You may have an older pet that has painful joints, an injured pet that requires an extensive amount of time to heal from its injuries, or a combination of both problems. You can help to ease pain and facilitate healing by taking your pet to a provider of pet acupuncture treatments, like Downing Center For Animal Pain Management.
It may seem counter-intuitive to relieve pain by placing small needles under your pet's skin and bewildering to consider how these treatments can help the healing process, but acupuncture has been used successfully for centuries in Chinese medicine to achieve these results.
How does acupuncture work?
Acupuncture is one of the many practices in ancient Chinese medicine that focuses on a life force called "chi." This life force is believed to flow along meridians throughout the entire body. When the flow of chi is disrupted through injury or sickness, the patient suffers pain and the healing process is compromised.
Fine needles are placed strategically along these meridians to redirect the flow of chi to affected areas and restore balance of chi in the body. Pain is reduced and healing is facilitated.
Multiple or ongoing treatments are often necessary for pain or maladies that have an extensive healing time or for those with no definitive end, such as pain and stiffness in older pets.
Is there any scientific proof of the efficacy of acupuncture?
While there is no definitive proof, acupuncture needles are placed at points in the body where nerve bundles and clusters of blood vessels meet. The blocking of nerve impulses that transmit pain to a specific area can then be accomplished. Blood flow can also be stimulated through the skilled use of acupuncture needles. Increased blood flow to injured areas of the body may enhance the healing process.
Some detractors may claim that acupuncture adherents feel better because they believe it to be effective. However. pets cannot experience a placebo effect from treatment because of their lack of comprehension. If an older pet can walk with less stiffness and pain, or an injury heals in a shorter span of time than expected, that is proof enough of its efficacy.
Do acupuncture treatments hurt?
Although the idea of sticking multiple needles under the skin sounds painful, these needles are very thin. Acupuncture practitioners are trained to insert the needles in a manner that is barely perceptible to the recipient of the treatment.
Your pet may have more of an issue with being still for the treatments than with any pain from the needle insertions. However, although they lack the rationality of a human, they will instinctively understand cause and effect. They will begin to associate acupuncture treatments with pain relief or increased mobility over time, and become more amenable to the process.