Acupuncture

Acupuncture is the ancient art of placing needles into specific locations on the body to alleviate pain and increase the animal’s resistance to disease, hence normalising the body system.
It has been practiced by the Chinese and other Eastern cultures for over thousands of years. It has been increasingly integrated and incorporated into Western medical fields and veterinary medicine in recent decades.

Acupuncture may be especially useful in treating chronic states of disease, either to complement orthodox treatments, or when conventional medicine fails.

Patients seen for acupuncture are preferably referred by your own vets.

Acupuncture is now known to affect all major physiological systems. It does more than just relieve pain. How it works depends on the condition being treated and the selection of points utilized.

Its effects are largely segmental, working at the level of the spinal cord where the affected area originated from. Segmental acupuncture involves needling relevant acupuncture points on the same spinal segment of the diseased/ affected areas.

Acupuncture also stimulates the release of many pain relieving substances from the brain and spinal cord, providing more generalised (extrasegmental) analgesia. Combined with needling “trigger points” where painful taut bands of muscle exist, exceptional pain relief may be achieved.

Traditional Chinese Medicine:
The Chinese view health to be a state of harmony that exists between the body and its internal and external environments. Disease arises when an imbalance between the environments present. Acupuncture is used to ‘normalise’ the internal body environment, thus resuming equilibrium, resuming health. The approach is holistic and may incorporate changes in lifestyle as well.

Western Medical Approach:
The Western scientific approach to acupuncture is predominantly used for musculoskeletal disorders and alleviation of chronic pain.

  • 10% of patients are hypersensitive such that very light acupuncture is required
  • 80% very predictable results where the desired effect is achieved
  • 10% of patients can be non-responsive
  • Usually need at least 3-4 sessions before the animal can be deemed non-responsive

  • Single-use, sterilised, fine needles are placed into the animal at the relevant points.
  • The number of needles placed will depend on the condition.
  • Treatments may last for 10 seconds to 20 minutes depending upon the condition and the method used.
  • Usually, an average of 4-6 treatments is required.
  • These are performed initially once or twice weekly, depending on the condition until the maximum desired effect is achieved.
  • The frequency of treatment then depends on each individual animal. Some conditions may be resolved entirely but others may require regular “top-ups” to maintain the therapeutic effect.

  • There is occasionally a brief moment of sensitivity as the needle penetrates the skin in certain sensitive areas.
  • Animals generally accept needling well and become quite relaxed during treatment.

  • Acupuncture is one of the safest therapies utilized if practiced by a competent acupuncturist.
  • Occasionally, an animal’s condition may deteriorate temporarily before improving.
  • Because acupuncture balances the body’s own system of healing and no chemicals are administered, complications rarely, if ever, develop.

  • Neck pain
  • Back pain e.g. spondylysis, intervertebrae disc disease
  • Elbow and hip dysplasia
  • Muscle pain
  • Paralysis/ Paresis
  • Chronic lameness

  • Chronic Gastrointestinal tract disease
  • Lick granuloma and chronic skin conditions
  • Urinary and faecal incontinence
  • Stress related disorders in cats