Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine are part of a whole system called Traditional Chinese Medicine. These therapies offer a fresh, safe, effective approach to the treatment of your dog or cat's medical conditions that may not have responded as expected to "Western" treatments. They are also an excellent more natural choice for pets who cannot take a certain types of drugs due to allergies, side effects, or drug resistance. Traditional Chinese Medicine is used to diagnose, prevent and treat disease. In animals, acupuncture and Chinese herbs work very well together. Acupuncture provides a more immediate benefit and herbs provide longer term home treatment between visits. Acupuncture and herbal medicine is a safe and effective complementary therapy for many conditions such as back pain, arthritis, nerve damage, chronic gastrointestinal and respiratory disorders, behavior issues, endocrine disorders, immune disorders, performance issues, geriatrics, and many more.
Acupuncture is one of the oldest forms of medicine used in China for over 4000 years. This complimentary modality uses very fine sterile thread-like needles inserted through the skin at specific points on the body. Acting via the neuro-endocrine system (nerves and hormones) it produces results, facilitating healing by stimulating natural processes, and a return to balance. From a Western Conventional Veterinary point of view, acupuncture stimulates nerves, increases blood circulation, and relieves muscle spasms. It can also stimulate the immune system, and cause endorphins (one of the body's pain control chemicals) and cortisol (a natural steroid). From a TCVM point of view, acupuncture helps return the bodies balance of Qi and blood flow to normal, so the body can heal itself. When an acupuncture point is stimulated, normal flow of energy and blood can be restored. There is virtually no illness that is not caused or perpetuated by abnormal circulation, whether too much or too little. Acupuncture normalizes this blood flow to stop disease. Animals treated with acupuncture often appear to relax during the session and often fall asleep. This form of medicine is particularly beneficial in assisting with the relief of pain and facilitating the return to normal function. It can be used for most conditions treated by conventional medicine.
Chinese Herbal Medicine
Herbal medicine is a safe and effective way to treat acute and chronic medical conditions. Most herbal medications are made into formulas designed to treat specific syndromes, patterns or conditions and can be an effective adjunct to western medicine or a sole treatment in many cases. When we say "herb", what we are really referring to is any natural plant substance. Many powerful new drugs are available only in plant form. Herbal medicine effects are achieved through synergistic interactions amongst small amounts of several ingredients. This makes them safe, but also means they have to be artfully combined and prescribed properly for them to work. No one was better at combining and prescribing herbs than the ancient Chinese, and we use their formulas frequently at Carling Animal Hospital. These formulas have used and refined over centuries and have proven their safety and efficacy. Side effects are rare, because these formulas and herbs have been studied for literally hundreds of years - far longer than Western drugs are studied before they are marketed to the public. We utilize many forms of herbs: tablets, capsules, and freeze-dried herbal formulations; tinctures; and even topicals. This variety of formulations allows us to find the preparation that will be easiest to administer to your dog or cat. Herbal medicine is based on specific patterns found during a Chinese medicine exam. These patterns show how the patient is deficient and the herbals supplement or nourish the body and help to move the body's energy through its channels or meridians properly. . They have the ability to do things regular drugs cannot, like reverse renal failure, relieve skin and bowel inflammation, halt joint degeneration, and resolve liver disease. Others offer new hope for killing cancer cells and bacteria, and stimulating immunity Anything that we treat with acupuncture we can treat with herbal medicine as well. I use my acupuncture and herbal medicine together to get the best results possible from each treatment. The herbals and acupuncture together strengthen the body and help it to heal. In some cases if the patient will not allow acupuncture herbs can be used to treat a condition alone.