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North Main Animal Hospital

Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine

According to the Animal Hospital Association, there are proven positive effects from regular acupuncture treatments that can enhance your pet's quality of life. Acupuncture is a pain-free form of treatment that involves inserting thin needles into specific points of the body to stimulate healing.

What is Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine?

Acupuncture is a method of balancing the flow or energy, known as chi/qi (chee), believed to flow through pathways of the body. This is achieved by placing very thin needles at specific points of the body. It has also been shown to stimulate nerves, muscles and connective tissues. A great number of studies indicate that the stimulation of acupoints induces the release of endorphins, serotonin, and other important neurotransmitters. Chinese herbal medicine involves the use of many different herbal formulations, which offers a more holistic approach to treating multiple disease processes. Acupuncture and Chinese herbs are often used in conjunction with each other, as the combination often enhances the effects of the other.

Who can benefit?

Acupuncture is becoming a more common practice in veterinary medicine over the last several years. It has been shown to help patients with many of the following illnesses or injuries: back pain, orthopedic issues (including arthritis and hip dysplasia), chronic inflammation of many different body systems, anxiety/stress, kidney disease, GI disorders including chronic vomiting, diarrhea or constipation, chronic conditions such as skin problems, asthma and liver/bladder disease. Additionally, acupuncture therapy lacks many of the negative side effects that prescription medication has on your pets' internal organs. This means it can be safely used alongside other mediums of treating pet illness.

How does acupuncture therapy work?

Veterinary acupuncture has been used for decades on both exotic and domestic animals as a type of therapy treatment. It stimulates specific points of the body that alter various physiological and biochemical conditions and assist in the body's effort to heal itself. Acupuncture can stimulate nerves, increase blood circulation, relieve muscle spasms and cause the release of hormones.

Preparing for your appointment:

Prior to your first appointment, we ask that your pet has already been diagnosed with a condition by your primary care veterinarian. This will allow Dr. Jillian to focus her time with you on the benefits of acupuncture as it specifically relates to your pet's current condition. We may also require diagnostics such as bloodwork and radiographs.

Duration of treatment lasts 20-30 minutes and for most conditions, requires appointments every 2 weeks for best results.

What to expect after:

It would be very rare for your pet to experience any unpleasant side effects after their treatment. However, due to the release of endorphins and serotonin, your pet may seem sleepy for a short period of time. Most of the time, it can take a few treatments to experience or see the results of acupuncture.