Acupuncture is an ancient skill used to help manage a variety of conditions. It involves the insertion of fine needles through the skin at specific points on the body (called acupoints). There are two main forms:
- Traditional Chinese Medicine approach: This is a holistic approach using key points on the body to restore and maintain the body's natural balance.
- Western scientific approach: This approach involves needling the animal at both specific anatomical sites and particularly painful points (trigger points). This helps to alleviate pain, ease muscular tension, and improve recovery from injury or surgery.
Acupuncture has the effect of inhibiting pain pathways. It can also cause the release of chemicals (endorphins and serotonin) in the brain and spinal cord which can produce a more generalized pain relief and an increase in a general feeling of wellbeing.
As acupuncture is a holistic therapy it is also important to consider the animal's general health, lifestyle, diet, and supplements. Susan will cover this during the first consultation.
Acupuncture can be used to help ease the symptoms of many diseases such as:
- Back Pain
- Hip / Elbow Dysplasia
- Immune Dysfunction
- Lick Granuloma
- Muscle and Ligament Sprains/ Strains/ Spasms
- Myofascial Pain
- Paralysis/ Paresis
- Stress Related Disorders
- Some urinary and gastrointestinal disorders.
Acupuncture can be used on many different species and owners are often surprised at how well their pet accepts the treatment. Susan commonly uses acupuncture on dogs, cats, rabbits, and horses but has treated Cows and Goats as well!
This is similar to dry needling except that small electrodes are placed on some of the needles. These provide a small electrical current with a varying pulse frequency. This gives a stronger stimulation than dry needling and is used in severe or very chronic cases.
Sometimes if a condition is particularly painful or the animal is very sensitive it is not possible to use needles in some of the acupuncture points. In these cases, a laser is used to stimulate the points instead of needles.
Infra-red Light Therapy
This is mainly used to help ease muscular tension, joint pain, and skin conditions (such as lick granuloma, non–healing skin wounds/surgical sites). This can be done during the consultation with the laser unit or Photizo units are available for hire to use at home.
You can find out more here: