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Acupuncture-Herbal medicine

Our philosophy is to integrate all our knowledge into curing your animal, therefore in our practice we try to integrate complementary and alternative medicine with western (conventional) medicine whenever it is appropriate. This enables us to have more options for you and your pet. For example, on chronic conditions that require a continous medicament usage, by using acupuncture and chinese herbs, we can lower the dosage on many of the western medicines, or on some cases get the animal off them totally. Here are some FAQ’s on acupuncture:

Q: What is acupuncture?

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 3000 years to treat many ailments. The Chinese also use acupuncture as preventive medicine against such problems as founder and colic in horses. Acupuncture is used all over the world, either by itself or in conjunction with Western medicine, to treat a wide variety of maladies in every species of domestic and exotic animals. Modern veterinary acupuncturists use solid needles, hypodermic needles, bleeding needles, electricity, heat, massage and low power lasers to stimulate acupuncture points. Acupuncture is not a cure-all, but can work very well when it is indicated.

Q: For which conditions is acupuncture indicated?

Acupuncture is indicated mainly for functional problems such as those that involve paralysis, noninfectious inflammation (such as allergies), and pain. For small animals, the following are some of the general conditions which may be treated with acupuncture:

•      Musculoskeletal problems, such as arthritis or

vertebral disc pathology

•      Skin problems, such as lick granuloma

•      Respiratory problems, such as feline asthma

•      Gastrointestinal problems, such as diarrhea

•      Selected reproductive problems

•      Nervous system problems, such as facial nerve paralysis

•      Epilepsy, etc.

Q: How does acupuncture work?

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.

In Western terms, acupuncture can assist the body to heal itself by affecting certain physiological changes. For example, 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).

Q: Is acupuncture painful?

For small animals, the insertion of acupuncture needles is virtually painless. In all animals, once the needles are in place, there should be no pain. Most animals become very relaxed and may even become sleepy.

Q: Is acupuncture safe for animals?

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.

Q: How long do acupuncture treatments last and how often are they given?

The length and frequency of acupuncture treatments depends on the condition of the patient and the method of stimulation that is used by the veterinary acupuncturist. Stimulation of an individual acupuncture point may take as little as 10 seconds or as much as 30 minutes. A simple acute problem, such as a sprain, may require only one treatment, whereas more severe or chronic ailments may need several or several dozen treatments.

When multiple treatments are necessary, they usually begin intensively and are tapered to maximum efficiency. Patients often start with 1-3 treatments per week for 4-6 weeks. A positive response is usually seen after the first to third treatments. Once a maximum positive response is achieved (usually after 4-8 treatments), treatments are tapered off so that the greatest amount of symptom free time elapses between them. Many animals with chronic conditions can taper off to 2-4 treatments per year.

Q: How should I choose an acupuncturist for my animals?

There are two important criteria you should look for in a veterinary acupuncturist:

1. Your veterinary acupuncturist must be a licensed veterinarian.

2. Your veterinary acupuncturist should have formal training in the practice of acupuncture for animals. (For example, Chi Institute, the International Veterinary Acupuncture Society and Colorado State University offers an accredited certification program for veterinary acupuncturists.)

Our veterinary acupuncturist Dr. Caglar Kondu is extensively trained at the Chi Institute which is one of the best TCVM institutes in the United States and learned from the ” master”  Dr.  Huisheng Xie.