the last decade. Complementary and alternative medicine is the best term to describe a new modality that lies outside, or beside, conventional medicine.
At the end of the 20th century, the American National Institute of Health accepted complementary and alternative medicine as a new therapeutic system. in the field of human medicine, veterinary organisations.

In 1996, the American Veterinary Medical Association revised its guideline for complementary and alternative medicine in veterinary medicine. These guidelines reflect the current status of the role of these emerging modalities within the parameters of veterinary medicine for use in providing a comprehensive approach to the health care of non-human animals. The category contains acupuncture and acutherapy, chiropractic, physical therapy, massage therapy, homeopathy, botanical medicine, nutraceutical medicine, and holistic medicine.

Historical roots of Acupuncture in Veterinary Medicine

Oriental Medicine is a term with many variations of a general meaning. Among the majority of american practitioners it refers to a system of medicine which originated approximately 5000 years ago in in far east Asia. This area included what are now China, Korea, Japan, Tibet, and Vietnam.

Research on Oriental Medicine has been continual in China since the early 1950's. After the civil war was settled in 1948, the Communist Government of China realized it could not afford to train, let alone equip, a sufficient number of allopathic doctors to meet the needs of the country's population. The government evaluation of the traditional medicine showed that it had enough effectiveness to warrant not only active use and perpetuation but development.

Today Traditional Chinese Medicine is practiced in allopathic hospitals,in traditional hospitals, in conjunction with allopathic medicine, and hybrids of both forms of medicine have been developed.Chinese and many other ancient philosophies teach that if we respect nature and care for our environment, prosperity follows and disaster recedes. Public demand is increasing for a more natural system of animal production, care and welfare. Traditional Chinese medicine consisted with:

  • Chinese herbal medicine
  • Physical medicine: acupuncture, moxibustion, massage etc.
  • Mental therapy: Qigong 

Traditional Chinese medicine is one of most natural and sustainable systems of medicine.
It has been practised continuously for several millennia in China. The Neijing (Classic of Internal Medicine, 221 BC-220 AD) is the oldest existing medical book in China. It is one of the fundamental texts on Traditional Chinese medicine, attributed to the legendary Yellow Emperor, Huangdi.

It says: "Superior doctors do not treat disease", i.e. first-class doctors use preventive medicine.

About traditional chinese Veterinary Medicine

Western veterinary medicine derive from different backgrounds: the former is objective and scientific, while the later is subjective and empirical. Each system has its own advantages and disadvantages. If we can combine the advantages of both systems and avoid the disadvantages, it may be possible to create a synergistic system of medicine for animals.

The use of Traditional Chinese medicine in China spans thousands of years and the documentation is extensive. Traditional Chinese medicine may provide new methods to treat animal and human disease if modern veterinary science evaluates its historical therapeutic claims.

Recent development in biotechnology has shown that the main factors needed to develop any science are personal effort, group effort, the activities of interested organisations, teaching and training at university level and financial support from governments. Although modern veterinary medicine in China is underdeveloped, all these factors are present. However, most other countries lack these factors.

Acupuncture´s Indications

Acupuncture is indicated mainly for functional problems such as those that involve paralysis, noninfectious inflammation, allergies, and pain.

The following list are some of the general conditions wich may be treated with acupuncture:

  • Musculoskeletal problems, such as arthritis or spinal disc pathology.
  • Skin problems, such as lick granuloma.
  • Respiratory problems, such as feline asthma.
  • Gastrointestinal problems.
  • Selected reproductive problems.
  • Neurological disorders, paralysis, or traumatic nerves  damaged.

Acupuncture´s Actions

According to ancient Chinese medical philosophy, disease is the result of an imbalance of energy in the body. Acupuncture is believed to balance this energy and, thereby, assist the body to heal disease. Acupuncture can assist the body to heal itself by affecting certain physiological changes.

So, acupuncture can stimulate nerves, increase blood circulation, relieve muscle spasm, and cause the release of hormones, such as endorphins (one of the body's pain control chemicals) and cortisol (a natural steroid).

Acupuncture is one of the safest forms of medical treatment for animals when it is administered by a properly trained veterinarian. Side effects of acupuncture are rare, but they do exist.

An animal's condition may seem worse for up to 48 hours after a treatment. Other animals may become sleepy or lethargic for 24 hours after acupuncture. These effects are an indication that some physiological changes are developing, and they are most often followed by an improvement in the animal's condition.

The World Health Organization recognizes acupuncture and traditional Oriental medicine's ability to treat over 43 common disorders including:

  •  Disorders of the Bones, Muscles, Joints and NervousSystem, i.e. arthritis, migraine headaches, neuralgia, insomnia, dizziness , back, neck and shoulderpain
  • Respiratory Disorders, i.e. emphysema, sinusitis,asthma, allergies, bronchitis, common cold and flu
  • Eye, Ear, Nose and Throat
  • Gynecological Disorders, i.e. irregular, heavy, or painful menstruation, infertility in women and men, PMS, menopausal imbalances
  • DisordersAddictions, i.e. alcohol, nicotine and drugs
  • Urogenital Disorders, i.e. stress incontinence, urinary tract infections, and sexual dysfunction
  • Emotional and Psychological Disorders, ie: depression and anxiety
  • Gastrointestinal Disorders, i.e. food allergies, peptic ulcers, chronic diarrhea, constipation, indigestion, gastrointestinal weakness, anorexia and gastritis
  • Circulatory Disorders, i.e. hypertension, angina pectoris, arteriosclerosis and anemia
  • Supportive Therapy, for other chronic and painfuldebilitating disorders

Complications of Acupuncture

Acupuncture has received adverse comments in the medical literature on the basis that it may have serious complications involving:

  • Needle quality and sterility
  • Puncture of body cavities and vital organs
  • Puncture of ear cartilage
  • Syncope, nausea, vomiting
  • "Needle lock" and broken needles
  • Abortion
  • neurological damage
  • pneumothorax
  • local and systemic infections
  • puncture of body cavities and vital organs, second and third degree burns, between others ítems.

It is shown that serious complications can arise only from the improper use of acupuncture or from its gross abuse by incompetent practitioners. The safety of a technique must be judged on its results in the hands of competent practitionerswho use it properly. If this criterion is accepted, acupuncture is seen as an extremely safe therapeutic system whose complications very rare and are easily avoided or rectified.

Leer más


Powered by FerozoSite