How can acupuncture help a pet?
In Chinese medicine our bodies are made up of meridians that connect the inside of the body with the outside. So, working on the surface of the body will affect what goes on inside the body. Many factors affect the meridian pathways and are manifested as pain, stiffness, allergies, arthritis, congestion and lameness, among other afflictions. In our every day lives we feel some type of symptom. Acupuncture works on rebalancing the meridians in order to get rid of these symptoms and heal the body. In China, some people get acupuncture on a regular basis to keep their bodies in balance and in harmony. Most of our pets, suffer at some point from pain, lameness, itching and sneezing, and acupuncture can help many of these issues. There is a particular exam that checks the various acupuncture points by applying pressure to them. If pain or some cringing is exhibited then this corresponds to an organ in the body.
The tongue also is a valuable tool in diagnosing imbalances. When examining the tongue it is important to notice the color, the moisture content and the shape. The various changes in the tongue represent the function of the body. After acupuncture the tongue will return to normal light pink color and normal moisture.Usually the first acupuncture session is the most challenging. Some dogs are calm and responsive from the first treatment. But there was one 14-year-old German Shepherd who would not stand still for anything. I was able to only place eight needles and could only hold her for about 5 minutes. She still had positive results and by the next session, she was calm and allowed all the needles to be inserted. By the second session, the dogs are always calmer and tend to relax. Cats are another issue but still manageable.The amount of treatments depends on the severity of the condition. More than 80 percent of my cases are either elderly dogs that can’t get around easily any more or younger dogs with early onset of arthritis, back pain or hip dysplasia.
In the severe cases we may need to perform acupuncture twice a week or maybe weekly. Once relief is achieved and the dog is improving, we space out the sessions to every other week and increase the intervals between treatments gradually.If a condition returns after initial treatment, acupuncture the second time around works quicker at rebalancing the disharmony because the body has been adjusted and may need some tuning up. Most of the arthritic dogs I have discontinued the drugs and the few that still take some medications have decreased the dose by more than half.
Dr. Nadine Lober can be reached at 949-7972 Vail Daily, Vail, Colorado CO
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