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What is acupuncture?

Acupuncture is one of the oldest procedures in recorded history. Traditional Chinese medicine formed the basis of acupuncture (needling certain spots on the body regulates the flow of Qi (energy) which flows through the body nourishing the tissues and organs. We are slowly working on understanding the full biochemical and neurological basis of acupuncture based on research and publications that are occurring on a regular basis.

How does acupuncture work?

Needling a specific point leads to the release of chemical mediators in the muscles, spinal cord and brain. These chemical mediators can change the perception of pain and lead to the release of other chemical mediators that influence organ function. This improves “chemical communication” and helps with healing.

What will happen during a treatment?

We would like for your pet to be relaxed during their treatment, the treatment may cause them to become more relaxed and some animals will even fall asleep. Acupuncture treatment are usually very well tolerated by most animals. Acupuncture needles are very thin, solid, sterile needles. The insertion of needle is usually not painful however certain points can be sensitive. Treatment lengths and amount of needle points will vary depending on the patient and condition. Acupuncture effects are cumulative so several treatments are usually necessary for chronic medical conditions, then frequency can be tapered down to as needed for maintenance. Acute conditions will usually need fewer treatments.

What can acupuncture treat?

In people and animals, there is good evidence that acupuncture is effective in treating musculoskeletal, gastrointestinal, respiratory, urinary, skin, reproductive, neurological, behavioral disorders, as well as, for stress. For cancer patients, acupuncture can help to improve quality of life by alleviating signs such as pain, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, and inappetance.

Are there any side effects?

Acupuncture can result in a relaxed state which can be misinterpreted as lethargy. This may continue for a 24 hours period but indicates that your animal is indeed sensitive to the effects of acupuncture. The needles used are sterile so the risk of infection is extremely rare. Each acupuncture treatment is tailored to the specific animal and can be altered at each visit.

Dr. Frances Deller, DVM, CVA

Dr. Frances Deller is a Certified Veterinary Acupuncturist (CVA) from the Chi Insititute in Florida. We are proud to have her lead our acupuncture therapy department as well as continuing her veterinary general practice duties at the same time.