Acupuncture is just one of five modalities of Traditional Chinese Medicine. The others are
herbal therapy, nutrition, massage (Tui-na), and exercise (Tai chi or Qi Gong). The importance of balance is the key to health and is exemplified by the Yin and Yang theory. "Yin and yang", literally meaning"shadow and light", is used to describe how polar opposites are interconnected and interdependent in the natural world, and how they give rise to each other in complementary forces.
Acupuncture was thought to have been first performed on the horses of the Chinese Army eight thousand years ago. Acupuncture points have been mapped by the Chinese over a period of two thousand years. Acupuncture started to become more common in the United States after 1972 when then-President Nixon witnessed it in his historic visit to China.
Most of the acupuncture points (acupoints) are located around artery, vein, or nerve bundles. These acupoints are lined up in meridians, or pathways, through which one’s energy (Qi) flows. If the flow of Qi is disrupted then disease or pain ensues.
Acupuncture opens up these interrupted pathways so that the body can heal
itself. It has been well documented that acupuncture stimulates the body to release its own natural painkillers (opioids) and hormones such as serotonin, nor epinephrine, etc.
Acupuncture is usually performed by the insertion of sterile needles into acupoints but it can also be performed by aqua puncture (fluid inserted subcutaneously into acupoint), electroacupuncture (electrical stimulation of an acupoint), moxabustion (heat applied to an acupoint), or laser therapy at an acupoint. Animal acupuncture can only be performed by veterinarians. It is best to choose a certified veterinary acupuncturist, or CVA, a veterinarian who has been licensed to practice acupuncture. As CVAs, we incorporate herbal therapy, nutrition and Tui-na along with acupuncture for our veterinary patients.
There are many indications for which we treat companion animals with Traditional
Chinese Veterinary Medicine (TCVM). Many animals with arthritis do very well with acupuncture in lieu of Western medicines; acupuncture is particularly helpful if the animals cannot tolerate NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs).
Other issues for which TCVM is recommended include: allergies, asthma,
behavior issues, cancer, inflammatory bowel syndrome, cruciate (knee) injuries,
heart failure, kidney disease, diabetes, disc disease (back problems), treatment
of neurologic diseases and even prevention of disease. We often combine Eastern with Western medicine to get the best possible care for our companions.
Dr. Lanphear is available at Anshen Veterinary Acupuncture, LLC located in Madison, Wisconsin.