Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese healing modality that has been around for thousands of years. It involves the insertion of thin needles into specific points on the body to cause a desired healing effect.
Stimulation of these areas releases beta-endorphins, serotonin, and other neurotransmitters, which result in pain relief.
Acupuncture sessions last 20-40 minutes. A series of 3 – 6 treatments is typically sufficient to provide relief for most patients, usually starting at intervals of once weekly. Treatments can be spaced every month to six months for maintenance. Acupuncture is done on an outpatient basis and owners are encouraged to be present during treatment.
Acupuncture can be an effective complimentary treatment by helping to reduce inflammation, stimulate pain relieving chemicals in the nervous system, improve blood flow and relieve muscle spasms and stiffness.
Acupuncture is commonly used to treat the following conditions in cats and dogs:
- Arthritis and chronic pain
- Muscle and joint conditions
- Some spinal conditions
- Speeding recovery from injury and surgery
- Digestive and urinary issues
- Allergy, breathing and skin issues
- Behavioral issues, such as anxiety and stress-related disorders
The most common medical conditions treated with acupuncture are osteoarthritis, hip dysplasia and intervertebral disc disease.
For patients undergoing chemotherapy, acupuncture can be useful in counteracting nausea and stimulating appetite.