Woodley Gardens Veterinary Care recognizes the importance of delivering holistic medical care to our patients. This includes offering Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine, such as acupuncture therapy, to complement our state-of-the-art conventional Western medical treatment. Dr. Josh Storm is a certified veterinary acupuncturist offering this service here at the hospital.
Here are some helpful FAQs about acupuncture.
1. What is acupuncture?
Acupuncture is a treatment that involves the stimulation of points in the body, typically achieved through the insertion of specialized needles. History reveals that human acupuncture has been practiced for over 8,000 years, using 361 acupuncture points, and is often used as a complement to Western medical practice. Veterinary acupuncture has an ancient history as well. The first book documenting acupuncture for veterinary use was written in China between 659-621 BC! Since then, a total of 173 acupuncture points have been discovered in animals.
2. What are the benefits of acupuncture for pets?
Studies have shown that stimulation of acupuncture points release beta-endorphins, seratonin and other neurotransmitters. These changes can promote natural pain relief, encourage regulation of immune, neurological, gastrointestinal and endocrine systems, increase blood flow, and have anti-inflammatory and fever reducing effects.
Acupuncture may work especially well for animals with chronic health conditions, or who are not able to take medicines they need due to metabolic issues or other secondary factors.
3. How do I know if acupuncture is right for my pet?
Common conditions for which acupuncture therapy can be effective include:
- Musculoskeletal problems: muscle soreness, back pain, disc problems, arthritis, degenerative joint disease
- Neurological disorders: Seizures, laryngeal paralysis, facial and radial nerve paralysis
- Gastrointestinal disorders: diarrhea, ulcers, vomiting, constipation
- Other chronic conditions: asthma, cough, uveitis, behavioral problems, Cushing’s disease, hypothyroidism, renal failure, geriatric weakness, skin problems
4. Is acupuncture uncomfortable for pets?
No, the vast majority of animals do not find any discomfort from acupuncture treatments. In fact, many of our pets fall asleep during treatments, and others love to eat plenty of treats offered throughout the visit! Most people describe the sensation of acupuncture as a heaviness or a slight tingling feeling, rather than a painful experience.
5. How many acupuncture sessions will my pet need?
The course of treatment is somewhat dependent on the condition itself. Sometimes a single visit is all that is needed, and other times multiple treatments are needed to achieve the desired effect.
Please call the hospital at 240-403-8387 if you are interested in learning more about how we can use acupuncture to help your pet.
Further information about Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine and the certification process can be found at www.tcvm.com or www.ivas.org.