What Is Acupuncture?

acu-2896Acupuncture is the insertion of a thin needle into specific locations in the body (‘acupoints’) to treat and prevent disease. The acupuncture needle stimulates the acupoint locally, has influence along meridians (pathways associated with the acupoint), increases vascular flow, and affects the body physiologically through the release of beta-endorphin, serotonin and other neurotransmitters. Acupuncture can be used to alleviate pain, manage chronic health conditions and support the immune system.

Beyond the use of needles (dry needle technique), there are variations to an acupuncture treatment which include the use of heat (moxibustion or focal laser therapy), manual touch/acupressure, and injections of a liquid (usually liquid vitamin B12) at acupoints (aquapuncture). Aquapuncture is often used when prolonged stimulation is needed or beneficial at a specific point.

What Should I Expect At My Appointment?

At your animal’s initial acupuncture appointment, we will discuss various aspects of your pet’s health and lifestyle. In addition to the symptoms of illness, we also assess your pet’s personality traits/constitution, diet, activity level, and timing/seasonality of the signs. Once a TCVM (Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine) diagnosis has been determined, treatment can begin. Each follow up treatment starts with a discussion of general health and assessment of progress.

How Many Sessions Will My Pet Need?

Acupuncture for dogs and cats can be done in variety of intervals, but it typically occurs weekly during the initial stages, moving toward maintenance once stability is achieved. In both acute and chronic diseases, the process of healing can take time, and patience is required. Improvements in energy level and comfort can be seen immediately, but maximal effects can take at least 4 treatments (a couple of weeks). We do recommend that clients be prepared to commit to 3-4 visits. Treatment plans are designed for the individual animal and can include combining acupuncture with laser therapy.

All new patients are requested to complete the New Client/Patient Intake form, which is available hereContact us to see if this service is beneficial for your pet.