Pet Medical Acupuncture
Acupuncture has been used in Chinese medicine for thousands of years for the treatment of a wide variety of ailments.
Most simply stated, acupuncture (acus = needle, puncture = puncture) stimulates specific points on the body with a tiny needle. This tiny needle can affect biochemical and physiological changes at that site and throughout the body.
Although acupuncture is most frequently used to relieve pain, it can also be used to address skin conditions, metabolic disorders, and mental health issues. Acupuncture also impacts the myofascial tissue, a thin sheath that covers all muscles, muscle fibers, and nerves. It is a means of helping the body heal itself. It can modulate pain, help improve nerve function, balance the body’s stress, help the immune system, and more.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
Dr. Sabean uses a contemporary neuroanatomical approach to acupuncture, reflecting the idea that needle placement must be guided by a practitioner’s detailed knowledge of veterinary anatomy and neurology (nerves).“First do no harm” is a key part of the veterinary oath. A thorough myofascial exam is done each time medical acupuncture is planned.
Acupuncture is performed with sterilized thin single-use stainless steel needles. There is occasionally a brief moment of sensitivity as the needle penetrates the skin in certain key points. Once the needles are in place, most animals relax, and some may even fall asleep during treatment.
Many of the points used help the nervous system access the“rest and digest” mode (called parasympathetic response) instead of the “fight or flee” mode (also known as a sympathetic response). Sympathetic “overdrive” is often a component of diseases and problems with the body. We, and our animals, often live in a high state of stress these days.
HOW OFTEN AND HOW MANY TREATMENTS ARE NEEDED?
IS IT SAFE?
WHAT IS “MYOFASCIAL PALPATION”?
Much of the pain felt by animals does not come from bones or joints, but from muscles and connective tissues. Dr. Sabean bases her treatments on the problems described by owners, as well as careful systematic palpation of the pet’s entire body, muscles, joints, and fascia (connective tissues).
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS?
Often after acupuncture, owners notice that their animals seem relaxed, energetic, and even playful. Pain modulation is one of the most common results, but increases in appetite, better rest patterns, more consistent elimination, and better/stronger gait, with more freedom of movement, often result.