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Acupuncture and Animals

Updated on May 5, 2015
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Acupuncture For Pets

Acupuncture has been used in animals for thousands of years. The origins go back to ancient Chinese times and are recorded in Chinese history. Originally, acupuncture was used to maintain the health of livestock, a valuable resource in China. Despite it's tremendous healing powers, doctors in ancient China were paid only if their client remained healthy. If a client became ill, it was a disgrace to the practitioner and payment was not expected.

In the Western world little has been done until fairly recently when experiments were conducted with the treatment of cattle in Austria and horses in Germany. Western scientists are still undecided how it works, although they agree that it does.

Acupuncture has its roots in a peasant society and accordingly, the methods that evolved for treatment are simple and well within the grasp of the layperson. In animal medicine as well as human medicine there are many lay-practitioners who practise the art - often with astounding results.

According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, when an animal is healthy, there is a circulation of energy, life force or 'Chi' along well-defined channels on the skin called 'Meridians'. The meridians are connected with the internal organs, muscular and joint structures and nervous systems. Acupuncture Points, which lie along the meridians, are areas of skin (which can be shown to exist with modern electronic equipment) at which the flow of 'Chi' can be influenced. In diseased states there is an imbalance of, or interference with, the flow of energy.

The Acupuncturist can manipulate the energy flows by stimulating the acupuncture points, thus rectifying the disorder.

Where Traditional Chinese Medicine theory says you have blockages of energy flow, modern medicine could describe this as poor blood circulation leading to fibrositis if in the muscles, angina if in the heart and strokes if in the brain. Western Medicine uses drugs to combat these effects where the Chinese would use needles and herbs.

Needling carefully chosen acupoints has been shown, scientifically, to release morphine-like substances called 'endorphins' and to change the way the brain and the nervous system recognises an area of disease. It is as if acupuncture has a re-educating effect on the body dealing with an injury or diseased organ. So, waking up of the immune system, the circulatory system and focusing this new activity through carefully repeated needling seems to be the physical effect of acupuncture. It must be said that Traditional Chinese Medicine can often work better that the high-tech scientific approach! This is especially true when dealing with a chronic illness.

Chi circulating through the human or animal body performs 5 major functions.

1. Generates body warmth.

2. Protects the body from external harmful forces.

3. Governs the retention of body substances.

4.Creates all body movement; it is the source of voluntary and involuntary movement.

5.Serves as the basis of organ functions; e.g. derives nutrients from food or air and transforms and transports substances.

Acupuncture in domesticated animals is a relatively new procedure but has been found to be extremely effective and is gaining in popularity.

Acupuncture can help with injuries and general health problems.

For Example:


1. Lameness of unknown origin.

2. Hip Dysplasia.

3. Bruising/Sprains.

4. Arthritic and rheumatic joints.

5. Back pain.

6. Ligament/tendon damage.


1. Chronic bronchitis

2. Coughing, unresponsive to treatment.

3. Persistent or periodic kennel cough.


1. Infertility.

2. Incontinence in bitches.

3. Old age incontinence.

4. Cystitis.

5. Ovarian dysfunction.

Nervous system

1. Epilepsy.

Digestive system

1. Persistent diarrhoea.

2. Persistent constipation.

There are many other conditions that would indicate Acupuncture Treatment.

If you feel that your animal is not responding to Western Veterinary treatment, seek out an acupuncturist and give your animal the benefit of Traditional Chinese Medicine.

What do you think about Acupuncture?

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