Acupuncture is an alternative or “natural” therapy. It works to guide the innate healing mechanisms of the body. There are different approaches to acupuncture, and different styles within those approaches. The Western Medical Acupuncture approach attempts to unite current western science and “evidence based medicine” with acupuncture techniques.
Although some think of acupuncture as strictly “energy medicine”, studies in respected journals have published documented evidence of the benefits of acupuncture in certain specific cases. A number of researchers are convinced that true physiological events take place within the body during stimulation of acupuncture points.
Acupuncture is an emerging area in veterinary medicine, providing a complementary modality to the Western therapy (traditional medicine) for treatment of certain animal conditions. Acupuncture works by stimulating physiologic processes through neural signaling. Acupuncture points reflect concentrations of fine vascular, lymphatic and neural structures. Microtrauma is inflicted by the placement of an acupuncture needle. Twisting or twirling the needle wraps fine collagen fibers around the needle. As the collagen fibers are pulled a small, non-painful stimulus is triggered through the surrounding nerves, vessels, and lymphatics. A signal is created that imparts local effects, spinal effects, and central nervous system effects. All of these together create neuromodulation within the body. This signal triggers vasodilation, hormonal regulation, and release of pain-fighting chemicals.
Dry needling is another modality used to help relieve pain in pets. Acupuncture needles are placed directly into “trigger points” to stimulate relaxation of abnormally firing knots within the muscle.
Have you ever had a severe crick in your neck? Those knots in your muscle are trigger points. These areas within the muscle are abnormally shortened and cramped. Dry Needling directly into the trigger point facilitates relaxation of this painful condition.