This practice involves inserting slender needles into certain points in the body to help maintain the proper flow of energy along the meridians.
There are 371 known acupuncture points on the outside of a human body, and 179 points on animals. Stimulation of the appropriate acupuncture points can provide relief from many health problems for which Western medicine does not offer effective or satisfactory remedies. Some of the ailments for which acupuncture can provide relief include allergies, gastrointestinal disorders, urinary leakage, anxiety and mood disorders, renal failure, back pain, and vertebral disc disease. Acupuncture is one of the most effective means of relieving pain and producing regional anesthesia. The number of treatments required depends on the severity of the problem as well as its duration.
There are many different techniques for performing acupuncture. The most common form involves inserting very thin needles into appropriate acupuncture points in the body. Oftentimes the needles do not cause discomfort, and the animal enters a relaxed state once they are inserted. Lasers can also be used to stimulate acupuncture points. aquapuncture and hemoacupuncture involve injecting small amounts of liquid such as Vitamin B12, homeopathics, or the patient's own blood into acupuncture points which often provides a longer effect. Moxibustion is a special warming technique which involves burning a cigar-like stick of herbs over acupuncture points (nothing touches the body), and is especially wonderful for many older animals. Electroacupuncture involves low-level electricity traveling into the regular acupuncture needles and into the body to provide the longest lasting effect. Chinese herbal medicines are often used in conjunction with acupuncture. These herbal combinations are balanced "recipes" designed to treat specific conditions. Together with acupuncture, they form a very gentle yet powerful treatment that, over time, help a patient's own body regain strength and balance.