Michelle Rupp, VMD, CCRT Melody Broadbent, CCRA
What is acupuncture?
Acupuncture is an ancient art of medical practice, utilized originally in China. This technique was originally documented about 2,700 years ago in one of the oldest medical textbooks in the world.
The goal is to maintain balance or correct imbalances in the pet's body through insertion of needles in specific anatomical locations. This procedure is virtually painless, although certain animals and certain points may be more sensitive than others.
How does acupuncture work?
There are several proposed mechanisms as to how acupuncture works: it stimulates local nerves, changes blood and lymph flow, stimulates the immune system, relaxes muscles, and releases endorphins in the brain and spinal cord. Scientists are documenting the exact reasons why acupuncture has proven effective for so many human and animal patients.
What kinds of diseases are likely to respond to acupuncture?
Acupuncture therapy is appropriate for many diseases including, but not limited to, the following: orthopedic diseases (osteoarthritis), neurological conditions (seizures, interverterbral disc problems), gastrointestinal diseases (inflammatory bowel disease, diarrhea, vomiting and constipation), and respiratory problems (asthma and bronchitis). Patients undergoing chemotherapy can also be treated with acupuncture to support the immune system and decrease adverse side effects. Senior and geriatric patients may benefit from decreased pain and increased quality oflife.
What can I expect during an acupuncture treatment?
The most common type of acupuncture is called "dry needling." Several thin needles (2-20) are placed in different points on your pet'sbody for 5-20 minutes. Aquapuncture is a method where solution is injected into the acupoints. Electroacupuncture is where a machine is connected to the needles and a mild electric current is introduced. Finally, some patients will receive moxibustion where a heat source is touched to the needles to warm them.
How soon will I see results in my pet?
This really depends on the disease we are treating and how chronic the problem is. Some patients will feel results after the first, second or third treatments. Others may take up to eight treatments before noticeable results occur. If after eight treatments your pet is not showing some improvement, we can say that acupuncture is likely to be ineffective. Typically treatments will be once weekly for 3-5 weeks. Treatments will then be tapered so that your pet feels as good as possible for as long as possible between treatments.
How can my pet and I get started?
Any concerns and questions may be addressed during your pet's initial consultation with Dr. Rupp.