Traditional Chinese Medicine, or TCM has formed the foundation for the practice of acupuncture over
the last 5000 years. Long before western medicine provided insight into the pathophysiology of health
and disease, TCM understood these phenomena through the theories of Yin, Yang and Qi.
TCM sees life through a lens of balance. Disease occurs when there is an imbalance of energy (Qi) and its
flow throughout the body. The movement of Qi through the body has been mapped in lines of flow, or
Meridians, over the surface of the body. These 12 Meridians correspond with and are named for internal
organs of the body. We can influence the movement of Qi by manipulation of specific locations, or
acupoints along these meridians.
Acupuncture points are typically stimulated by the placement of very small needles. These points can
also be stimulated via aquapuncture, by injecting a sterile liquid such as saline, vitamin B-12 and even
the joint supplement Adequan. When a more powerful response is needed, electroacupuncture is
employed. This uses a gentle electrical current passed between two acupuncture needles.
Electroacupuncture allows selection of current frequency and strength, which can be tailored to the
desired effect, i.e. pain control vs nerve stimulation.
During a TCM acupuncture consult, we evaluate each patient as a unique individual. The tongue and
pulse are examined closely as external reflections of internal health. The pet’s personality, diet, home
environment and even temperature preferences allow us to better understand the development of their
specific maladies. This understanding not only allows a personalized treatment plan, but can also aid in
the prevention of future disease.
Acupuncture from a TCM approach offers treatments for painful orthopedic conditions such as arthritis
and intervertebral disc disease as well as internal medicine concerns like inflammatory bowel disease,
urinary diseases and pancreatitis. This approach works well combined with typical western medicine, or
as an alternative when other treatments have failed.
If you have an interest in learning how TCM could help your pet contact Dr. Lauren Bury at Westgate Pet Clinic at 612-925-1121. Please note, a Traditional Chinese Medicine Acupuncture appointment is scheduled for a longer period of time then a Medical Acupuncture appointment which accounts for a different fee schedule. Please contact the clinic for more information.
For information on Medical Acupuncture, click here.