When I first studied acupuncture almost twenty years ago I have to admit I was a bit skeptical. Seriously, how could sticking small needles into different areas of the body make a difference in pain, digestion, allergies, kidney or liver function, or infection?

I’m happy to say, my skepticism was unwarranted. The amazing changes I have seen in my patients over the years, just by sticking small needles into different areas of their bodies, has made me a believer! I’ve also had acupuncture needles placed on myself by my doctor. The feeling is one of relaxation and rejuvenation.

Acupuncture works by stimulating points along meridians or channels to balance the flow of energy, or Qi, in the body. Modern physiologists have suggested that the clinical influence of acupuncture is transmitted primarily through stimulation of sensory nerves along the meridians that provide signals to the brain, which processes the information and then causes clinical changes associated with treatment.

Sometimes energy flow is blocked and there is an area of stagnation. Think of a bruise on your arm or scar tissue from an old injury. Blood flow may be blocked, as well as nerve impulses through the area. When you have back pain, there is commonly muscle spasm that is constricting blood and nerve flow. Stagnation causes pain. By releasing that stagnation through stimulation of nerve and blood flow, the pain decreases or disappears. This is one of the ways that acupuncture helps decrease pain. When combined with application of warm compresses and massage or chiropractic therapy, the effect can be amplified.

Our pets suffer from pain and stagnation just as we do. Unfortunately, many times they suffer silently, not letting us know they have pain until they reach a point of immobility. Stagnation occurs not only in the muscles, but can also be an internal problem. Stagnation of energy flow through the liver can result in digestive disorders and Shen disturbances (disturbances of the mind, commonly associated with frustration). Stagnation in the heart can lead to heart failure and inability to pump blood throughout the body.

By placing needles in acupuncture points along the meridians associated with different organ systems, blood and Qi flow can be improved, bringing more energy where needed or draining excess where needed. When the organs are in balance, the whole body remains in balance.

In the past twenty years I have treated arthritis, allergies, kidney disease, liver dysfunction, heart failure, pyometra, seizures, digestive disorders, and many other diseases with acupuncture. I continue to be amazed at the transformations that can occur. I recommend exploring acupuncture as an option for your pets and yourselves if there are any chronic or acute disease patterns that need to be treated. Acupuncture can also be used for maintenance of good health – there’s no need to wait for illness to occur.