What is acupuncture?
Acupuncture originated as an ancient Chinese therapy used for treating many conditions. The Chinese have known for centuries of its therapeutic effects, believing it to work by tapping into the body’s energy lines or ‘meridians’. Acupuncture has moved into the mainstream of complimentary therapies, being used worldwide since scientific studies have proven its efficacy. We now understand it to work at least in part, by affecting change through the central nervous system. Very fine needles are used at certain acupressure points around the body, stimulating a number of natural healing and pain-relieving processes. The results include endorphin release to block pain, the release of cortisol with its anti-inflammatory properties, improved nerve function, better blood circulation, and improved performance of the body’s natural defence system. Acupuncture is practically pain-free and pets usually relax into the therapy, some even dose off!
How do we use acupuncture?
Acupuncture works on a number of body systems, and so it follows that it can help treat many different ailments. Orthopaedic conditions for which acupuncture is extremely effective include; arthritis, hip dysplasia, spinal problems, nerve trauma and muscle pain. Other conditions susceptible to its effects include; digestive disorders, respiratory disease and skin disease. We often use acupuncture in conjunction with drug therapy, however sometimes it may reduce or even remove the need for medications.
The length of acupuncture sessions are approximately 30 minutes and vary depending upon the treatment required. Acute problems may be relieved in just one or two sessions and it is common for us to see young, otherwise fit sporting dogs for acupuncture to help heal sprains and strains. Some of our more mature four-legged clients visit us less frequently, but longer term for maintenance treatments and relief from chronic mobility problems.
Veterinary acupuncture is considered an act of surgery and therefore must only be carried out by a veterinary surgeon. Not all vets are trained in acupuncture and its efficacy depends upon the experience and knowledge of the technician. Acupuncture is very safe when administered under the right conditions, and we’re delighted to be able to offer this therapy, delivered by a highly skilled and experienced team who love helping pets.
We would love to be able to get your pet back on their feet. We don’t require a referral from your vet for a physio treatment, but we will for any surgical treatments. If you’re not sure, give us a call and we can point you in the right direction.