What is Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine?
TCVM incorporates Acupuncture, Food therapy, Herbal medicine, and Tui-na (medical massage) to treat disease in animals. This is a beautiful, ancient medical practice that aims to preserve and restore the innate balance of the body; thus preventing disease and allowing the body to heal itself.
Acupuncture has been practiced for thousands of years in China on humans as well as animals. This medical treatment achieves its effect through the manipulation of an animal’s Qi (pronounced Chee). Qi can be described as the “life force” of the body. When an animal is healthy, Qi moves freely; when the flow of Qi is interrupted, the balance of yin and yang is upset, and symptoms of disease may occur.
Acupuncture points have been studied in recent years and found to contain a high density of nerve endings, mast cells, arterioles, and lymphatic vessels. Research has shown that stimulation of these points results in a release of beta-endorphins, serotonin, and other neurotransmitters; which are not induced by stimulation of non- acupuncture points.
Hopefully as veterinary acupuncture becomes increasingly well known, more studies will be funded to investigate the mechanism of this ancient therapy, as well as to demonstrate its effectiveness.
What problems can TCVM help treat?
Thousands of years of clinical practice and recent clinical trials have demonstrated that TCVM can effectively treat many conditions. Among these are:
- Musculoskeletal problems (including pain, disc disease, arthritis)
- Neurological disorders (including seizures and paralysis)
- Gastrointestinal disorders (including diarrhea, constipation, and vomiting)
- Behavioral problems
- Many chronic conditions (such as chronic kidney disease, thyroid imbalances, asthma, infertility, and heart disease)
TCVM is also a wonderful “preventative medicine”, to help keep the body in balance, and prevent disease before it occurs.
What problems is TCVM not indicated for:
Any animal undergoing an emergency should be rushed to a full-service veterinary hospital. An animal with a potential broken bone or acute infectious disease should be stabilized by a western veterinarian before coming for TCVM to address underlying issues and promote healing.
Acupuncture and herbal medications can be contra-indicated during pregnancy.