Veterinary acupuncture has been receiving greater acceptance in veterinary medical communities throughout the world. Acupuncture is defined as the insertion of needles into specific points on the body to cause a desired healing effect. The technique has been used in China for at least 3000 years to treat both humans and animals. Traditional Chinese Medical theory (TCM) has been the basis for study of acupuncture; according to TCM, disease is the result of an energy imbalance in the body. Acupuncture assists in rebalancing this energy, or Qi.
An increased awareness of acupuncture as a treatment option has resulted in increased research and improved understanding of acupuncture applications and mechanisms of action from a Western medical perspective. We know that acupuncture can affect certain physiologic changes. For example, it can stimulate nerves, relieve muscle spasm and cause the release of hormones such as endorphins (for pain control) and cortisol (for antiinflammatory effects).
Acupuncture is indicated mainly for problems such as paralysis, pain and noninfectious inflammation (such as allergies). Conditions that are helped through acupuncture include arthritis, intervertebral disc disease, asthma, skin problems and gastrointestinal disorders.
Further information may be obtained at the International Veterinary Acupuncture society (IVAS) www.ivas.org. They are the only accredited certification program for veterinarians.