For centuries, acupuncture has been used by many cultures to treat many ailments. Western acupuncture is derived from its ancient Chinese cousin, using evidence-based medicine.
It is a form of alternative treatment where fine needles are inserted into the body at specific points, resulting in pain relief, immune stimulation, normalisation of bodily functions and faster recovery rates.
Its main effect (pain relief) is caused by the release of endogenous opioids in the brain, as endorphins, after stimulation of the neuro-hormonal pathways.
What conditions can acupuncture be used for?
- Acupuncture can be used on its own or in conjunction with conventional modern medicine.
- It can be used to treat several conditions including, but not limited to, the following:
- Chronic pain caused by osteoarthritis, muscle and ligament strains or back pain
- Chronic gastrointestinal conditions such as diarrhoea and constipation
- Chronic respiratory problems, including feline asthma
- Some skin condition such as lick granulomas
It's also used to enhance recovery after surgery and bolster the immune system.
Is acupuncture safe?
Acupuncture is a very safe treatment option for many conditions when a qualified person performs it. It has minimal side effects; however, on occasion, you may note that the symptoms are worse for 48 hours after treatment.
The animals generally experience a rather relaxed treatment, and some of them will even fall asleep.
How many acupuncture appointments will my pet need?
Every animal varies depending on its specific condition. Every patient will receive a full clinical examination, their medical history will be assessed, and a plan will be made regarding the number of sessions needed before treatment starts. In chronic conditions, acupuncture should be viewed as an ongoing therapy as opposed to a short-acting solution.
As with people, not all pets will react to acupuncture, but a positive response to treatment can be expected within four to six sessions for most animals.