Manual therapy is a big basket of techniques and tools which also have effects on the neurovascular and musculoskeletal systems in our bodies. They include massage, myofascial, trigger point, chiropractic, craniosacral and physical therapy as well as others. When used in conjunction with acupuncture, many of these techniques can increase success. There is a great potential for harm if these techniques are done incorrectly or for the wrong reasons. Proper diagnosis is critical, as is having a practitioner who is properly trained in both the techniques and in the unique anatomy of cats and dogs. Our pets are not humans on four legs! The biomechanics in a quadraped (four-legged animal) and a biped (two-legged animal- ie- humans), are very different. Even the difference between a one toed quadraped (a horse) and a 4 or 5 toed quadraped (dogs and cats) is significant.
Acupuncture is the insertion of needles into specific points on the body to change hormonal and neurological input to the patient. These points correspond to neurologic and neurovascular pathways in a mammal’s body. They are generally named by the historical meridian channel names and numbers that were assigned in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Acupuncture has been proven to stimulate nerves, increase blood circulation, relieve muscle spasms and moderate the release of certain hormones, such as endorphins and cortisol. For some conditions, electrical current may be applied to the needles to increase the desired effect. Acupuncture can be used for many different problems including pain (chronic and postsurgical), arthritis, allergies, reproductive diseases, seizures, excessive grooming, incontinence, phobias, disk diseases, asthma, vomiting, diarrhea, inflammatory bowel disease, decreased appetite, and many other situations. While western, or allopathic, medicine is superb in dealing with acute, traumatic, and infectious disease, acupuncture can be very helpful for more chronic conditions or to alleviate some of the side effects from necessary western treatments, such as chemotherapy. There is considerable research being done to investigate the use of acupuncture in some conditions that have been treated traditionally with surgery, such as intervertebral disk disease and partially ruptured anterior cruciate ligaments in the knee, common conditions in both humans and dogs.
Paws on Wheels, Inc. Cathy Eppinger, DVM
Boulder and Gilpin Counties, CO 720-635-7135
Cathy Eppinger, DVM, CMA
Paws On Wheels, Inc.
Copyright. Catharine Eppinger. All rights reserved.