Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine

Acupuncture is the stimulation of a specific spot on the body surface, or acupuncture point, for the diagnosis and treatment of disease. Acupuncture points, or acupoints are the specific locations where the Qi of the body gathers on the surface. Each acupoint has a unique location and physiologic effect, with most acupoints typically located in or near muscles, blood vessels, lymphatics, or nerves.

Like Western medicine, one must follow general rules when applying any medical modality. Acupuncture’s rules originated from the fundamental principles of Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine (TCVM), including Yin-Yang, five-elements, eight-principles, and Zang-Fu.

The ultimate goal of TCVM is to diagnose and differentiate a pattern of illness. This is accomplished by assigning specific combinations of clinical signs resulting from particular imbalances within the patient. The same Western medical diagnosis in two patients may correspond to different TCVM Patterns.

Acupuncture points in general, have five categories of classification- local points, distant points, symptomatic points, balance points, and special points.

The therapeutic goal is to help bring the patient back into balance utilizing acupoints in various combinations. Every patient is an individual, so treatment frequencies and number of acupoints used will vary.

Herbal Therapy

Chinese Herbal Medicine is an integral part of Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine. Herbal therapy works by feeding herbs which have a direct, internal influence on the body’s physiology and pathology. Herbal medicines are plant drugs that have specific characteristics- a determinate taste, ie: sweet, sour, bitter, salty and pungent, and ‘temperature’, ie: hot or cold. The combination of a taste and temperature produces specific effects on the body’s physiology and must be carefully selected for use with a patient’s condition.

Herbal therapy is more specifically aimed toward the Pattern or imbalance in the patient, and as treatment evolves, may need to be adjusted. It can be described as ‘daily acupuncture’ and is an excellent therapy in cases when animals do not have any gastrointestinal issues such as inappetance or diarrhea.

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