Acupuncture can assist the body to heal itself by causing physiological changes. For example, acupuncture can stimulate nerves, increase blood circulation, relieve muscle spasm and cause the release of hormones, such as endorphins (one of the body’s pain relieving chemicals) and cortisol (a natural steroid and anti-inflammatory chemical).
What conditions can it be used for?
The major conditions that acupuncture helps are musculoskeletal problems eg arthritis, muscle soreness and strains, back pain and muscular pain. Acupuncture has also been used to treat laminitis and navicular.
How does it work?
The insertion of acupuncture needles is usually painless. There may be an occasional moment of sensitivity as the needle is inserted, but in all animals, once the needles are in place, there should be no pain. Most animals become very relaxed and may even become sleepy.
Treatment may cause some sensation, presumed to be those such as tingles, cramps, or numbness which can occur in humans and which may be uncomfortable to some animals.
Acupuncture is one of the safest forms of medical treatment for animals when it is administered by a properly trained veterinary surgeon. Side effects of acupuncture are rare, but they do exist. An animal’s condition may seem worse for up to 48-hours after a treatment. Other animals become lethargic or sleepy for 24-hours. These effects are an indication that some physiological changes are developing, and they are most often followed by an improvement in the animal’s condition.
How often should it be given?
The length and frequency of the treatments depends on the condition of the patient. A simple acute problem, such as a muscle sprain, may require only one treatment, whereas more severe or chronic ailments may need several treatments.
Many conditions benefit from once to twice weekly treatments for three to six weeks, and some chronic conditions may require on-going treatments to give long-term relief from symptoms.
Acupuncture should never be administered without a proper veterinary medical diagnosis and an ongoing assessment of the patient’s condition by a licensed veterinary surgeon. This is critical because acupuncture is capable of masking pain or other clinical signs and may delay proper veterinary medical diagnosis once treatment has begun. Elimination of pain may lead to increased activity on the part of the animal, thus delaying healing or causing the original condition to worsen.
For further details or to book an appointment with Marta Garin, please call reception.