For thousands of years acupuncture has been used to re-balance the total energy system of animals’ bodies to facilitate health and healing.
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PBS Spotlight Video on TCVM
What is Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine?
TCVM uses a theory of medicine that disease occurs when the body is unbalanced. It takes into account the individual and treats disease as an imbalance within the body, which may be caused due to internal and external factors such as temperament, environment, and activity. Western conventional medicine is more linear and reactive in theory. For instance if a patient has high blood pressure, in conventional medicine we would treat with medication that lowers blood pressure no matter the root cause. TCVM is more circular or holistic in thinking therefore acupuncture, herbals, and food may be used to treat the root imbalance that leads to the high blood pressure. In this example by treating the root cause (imbalance), the high blood pressure resolves at that level. The TCVM treatment depends on many individual factors that can change from individual to individual and from time to time.
What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is 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 discovered 361 acupoints in human beings and 173 acupoints in animals.
How Safe is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is a very safe medical procedure when administered by a qualified practitioner. Very few side effects have been found in clinical cases. If there are side effects, they are temporary and may include soreness, muscle twitching, bruising, and fatigue. Since the goal of acupuncture is to alert the body that there is a problem to fix, some symptoms may seem worse for 1-2 days post acupuncture. This group actually tends to do better overall because the primary goal is being met.
What Physiological Effects are Induced by Acupuncture?
Numerous studies show that acupuncture stimulation induces the following physiological effects: Pain relief, regulation of gastrointestinal motility, anti-inflammatory effects, immuno-regulation, hormone and rproductive regulation, and anti-febrile effects. Acupuncture therapy can be effective in the following conditions: Musculoskeletal problems such as muscle soreness, back pain, disc problems, osteoarthritis, degenerative joint disease, neurological disorders such as seizures, laryngeal hemiplegia, and facial and radial nerve paralysis, gastrointestinal disorders such as diarrhea, gastric ulcers, colic, vomiting, constipation and impaction, other chronic conditions such as anhidrosis, heaves, asthma, cough, uveitis, behavioral problems, Cushing's disease, hypothyroidism, infertility, hyperthyroidism, renal failure, geriatric weakness and skin problems.
Acupuncture Combined with Chinese Herbs
Sometimes the application of Chinese Herbal Medicine is chosen by the knowledegable veterinarian as a support for the acupuncture, or on occasion, in lieu of it. Herbs are frequently used in situations that have not responded to traditional western veterinary medical practices or as an adjunct to conventional therapies like chemo.