VCA Veterinary Referral Associates offers Veterinary Acupuncture Services for your pet. According to Traditional Chinese Medicine theory, life force (ch'i) flows through the body via 14 invisible channels known as meridians, regulating all physical and mental processes. Opposing forces within the body (yin and yang), must be balanced to keep ch'i flowing properly. The meridians run deep within the body's tissues and organs, surfacing at some 360 places identified as acupuncture points. Research has shown that these meridians also strongly correlate to neurologic pathways. Therefore, stimulating these points is said to balance and restore the flow of ch'i as well as stimulating local nerve channels. Acupuncture point stimulation has been shown to modulate signals within the nervous system and even cause endorphin release.
Stimulation of the points is performed by inserting thin, smooth, sterile needles. The depth of insertion, type of stimulation, and duration of treatment vary according to the disease or the condition being treated. Veterinary acupuncturists may use needles alone, needles with electrical stimulation, or stimulation using a specific type of laser.
Research studies on veterinary acupuncture are limited, but numerous human studies have demonstrated that acupuncture is an effective treatment option for certain disorders. Veterinary acupuncture is most commonly used for the treatment of pain, arthritis, and neurologic disorders. However, acupuncture may also be used in conjunction with traditional Western medicine to help pets with chronic kidney disease, chronic digestive disturbances (i.e. inflammatory bowel disease), dry eye, epilepsy, and more.