Acupuncture is an age-old Chinese technique.
It was used as a tool to maintain health and
treat various ailments. Hundreds of years
of application and documentation showed that
placing needles in certain places had certain
effects. Principles such as chi (life energy)
as well as yin and yang (opposites within
the body) were used to try and achieve balance
and healthy function of the body.
veterinary medicine, in the Western World,
acupuncture tends to be an adapted science.
The veterinarian makes a 'Western' diagnosis:
a diagnosis according to familiar scientific
principles. He, or she, then treats this condition
with techniques adapted from Chinese Acupuncture.
AT FALCON VETERINARY GROUP
We treat all species, but mostly dogs, cats
initial consultation is important to assess
the patient for acupuncture. A realistic assessment
is made at this stage and a time frame for
subsequent treatments given.
pets that are under treatment by another veterinary
surgeon, require a letter of referral. This
ensures that no conflicting advice is given
and also prevents the same test or examinations
being carried out twice. A report is sent
back to the referring veterinarian at the
end of the acupuncture treatment for each
will visit horses requiring treatment, but
a referral letter from the treating veterinary
surgeon, as well as any radiographs that have
been taken, are required. An initial examination
fee, as well as the fee for the acupuncture
treatment, is payable.
ARTHRITIS: Conditions such as spondylosis,
hip dysplasia, osteoarthritis and post-surgical
pain are often responsive to acupuncture which
palys a major role in reducing pain and relaxing
muscle spasms around painful areas.
Slow-healing wounds can cause prolonged periods
of discomfort as well as posing a management
problem in animals. Acupuncture close to the
wound edges has been shown to improve the
rate of healing in surgical and chronic wounds.
PAIN: Muscles can be injured, in spasm or
not responding physiologically due to atrophy
or pain. Direct needling of an injured muscle
can result in surprisingly gratifying and
quick resolution of the problem.
TISSUE PAIN: Scar tissue can cause discomfort
and restricted movement. Acupuncture of scarred
areas, post-surgery or post-trauma, results
in reduced pain and quicker return to normal
CONDITIONS: there are many other treatable
conditions. Individual assessment is crucial
before ascertaining if the condition will
benefit from acupuncture treatments.
OTHER DRUGS, SIDE EFFECTS
Acupuncture can be used in conjunction with
other treatment regimes, such as non-steroidal
anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs) and physiotherapy.
Animals can be exercised as normal, within
their limits, within an hour of receiving
acupuncture treatment. Our aim is the welfare
and comfort of the animal and not to advocate
one treatment method over another.
an animal responds within three to four sessions.
Most sessions are between five and twenty
minutes long, depending on the animal’s
sedation is not necessary. Occasionally, in
very painful conditions, sedation is used
and does not interfere with the treatment
other than increasing the cost of the treatment
Side effects, however, are few, apart from
transient tiredness and occasional dizziness.
Acupuncture on animals does have to be performed
by a registered veterinarian as good knowledge
of anatomy and physiology is not only critical
to the correct placing of needles, but minimises
the risk of damaging vital structures.
The principles behind using the points are
is an interruption of the pain pathway.
Chronic pain means that the brain is bombarded
with the same pain message down the same
neural pathway. Placing a needle in or
near the affected area produces a short
sharp noxious stimulus. This stimulus
does not cause major discomfort to the
animal but becomes a "competing"
pain. Thus the brain recognises the painful
area afresh, re-assesses it and modulates
its response to the actual sensory input.
Using needles gives the pet a "feel
good" boost. Animals frequently doze
off during treatment or sleep afterwards.
Most animals willingly come into the consulting
room after a couple of sessions, as if
they know the needles will make them feel
good. This is most likely to be due to
short term endorphin release.
Wounds are treated with a technique the
Chinese call "Fence the Dragon"
giving improved healing times.
therefore follows that acupuncture cannot
"over stimulate" a nerve or muscle.
It cannot make it better than its best natural
function. It is more like hitting the reset
button on the computer – the original
settings (perceptions) are re-installed in
the brain, thus allowing a more accurate interpretation
of the actual sensory stimulus arriving from
the site of pain.
Acupuncture can be a very useful stand-alone
treatment or adjunct to pain management. It
can promote rapid healing and recovery from
surgery or injury. It is a drug free therapy,
which allows horses, and dogs, to continue
working and competing while undergoing a course