Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine (TCVM) is a system of medicine that has been in existence for 4,000 years. TCVM is comprised of 5 branches, which include: acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine, Tui-na (gentle massage and acupressure), food therapy and exercise (for our 4 legged species, we recommend daily walks). This system of medicine is helpful for several issues such as arthritis, behavior, neurological issues, Cushing’s disease, liver disease, digestive issues as well as other ailments. An initial consultation is the first step in the process, and a thorough history and Chinese medicine exam is performed leading to an acupuncture treatment at the same visit. A food list will be created depending on the pet’s Chinese diagnosis and appropriate Chinese herbal formulas will be selected.
Initially we recomend weekly acupuncture treatments for 4-8 weeks, depending on the pet’s status and degree of illness. Typically treatment frequency can then begin to taper over time to reach every other week for more deficient/elderly/ ill pets to quarterly treatments potentially or anything in between depending on the pet. Often the pet is more sleepy after the first 1-3 treatments but with time, this subsides. It is not recommended to exercise the pet after a treatment but to allow them to rest for the day afterward. Some types of illnesses can be managed with Chinese herbal medicine and food therapy, if desired, but best results are visible by utilizing all branches of this system.
Most dogs and cats do well with needle placement. Needles are typically inserted and left in place for 20-30 minutes. For the pet’s comfort, we recommend they lie down, sit or at least stand still while the needles are in. In general, needle placement is not painful although some points are more sensitive than others. Depending on the issue, such as dogs with Intervertebral Disc Disease, electro acupuncture may be added in. Electro acupuncture is carried out by use of an electro acupuncture unit, which creates gentle electrical current at different frequencies and amplitudes in order to stimulate the body to create more and different types of neurotransmitters versus just dry needle, which help the body to heal itself. These electrodes are placed between the patient and the electro acupuncture unit, and most pets become even more relaxed and sleepy with this type of treatment.
Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine is a complete health system which assists the body in healing itself throughout the course of treatment. Please give us a call with questions or to schedule an appointment with your pet.