What is integrative practice?

An integrative medical practice is one that uses effective modalities, regardless of their origin, to cure or prevent disease. “Western,” “Eastern” and other theories and therapies are integrated together for the benefit of the patient. “Western” practices, like the use of vaccinations, drugs and surgery, are used in conjunction with “other” practices, like acupuncture, chiropractics, massage and herbs.

What is acupuncture?

Acupuncture is the insertion of thin, sterile needles into specific locations on the body to cause desired healing effects.

How does acupuncture work?

Although acupuncture has been in use on animals and humans for over 3,000 years, it is only recently through medical research that the exact mechanisms of action are being discovered. Stimulation is achieved predominantly through the activation of specific neural pathways and release of biochemical messengers. It has been shown to affect all physiological systems; including the cardio-vascular, gastro-intestinal, genito-urinary, immune, musculo-skeletal and neurological systems. Acupuncturists incorporate modern medical knowledge with ancient paradigms to formulate the best treatment plan for each individual.

What does treatment entail?

Acupuncture points are most often stimulated using thin, sterile acupuncture needles or with a veterinary therapeutic laser. Certain conditions may require electro-acupuncture, moxibustion (warming), aqua-puncture (injection of a sterile solution) or acupressure. Points chosen depend on the patient’s medical condition and temperament.

How long does treatment last?

Each treatment lasts about 30 minutes. The number and frequency of treatments required depend on the condition and how the patient responds. Some conditions, such as a mild sprain, may resolve after only 1 treatment while other conditions, such as chronic arthritis may benefit most from treatments every week to month.

What symptoms can be treated?

Almost any! Some examples include:

    1. Pain

: post surgical, such as after TPLO or wound repair

  1. Musculoskeletal problems: Arthritis, Hip Dysplasia, Muscle soreness & Spasm
  2. Skin problems: Wounds, Allergies, Lick Granulomas
  3. Gastrointestinal problems: Diarrhea and Vomiting; Feline Megacolon
  4. Genitourinary problems: Kidney disease; Feline urine spraying; Infertility
  5. Respiratory problems: Asthma
  6. Neurologic problems: Disc disease, Nerve injury, Dry Eye, Vestibular Disease

Does it hurt?

Most animals enjoy quiet petting and yummy treats during treatment and learn to look forward to their treatments. Since it is performed with very thin, sterile needles, most needles can be placed virtually painlessly. Sometimes there is a brief moment of sensitivity as the needle penetrates the skin. Once the needles are in place, most patients relax. Acupuncture done with the laser is completely painless.

What species can be treated?

While the majority of patients are dogs and cats, any type of animal may be treated as long as they can be safely handled.

Should I see my regular vet first?

It is recommended that you have a complete work up by your regular veterinarian before any type of therapy is started. It is important to have an accurate diagnosis before treatment is started, as acupuncture may not be indicated for some conditions.