Dr. Brianna Abel is a traditionally trained veterinarian and a Certified Veterinary Acupuncturist by way of the Chi Institute of Traditional Chinese Medicine in Florida. Please call Cats and Dogs Animal Hospital with any questions you may have and schedule your consultation today.
What is acupuncture?
Acupuncture may be defined as the stimulation of a specific point on the body with a specific method, resulting in a therapeutic homeostatic effect. The specific point on the body is called “Shu-xu” or acupuncture point (acupoint). The ancient Chinese people discovered 361 acupoints in human beings and 173 acupoints in animals.
Modern research shows that acupoints are located in the areas where there is a high density of free nerve endings, mast cells, small arterioles and lymphatic vessels. Most acupoints are motor points. A great number of studies indicate the stimulation of acupoints induces the release of beta-endorphin, serotonin and other neurotransmitters. Therefore, acupuncture for pain relief is well supported by these scientific studies. As more studies are conducted, the mechanism of this ancient therapy will be better understood.
Vital Energy or Qi
The ancient Chinese discovered that the health of the body depends on the state of Qi (pronounced chee). Qi is the life force or vital energy. There are two opposite forms of Qi, Yin and Yang. Physiologically, Qi flows throughout the body 24 hours per day, maintaining a balance of Yin and Yang. When the flow of Qi is interrupted by any pathological factor (such as a virus or bacteria), the balance of Yin and Yang will be lost and consequently a disease may occur.
Pain is interpreted as the blockage of Qi flow (or no free flow of Qi). Acupuncture stimulation resolves this blockage, freeing the flow of Qi and enabling the body to heal itself. Homeostasis is restored when Yin and Yang are in balance.
Acupuncture is a very safe medical procedure when administered by a qualified practitioner. Very few side effects have been found in clinical cases.
Each session may take about 20 to 60 minutes. Depending upon the nature, severity, and duration of diseases. A single treatment may be enough for an acute condition. A series of 3 to 10 treatments can resolve many chronic problems. Some degenerative conditions may need monthly treatments over time.
A proper acupuncture therapy may induce distention and a heaviness along with contraction of local muscle. Over 95% of patients are comfortable with acupuncture therapy. Some animals even fall asleep during the procedure, sedation is not recommended before treatment as it may interfere with the acupuncture effect.
Numerous studies show that acupuncture stimulation induces many physiological effects such as pain relief, regulation of gastrointestinal motility, anti-inflammatory effects, immuno-regulation, hormone and reproductive regulation, anti-febrile effect, and microcirculation promotion.
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