If you are a practitioner of holistic medicine, you may want to extend your holistic and natural medicine beliefs to your pet. One form of holistic medication that a growing number of pet owners are choosing to utilize is acupuncture. Of course, not everyone is a supporter of holistic medication. But, for those that are, it is possible that the procedure could help your pet heal without the need for harsh chemicals, preservatives or synthetics.
What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is a procedure that has been used in China for thousands of years. The procedure has long been used to treat human illnesses, but has also been growing in popularity with pet owners.
The basic premise behind acupuncture is that a vital life force called chi is flowing through everyone’s body. This force flows through pathways called meridians and, by stimulating these pathways, the body is encouraged to release endorphins to provide pain relief. Acupuncture can also be used to bring about other effects, including:
- Decreased inflammation
- Increased circulation
Overall, the goal of acupuncture is to provide balance to the chi by increasing the chi in some meridians while decreasing it in others.
How is Acupuncture Performed?
The acupuncture procedure is actually quite simple. First, a very thin needle that is only as thin as a piece of hair, is inserted in specific points on the pet’s body. In some cases, a mild electrical current is also applied during the procedure or the needles may be rotated or moved around in order to achieve the desired effects.
The place where the needles are placed depends upon the illness or problem that is being treated. In order to accurately identify the correct points, a veterinarian needs to be trained in acupuncture.
How Long Does Acupuncture Take?
Performing the acupuncture procedure takes only about 20 minutes or one hour to complete. For some pets, relief may occur almost immediately. In other cases, it may take 2 to 6 weeks before the pet experiences relief. Some animals, on the other hand, may not experience any relief at all. If no results are seen after completing 10 treatments, the treatments are generally suspended.
In order to achieve and maintain results, it may be necessary to undergo regular treatments. Typically, a pet will require 1 or 2 treatments per week until the condition has been properly managed. Once managed, the treatments may be performed on a less frequent basis.
What is Treated with Acupuncture?
Acupuncture can be used to treat a number of different illnesses and diseases. The most common uses for acupuncture include:
- Chronic Kidney Disease
- Degenerative Joint Disease
- Hip Dysplasia
- Digestive Disturbances
- Intervertebral Disc Disease
- Muscle Spasms
- Skin Problems
If you aren’t sure whether or not acupuncture is right for you and your pet, you might want to consider other holistic treatment options. Possibilities include massage, acupressure, and reflexology. Each of these options can be discussed with your veterinarian in order to find the option that is best for you.