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Acupuncture

Acupuncture was formed on the basis of understanding the flow of energies or Qi (life force). These flows of energy travel along a path called a “meridian.” Each meridian is interrelated to help support the entire flow of energy. When the flow becomes obstructed, pain (stagnation) or disease processes occur. Acupuncture suggests that by needling certain spots on the body along theses meridians, we can regulate the flow of Qi. Qi influences the organs and bodily systems: muscles, skeletal, endocrine, circulatory, respiratory, nervous, and urinary. When Qi flows smoothly, each of the body’s systems function in harmony. 

Research studies have shown that needling in specific areas causes a chemical cascade effect of releasing biochemical mediators such as beta-endorphins, endogenous opiods, increasing expression of cannabinoid receptors and decreasing levels of cytokines. These cascades of effects modulate the perception of pain and improve chemical interactions between cells that stimulate healing. 

Acupuncture is well tolerated by most animals and can typically lead to relaxation. Acupuncture needles are very thin sterile needles that are typically pain free when inserted. There may be multiple sites that are tolerated, but some points may be more sensitive than others. Treatment time varies based on the illness and tolerance level of the pet. Acupuncture therapies are cumulative therapies that typically require multiple treatments, from 6 to 12 based on pet responsiveness. 

Acupuncture helps in the following ways:

  • Stimulates the body's own pain relieving mechanisms and anti-inflammatory systems.
  • Relaxes muscles at the site of the acupuncture as well as distant parts of the body.
  • Increases tissue blood flow, which increases oxygenation. 
  • Increases blood flow, which also helps remove metabolic wastes and potential toxins.

It has a limited amount of adverse side effects, does not interact with medications and is safe to use to treat a variety of illnesses.

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