As a practitioner of traditional Western Medicine with a special interest in preventative care and multimodal treatment of disease and pain, I continue to be amazed at the success we can obtain via Neuromodulation or Veterinary Medical Acupuncture. Historically acupuncture has been described as the regulation of Qi energy used by Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioners on animals and humans for thousands of years. Excitingly, in recent years, we have discovered and continue to learn the science behind the traditional belief system.
Medical Acupuncture or Neuromodulation is based on the discovery of physical anatomic structures made of up nerve bundles, and many other types of cells, which are the actual biological structure of acupuncture points. We now know that we are able to manipulate the entire nervous system, which enables treatment of the entire body by stimulating these anatomical structures. The nervous system is controlled by the brain via the spinal cord, which extends throughout the body via nerves that control muscles and organs. The brain causes the body to react in response to information received by nerves that bring in sensory input from the external environment. Via sensory nerves of sight, hearing, touch, smell, and taste the body gathers information and responds to the environment. When muscles, organs, skin, and bones are damaged by disease, trauma and stress the nerves of the affected area do not function properly. For example, in back disease two distressing symptoms are severe pain due to muscle spasm caused by overactive nerves and weakness due to underactive/damaged nerves. The manipulation of acupuncture points near and far from the damaged area will simultaneously decrease the activity/pain of hyperactive/inflamed nerves and increase the activity of weak/non-responsive nerves.
This understanding and discovery of the neuroanatomical basis of acupuncture are exciting as it allows us to use Veterinary Medical Acupuncture as a science-based additional treatment option for many frustrating and painful conditions. For the safety and health of our furry friends, only veterinarians should practice Veterinary Medical Acupuncture. Veterinary Medical Acupuncture can and should be used in conjunction with traditional Western Medicine to provide our furry friends with the most effective and successful outcome possible.
Many owners are concerned with how their dog, cat, snake, bird, turtle, guinea pig will respond to the placement of the needles. However, most animals experience a very obvious state of calm and relaxation due to the endorphin release during the first 5-15 minutes of treatment. Veterinary Medical Acupuncture can be used as a sole or adjunctive treatment for many acute and chronic conditions.
To learn more about how we can help your furry friend, please call Northgate Animal Hospital at (719) 481- 3080.