Acupuncture

Acupuncture is the insertion of needles into specific points or locations on the body to stimulate a healing cascade in the patient. Each acupuncture point has a set of very particular reactions when stimulated.  For example, a specific point may alleviate pain, whereas another may stimulate contractions during labor, where another may increase cardiac output.  Acupuncture has been used as preventative medicine as well as a primary treatment modality for thousands of years in China. It is even theorized, that marks and tattoos found on a naturally preserved mummy named Otzi, who was found in the Alps and who lived between 3400-3100BCE, were markings used for crude acupuncture.

 

So how does it work?  Acupuncture is recognized by the American veterinary medical Association, and the National Institute of Health as effective treatment for the management of osteoarthritis or musculoskeletal pain. Clinical research has shown many positive effects of acupuncture in animals and people, and much research has been done on how acupuncture points affect a physiologic change in the body. Stimulation of these points result in a specific change in the central nervous system, and can relieve pain by activating pain associated areas in the brain and affecting certain physiological changes. Acupuncture has been shown to stimulate nerves, increase blood circulation, relieve muscle spasms and cause a release of hormones such as endorphins and cortisol.

Acupuncture can be used by itself or in conjunction with herbal therapy, dietary therapy, or Western medicine. Common indications include, but are not limited to: 

  • Pain such as hip dysplasia or arthritis

  • Cancer support

  • Paralysis such as intervertebral disc disease

  • Inflammation such as allergies

  • Lung disorders such as feline asthma

  • Gastrointestinal problems such as diarrhea, constipation, megacolon, colic, inflammatory bowel disease

  • Sports related injuries such a sprains and strains

  • Endocrine disorders such as Cushing’s disease

  • Cardiac diseases such as congestive heart failure

  • Kidney disease such as chronic renal failure

  • Liver disease

  • Auto-immune diseases such as hemolytic anemia

  • Skin problems such as allergic dermatitis

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