Acupuncture is an ancient system of healing likely to have originated in Tibet or India but was developed extensively by the Chinese. It is one of the oldest therapies in the world and is essentially the stimulation of specific points on the surface of the body, either by using needles, laser or local pressure (acupressure). The Chinese recognise that these points have a direct relationship with some of the main internal organs and with the muscles, nerves, and skeleton.
The word acupuncture comes from the words ‘Acus’ for needle and ‘Punctura’ for puncture and involves the stimulation of specific points on the body with small hypodermic needles.
When is acupuncture recommended?
In the western world, acupuncture is used primarily when medications have been ineffective or are contraindicated. However, it can also be used as a complimentary therapy alongside main therapies.
It is important to note that acupuncture is rarely if ever, indicated as a sole form of therapy. It is used as an additional management tool in a number of conditions.
In small animal veterinary practice, acupuncture may be recommended by your vet for: (this is not an exhaustive list)
1. Musculoskeletal Problems
b. Hip dysplasia
c. Intervertebral disc disease
d. Neck pain
2. Skin Problems
a. Lick granuloma
b. Sensory neurodermatitis
3. IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome)
4. Urinary Incontinence
The above list shows a number of conditions where there are reports of acupuncture causing a positive response, however, it is not guaranteed that a strong positive response will be seen.