What Is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is an alternative therapy that enlists the body’s own healing mechanisms to maintain balance and manage disease processes. Acupuncture consists of stimulation of a specific point on the body (acupoint) typically with a very small needle. We can also inject B12 into these locations and use electro-acupuncture techniques. Acupuncture has been used in China for thousands of years and remains an important part of veterinary medicine in China today. Acupuncture has been used successfully in the US for decades, as well.
What Does Acupuncture Do?
From a western perspective, the stimulation of these acupoints results in the release of beta-endorphin, serotonin and other neurotransmitters. This results in pain relief, anti-inflammatory effects and immune regulation among other positive effects. The traditional belief is that the needles stimulate the energy force (Qi) which flows through the body along specific pathways or meridians. If this flow becomes obstructed or imbalanced, then discomfort and/or disease results. By stimulating specific points, balance and healing can occur.
When Can We Use Acupuncture to Benefit Our Pets?
Clinical trials have shown a positive benefit of acupuncture for musculoskeletal problems (arthritis, disc disease), neurologic disorders (seizures, laryngeal paralysis), gastrointestinal disorders and many other chronic conditions.
What is Involved in an Acupuncture Treatment?
An acupuncture session lasts about 40-60 minutes. You should plan to commit to 3-4 sessions weekly to every other week to get the maximal benefit and then we can decrease the frequency of the visits to every 3-4 weeks. The first visit involves a complete examination and evaluation of all medications and conditions for which your pet has been treated.
The (non)cutting-edge of veterinary science
Laser therapy is an innovative technology used to treat acute and chronic injuries. The non-invasive treatment stimulates cell regeneration by increasing blood flow to the targeted area. This is used to accelerate the healing process following surgery, alleviate joint pain and treat degenerative diseases.
How It Works
Low-level, also known as cold, laser therapy focuses red and infrared light on tissue at and below the surface of the skin. The light energizes the cellular mass, producing a structural protein called collagen used to repair tissue. Lasers continue the healing process by supporting vascular dilation and synthesis, increasing blood circulation to the affected region. The stimulation releases the body’s own pain-relieving hormones, generating mild pain management properties.
The process generally takes between 5-10 minutes, with most patients seeing positive effects after 3-5 uses. The treatment continues to relieve pain and fight inflammation for up to 24 hours following the session.
Conditions Benefitted by Laser Therapy
- Hip dysplasia
- Post-surgical incisions and soft-tissue trauma
- Arthritis and degenerative joint disease
- Musculoskeletal injuries
- Neuromuscular disease
Low-level laser therapy is normally combined with other types of veterinary medicine including pharmaceutical regimens and alternative therapies. The broad biochemical benefits, and lack of adverse side effects, have made laser therapy the preferred post-operative rehab method in veterinary medicine.