Acupuncture is an energetic complementary medicine stimulating the self-healing powers of the body. It has been practiced since the days of ancient China 2000 years ago. It is part of the Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and is used successfully not only in human beings but also in animals.
Acupuncture is the penetration of the surface of the body at certain specific points with very thin sterile needles. These acupuncture points are located on energy channels, so-called meridians. Which points will be chosen for treatment is depending on the clinical picture.
The different effects of acupuncture have been scientifically proven for a long time. The stimulation of acupuncture points causes an improvement of the circulation of the blood flow, a release of neurotransmitters, endorphins and neurohormones. This can release subluxations, muscle tenseness, improve the flow of energy and correct malfunctioning organ function. Also it can stimulate the immune system and relieve pain. The retention period of the needles is dependent on the ailment.
Acupuncture is seen as one of the safest treatment methods. Premise for the success is that it is done by a well trained, experienced acupuncturist, thus preventing injuries of soft tissue, nerves, blood vessels, joints and organs to achieve the optimum effects. A veterinarian with an additional education in acupuncture has the appropriate knowledge in anatomy, physiology, neurophysiology and pathology and knows where to find the application and the limits of acupuncture.
Acupuncture is established as much in pets as it is in performance animals. In sports horses it is a favoured alternative to medical treatments, because a lot of drugs count as doping. Also unwanted side effects of drugs make this gentle therapy often the treatment of choice. During therapy which continues over several sessions there can be an initial worsening. This short period is usually followed by a significant improvement.
THE PHILOSOPHY OF TCM
In Traditional Chinese Medicine the cause for health is the balance of the opposing powers Yin and Yang. As long as they are balanced, the body is healthy. If the balance is disturbed for longer, diseases and disorders can develop. Yin and Yang determine the life energy Qi. The Qi flows through the body using the energy channels, so-called meridians. The natural balance can be disturbed through mental stress, exterior effects or other factors like overexertion, traumas, malnutrition, lack of exercise. It will lead to blockade in the flow of Qi in the energy channels, and in the end to disease.
This philosophy enables the practitioner of TCM to bring all different symptoms in context, to explain them, and treat the real cause of the disorder instead of only the symptoms.
Acupuncture is used on it's own or in combination with chiropractic. The goal is the restoration and preservation of the health and well-being of the animal.