What is vital energy or Qi?
What is the history of acupuncture?
What are acupuncture methods and goals?
How safe is acupuncture therapy?
How long does each treatment last?
How many treatments are needed?
Does acupuncture hurt?
Who is qualified to perform veterinary acupuncture?
What physiological effects are induced by acupuncture?
When is acupuncture indicated?
Cautions and contraindications
What about chiropractic and massage?
Does Dr. Galligan make house calls?
What is the cost of acupuncture?
What is acupuncture?
Acupuncture may be defined as the stimulation of a specific point on the body with a specific method, resulting in a therapeutic homeostatic effect. The specific point on the body is called "Shu-xu" or acupuncture point (acupoint). The ancient Chinese people discovered 361 acupoints in human beings and 173 acupoints in animals.
Modern research shows that acupoints are located in the areas where there is a high density of free nerve endings, mast cells, small arterioles and lymphatic vessels. Most acupoints are motor points. A great number of studies indicate that stimulation of acupoints induce release of beta-endorphin, serotonin and other neurotransmitters. There, acupuncture for pain relief is well supported by these scientific studies. As more studies are conducted, the mechanism of this ancient therapy will be better understood.
What is vital energy or Qi?
The ancient Chinese discovered that the health of the body depends on the state if Qi (pronounced chee). Qi is the life force or vital energy. There are two opposite forms of Qi - Yin and Yang. Physiologically, Qi flows throughout the body 24 hours per day, maintaining a balance of Yin and Yang. When the flow of Qi is interrupted by any pathological factor (such as virus or bacteria), the balance of Yin and Yang will be lost and consequently a disease may occur.
Pain is interpreted as the blockage of Qi flow (or no free flow of Qi). Acupuncture stimulation resolves this blockage, freeing the flow of QI and enabling the body to heal itself. Homeostasis is restored when Yin and Yang (Qi) are in balance.
Acupuncture has been practiced in both animals and human beings for thousands of years in China. The earliest veterinary acupuncture book "Bo Le Zhen Jing" (Bole's Canon of Veterinary Acupuncture) is believed to have been written by Dr. Bo Le in Qin-mu-gong period (659 B.C. to 621 B.C.). Veterinary treatment protocols using acupuncture were well documented in this textbook. Since then, acupuncture was and is still a part of the mainstream veterinary medical system in China.
Acupoints may be stimulated in a variety of ways. These techniques include dry needling, moxibustion, aqu-acupuncture and electro-stimulation. Whatever tools are used, the goal is always the same - to restore the flow of Qi and allow homeostasis to return.
Acupuncture is a very safe medical procedure when administered by a qualified practitioner. Very few side effects have been found in clinical cases.
Each session may take 20 to 60 minutes.
It depends upon the nature, severity and duration of diseases. A single treatment may be enough for an acute condition. A series of three to ten treatments can resolve many chronic problems. Some degenerative conditions may need monthly treatments over time.
A proper acupuncture therapy may induce distention and a heaviness sensation along with contraction of local muscle. Over 95% of patients are comfortable with acupuncture therapy. Some animals will fall asleep during acupuncture treatment. Sedation is not recommended before acupuncture treatment, as it may interfere with the acupuncture effect.
Only licensed veterinarians are eligible to practice acupuncture in most states in the USA.
Clinical trials indicate that the acupuncture therapy can be effective in the following conditions:
Musculoskeletal problems: muscle soreness, back pain, disc problems, osteoarthritis, degenerative joint disease
Neurological disorders: seizure, laryngeal hemiplegia, facial and radial nerve paralysis
Gastrointestinal disorders: diarrhea, gastric ulcers, colic, vomiting, constipation and impaction
Other chronic conditions: anhidrosis, heaves, asthma, cough, uveitis, behavioral problems, Cushing's disease, hypothyroidism, infertility, hyperthyroidism, renal failure, geriatric weakness, skin problems
Numerous studies show that acupuncture stimulation induces these physiological effects:
Regulation of gastrointestinal motility
Hormone and reproductive regulation
Anti-febrile effect; microcirculation promotion
When acupuncture is performed, the following conditions are cautioned or contraindicated:
The veterinarian may also choose to use Tui-na, which is an ancient Chinese method of chiropractic/medical manipulation that enhances the other methods, and can be taught to the animal owner to be done at home. This helps more energy past blocked points and eases muscle tension, thereby offering comfort and an energy lift to the patient.
Yes, even for non-clients with a referral from their vet.
It depends on the location, species and disease. A typical range of fees for a single session of acupuncture will vary from $40-$200.