Acupuncture for dogs, like acupuncture for humans, is a complementary medical practice that involves inserting fine needles into the skin to stimulate points on the body for pain relief and healing responses.
Acupuncture has its origins in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) and has been used for thousands of years. In TCM acupuncture is used to balance and restore the energy throughout the body. In Western medicine, acupuncture is believed to work by stimulating neural-hormonal pathways to release chemicals and hormones which affect biochemical and physiological changes in the body and reduce pain and inflammation. The needles also improve blood circulation at the point of insertion and can influence the different systems in our body as the musculoskeletal, immune, and psychological system.
What conditions are treated with acupuncture?
Pain is the most common indication for acupuncture, usually this means pain associated with arthritis, but other kinds of pain will also respond to the acupuncture treatment.
Acupuncture is often used for musculoskeletal and nervous system problems including:
- Back pain
- Hip and elbow dysplasia.
- Intervertebral disc disease
- Nerve injury/paralysis/weakness
But also wound healing and issues like digestive problems, behaviour problems, heart and lung conditions can benefit from acupuncture treatment.
Will acupuncture hurt my animal?
Acupuncture needles stimulate nerves that do not cause the unpleasant feelings of pain that we are trying to treat. They stimulate other nerves that send a more
important message to the brain, which is how they block pain. Sometimes animals may react to this sensation as though they are expecting pain, but then relax because it does not occur. Most of the time they accept the fine needles very well and often become relaxed and sleepy during the treatment. Often they appear to look forward to the next treatment when they come back to the practice.