What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is an alternative medicine therapy practiced by licensed and certified practitioners. Tiny needles are inserted at very specific points around the body. The needles are typically retained for 10-60 minutes during which time the patient often relaxes or even falls asleep.
Although this type of medicine has been practiced in China for thousands of years (about 4 thousand if you consider herbs) it has only been accepted in the United States since the 1970's. In the U.S. that was a time of increased global awareness and open-mindedness. Be aware that this history can cause people to associate acupuncture with hippies, crystals, and meditation. While some of this can be true for some providers in the U.S., Chinese medicine in general is considered valid medicine in many parts of the world. Indeed in the U.S. it is performed in many hospitals for pain management and anesthesia.
What Does it Treat?
Acupuncture can have positive and supportive effects on many health issues. For people in the U.S. insurance will often cover it for pain and nausea because the most research has been done in those areas.
For people and for pets, it can be especially helpful for the following:
- reproductive problems
Can it Help My Pet?
Like humans, animals are thought to have acupuncture channels or meridians running throughout their bodies.
Many holistic veterinary offices offer and recommend acupuncture for companion animals. It is most often performed on cats, dogs, and horses but can be used to help any animal. Chiropractic care is also available for pets.
Other Alternative Therapies
Chiropractic care is also available for pets, and can help with pain and mobility issues.
Some internals like herbal formulas are safe or specially formulated for animals. They can also respond well to some homeopathics and Bach flower remedies like Rescue Remedy (great for a stressed pet). You can always check with your vet about dosing, although some vets are more open to alternative therapies than others.
About the Author
Kat Powers L.Ac. is a licensed acupuncturist recognized by the Oregon State Medical Board and the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. She is passionate about patient advocacy and helping her patients understand alternative options. In her free time she enjoys bullet journaling and walks with her greyhound.
Our blog is not a substitute for veterinary care. Some animals and people can also be irritated by essential oils. Going all-natural does not prevent allergic reactions to natural products or substances.