Introduction to Acupuncture


Acupuncture has been used in China for more than 3000 years. It is an excellent complement to conventional medicine. Acupuncture comes from the latin words acus – needle and pungere – to pierce. It is a technique of piercing the skin with slender needles at determined foci, called acupuncture points, to prevent or treat diseases.

According to ancient Chinese medical philosophy, disease is the result of an imbalance of energy in the body. Acupuncture balances this energy and, thereby, assists the body to heal disease.

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) believes that Chi, the vital force that flows throughout the body, travels along channels of energy flow called meridians. A stagnation or blockage of this energy flow results in physical problems and symptoms. Acupuncture points along the meridians are treated to restore the flow of energy along these meridians.

In Western terms, acupuncture can assist the body to heal itself by affecting certain physiological changes. Acupuncture can stimulate nerves, relieve pain, increase blood circulation, relieve muscle spasms, and cause the release of hormones, such as endorphins and cortisol.

Overview: Acupuncture points

Is acupuncture painful?

For animals the insertion of acupuncture needles is generally painless. There can be a brief moment of sensitivity as the needle penetrates the skin. There can also be a tickling or numbness feeling or an electrical sensation. In all animals, once the needles are in place, there should be no pain. Most animals become very relaxed and may even fall asleep. In very sensitive horses, dogs or cats a low energy laser can be used instead of needles.

Is acupuncture safe for animals?

Acupuncture is one of the safest forms of medical treatment for animals. Occasionally the condition of the animal may seem worse for up to 48 hours after the treatment. Some small animals may become sleepy or lethargic for 24 hours after the acupuncture. The effects are an indication that some physiological changes are developing. They are followed by an improvement of the condition.

How often are acupuncture treatments given?

The length and frequency of acupuncture depends on the condition of the patient. Treatments can last from 10sec to 30min depending upon the condition treated or method used.

The schedule of therapy depends on the type of animal.