Acupuncture is a 3,000-year-old treatment that is a branch of Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine (TCVM). It has been used on horses and other domestic animals almost as long as it has been used on humans—and for the same benefits, such as:
- increased circulation
- modulating the immune system
- relieving muscle spasms & pain
- the release of neurochemicals, including endorphins
- optimizing healthy nerve transmission
- regulating hormone levels
Acupuncture maximizes the body’s ability to heal itself. Even when acupuncture fails to resolve a problem, it may reduce the need for medications and improve quality of life. At Circle L Animal Hospital, we are fortunate to have three doctors who are certified, experienced veterinary acupuncture practitioners.
In addition to dry needling, we also offer electroacupuncture, which is a modern variation on the therapy and involves passing electrical currents between pairs of needles. A recent study showed that electroacupuncture of certain immune-stimulating points causes the release of stem cells into the bloodstream.
We provide acupuncture services for both small animals and horses. Additional advanced techniques offered for our equine patients include:
- Aquapuncture – injections into acupuncture points with Vitamin B12 or the horse’s own blood
- Hemoacupuncture – a bleeding technique
- Moxibustion – warming acupuncture needles or points with an herbal stick that has been ignited
- Pneumoacupuncture – injection of air
Below are some common questions pet parents have about acupuncture. If your question isn’t answered here, please don’t hesitate to call us for more information.
Is acupuncture safe?
Yes! Acupuncture is performed using sterile, single-use needles which minimizes the possibility of infection. Acupuncture enhances the body’s own healing abilities and is chemical free. Complications rarely, if ever, develop.
How does acupuncture work?
Acupuncture is the insertion of thin, solid needles into a patient at specific locations resulting in targeted stimulation of the nervous system. The nervous system is the body’s communications network, and it can alter the biochemical and physiologic properties of any intact body system.
How often is acupuncture done?
Acupuncture is performed 1-2 times per week until a positive response is observed. Acute problems usually respond within 1-3 treatments while chronic conditions generally require 3-6 treatments. Treatments are then tapered according to patient response. Chronic problems will necessitate maintenance treatments every few weeks to every few months.
What conditions does acupuncture treat?
The illnesses and conditions that can be improved with the use of veterinary acupuncture include, but aren’t limited to:
- Musculoskeletal disorders
- Arthritis/joint disease
- Hip dysplasia
- Post-operative rehab
- Nerve injuries/paralysis
- Gastrointestinal problems
- Respiratory issues/asthma