Is a system of complementary medicine in which fine needles are inserted in the skin

What is acupuncture?

“Acupuncture is a system of complementary medicine in which fine needles are inserted in the skin at specific points along what are considered to be lines of energy(meridians), used in the treatment of various physical and mental conditions.”

Acupuncture is one of the oldest methods of Chinese medicine, having been used successfully for many thousands of years on both people and animals. It is now widely used in the Western world, with much success at treating a variety of conditions. It bridges a gap between medicine and surgery, where perhaps drugs have ceased to work as well, or have undesirable side-effects, and surgery may not be an option. It is also frequently used as a complementary therapy, working alongside conventional medicine and surgery to improve your pet’s quality of life.

How does acupuncture work?

Acupuncture is now known to have a wide range of effects throughout the body, and is believed to work partly through the central nervous system.

Stimulation of acupuncture points causes a release of neurotransmitters and neurohormones - including some of the body’s “natural painkillers” such as endorphins.

It also relieves muscle spasms, stimulates the circulation, nerve function and the body’s own defense system, and has many other wide-ranging effects – depending on the condition and points being treated.

What conditions can acupuncture be used to treat?

In small animals (dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea-pigs etc) acupuncture is most commonly used for the following conditions:

Musculoskeletal problems -

  • Arthritis
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Back problems
  • Intervertebral disc disease
  • Pain relief and relief from muscle spasm
  • Longterm injuries

It can also be very helpful in a variety of other conditions such as -

  • Nervous disorders
  • Skin problems
  • Gastrointestinal problems
  • Respiratory problems

Is acupuncture safe, and does it hurt?

Acupuncture needles come in a variety of sizes. Only sterile, single-use needles are used.

It is a very safe, drug and chemical free therapy, and it is very rare for there to be any side effects.

Acupuncture is not usually painful, as the needles used are very fine; sometimes the needle is felt as it passes through the skin, but it is not the same as having an injection.

If you would like to book an appointment for acupuncture therapy for your pet, please call or email me (directly or via my website), or discuss this with your vet at Dragon Vets. I carry out the acupuncture treatments at the Dragon Vets clinic in Charlton Kings, Cheltenham, so you will have the convenience of bringing your pet to familiar surroundings. Payment will be required at the time of treatment - if your pet is insured, most policies cover acupuncture and I am happy to help you with the claim paperwork. Please see my website, or contact me directly for further information or to discuss your pet’s case. I look forward to hearing from you and hope that we can work together to enhance your pet’s health and wellbeing.

Dr Barbara Adkin BVM&S. MRCVS, Adkin Veterinary Acupuncture.

Barbara Adkin is a fully qualified veterinary surgeon, who specialises solely in acupuncture therapy for small animals.

Telephone: 07952 902622

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