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1. What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is a centuries old Chinese practice that targets and stimulates specific points on the body that have been shown to have therapeutic effects. Acupoints are areas of nerve endings, mast cells, arterioles and lymphatic vessels. Stimulation of these acupoints have been shown through research to release beta-endorphins, serotonin and other neurotransmitters that are the mainstays of pain management.
2. What medical conditions are treated with Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is indicated for a variety of conditions such as musculoskeletal problems, neurological and behavioral issues, gastrointestinal diseases, pain management, endocrine conditions such as diabetes, hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism, chronic conditions such as renal, liver and heart failure, performance enhancement and prevention of disease.
3. What effects does Acupuncture have on the body?
Acupuncture can relieve pain, regulate gastrointestinal motility, regulate the immune system, manage inflammation and fevers, and regulate hormones and reproduction.
4. Does Acupuncture hurt?
Like humans, every animal is different and respond to stimulation individually. A majority of animals undergoing acupuncture are very responsive and often fall asleep during the therapy session which may last between 20 to 60 minutes.
5. Why would I have Acupuncture done on my pet?
Does your pet have a chronic condition that traditional medical protocols have not resolved? Are you unable to afford an expensive surgery, such as a ruptured or bulging vertebral disc and are looking to relieve your animal's discomfort? Has your cat always been constipated and often goes to the veterinarian for an enema? I often see pets, e.g. that are taking medication for painful conditions and the medication does not seem to be working any longer. The owners turn to Acupuncture as an alternative therapy that will help their pets and increase their quality of life. Acupuncture is a complement to Western medical modalities, and not necessarily a substitute.
6. How many treatments are needed?
That depends on the condition, the severity and the chronicity of the condition. I ask for a commitment of eight treatments, but I may be able to resolve the issue with just three treatments. For degenerative conditions like arthritis, monthly treatments may be necessary, but again, it depends on the condition.
7. Who is qualified to perform veterinary acupuncture?
Only licensed veterinarians are eligible to practice acupuncture in most states in the USA. A certified acupuncture training course is highly recommended before performing veterinary acupuncture.
8. What is Qi?
Qi, pronounced "chee", is the vital force or life energy that flows through the body maintaining a balance between Yin and Yang. The health of the body depends on the free flow of Qi. When Qi flow is interrupted by a pathological factor such as a virus or bacteria, the balance of Yin and Yang is adversely affected and disease occurs.
When Qi is blocked pain occurs. Acupuncture stimulation can remove the blockage so Qi can flow freely throughout the body and maintain the balance between Yin and Yang.