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TCVM is a variation of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) used to treat humans. It can be traced back over 2,000 years of recorded Chinese history. This medical system, like all modern medical applications, continues to evolve and adapt. Current research continues to enhance our understanding of acupuncture and herbal medicine and their effects on a variety of illnesses and syndromes.
The theories of TCM are based on the view that your body energy is the same as the larger universe; the laws and forces that govern the external world also govern the body’s internal environment. Yin-Yang is an underlying theory; opposing and opposite forces in the universe are mutually inclusive and interrelated.
The ancient Chinese also believed in yearly cycles that corresponded to the Wu Xing, or Five Elements. The theory consists of five major elements — wood, fire, earth, metal, and water — to help explain functional relationships between organ systems and inherent personality traits. An imbalance of Yin-Yang forces and Wu Xing elements contributes to the formation of disease processes.
TCVM considers the temperament, sex, age, activity and environment of an animal along with the pet’s clinical signs. This approach stems from the belief that the body is an interconnected system of forces and functions, so disease and disharmony must be examined with respect to the whole pet — but there are noticeable limitations in diagnosing diseases and illnesses.
Evidence for TCVM therapy has largely been case studies for the past 3,000 years, and currently there are various research institutes that are formulating studies that may prove herbal medications to be largely beneficial to animals. Acupuncture has been extensively studied and is well documented to be beneficial to reduce pain and physical dysfunction by eliminating nociceptive inputs, causing neuroplastic changes in the spinal cord/ brainstem and analgesic properties, and supporting tissue regeneration.
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