What is Acupuncture?
What happens when I stick needles in a dog or a cat?
A) They bite me.
B) They look at me with suspicion.
C) They relax.
D) They experience pain relief and/or a decrease in symptoms.
E) Any or all of the above.
The answer is E, but mercifully, answer A is pretty rare. In an age where many people are seeking alternative health options for themselves, it’s nice to know that many of those options are also available for our pets. Acupuncture, herbal formulas, and laser and chiropractic treatments are all available in the Asheville area for animals.
Most pets – even cats—are willing to experience an acupuncture treatment. On the first visit, many patients are a little concerned and restless. The actual experience lasts between fifteen and thirty minutes, and many patients don’t like to sit still that long. However, after they realize how much better they feel, most pets come in a much more cooperative state for the second visit. For many it is a relaxing and pleasant experience.
Why do my patients come to me?
A) They have chronic pain from hip dysplasia, arthritis, difficulty moving, etc.
B) They are dachshunds with bad backs.
C) They want improved healing and pain relief after surgery.
D) They have skin allergies.
E) They are exhibiting anxiety or behavior problems.
F) They have chronic infections or non-healing wounds.
G) They are comfortable in a special kind of clinic that feels like someone’s home instead of a clinic.
H) All of the above.
The answer is H. Acupuncture helps so many different conditions, and animals heal better in a space where they can relax. When the patient and his family are comfortable, everyone benefits. Alternative therapies can be a great addition to traditional medicine, and in some cases can decrease or eliminate the need for western drugs. I have seen many cases where the owner believed that they had tried every option, only to find acupuncture and other alternative methods extended their animal’s quality of life for a significant amount of time. For man and beast alike, a quality existence and good health are the top goals.
We are fortunate to live in an area where we are so open to these modalities, and many local practitioners often work together to create an individual plan for our patients’ needs. I believe we extend hope when the situation may look hopeless, and we can also provide early treatment to prevent progression of disease with little or no side effects. Many of us are discovering a more holistic approach to healthcare is desirable for ourselves and our pet family members.