Acupuncture has been used to treat illnesses for thousands of years. For a long time we did not know exactly how this treatment worked, just that it brought relief to patients. With modern medicine and research techniques, research has finally been able to shed light on how this treatment works.
The body is an extremely complicated system of nerves, muscles, blood vessels, etc. Acupuncture helps the body in multiple ways to enhance healing, decrease pain, and improve mobility. The needles have an affect on the area around the needle, the nerves, the spinal cord, the brain, and the whole body. To simplify, acupuncture tricks the body into thinking an injury has occurred where the needle was placed, and initiates the bodies’ response to heal the injury and relieve pain.
Acupuncture is best at treating myofascial, or muscle, pain. Myofascial pain is often caused by trigger points, or “knots”, in the muscle. In humans these trigger points are common in the shoulder area where we tend to hold stress, but can be found in any muscle. In animals these trigger points can be caused by certain activities, conformation, and previous injuries. Acupuncture can help to heal these trigger points and improve comfort and mobility.
Acupuncture is also known to have affects on the gastrointestinal system, immune system, urogenital system, and other body systems. Common veterinary applications include colic in horses, gastrointestinal stasis in rabbits, non-healing wounds, etc. High Tide Veterinary Services is always happy to discuss whether acupuncture is the right choice for your pet.
Individuals fall on a spectrum of responsiveness to acupuncture, ranging from no response to excellent responders. Excellent responders will often become relaxed (sometimes even fall asleep!) during the treatment, and may stay that way for a few hours after treatment as well. The sensation felt from acupuncture varies between patient and location of the needle. It generally ranges from no sensation at all to just a small pinprick when the needle enters the skin. Sometimes a feeling of heaviness or warmth around the needle can be felt briefly, similar to a massage. Most patients, from cats to horses, accept acupuncture well. The effects of acupuncture will usually increase with each treatment, therefore it is recommended to try at least 3-4 sessions of acupuncture once weekly.
Underlying and previous medical conditions do not necessarily exempt the patient from trying acupuncture, however it is extremely important that the conditions are known before treatment. For this reason High Tide Veterinary Services requires that medical records be sent from the primary veterinarian so that the highest level of care can be provided. This must be requested by the owner of the patient before an appointment can be made. High Tide Veterinary Services works with your pets primary veterinarian to get your pet as happy and healthy as possible.