Chinese Alternative Medicine Works for Pets

By Clemons-Chevis, Connie | Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, January 6, 2009 | Go to article overview

Chinese Alternative Medicine Works for Pets


Clemons-Chevis, Connie, Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review


A Parade magazine article a few Sundays ago contained an article about alternative medical procedures that worked. One entity mentioned was acupuncture.

Acupuncture is one aspect of Traditional Chinese Medicine, or TCM, and Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine, or TCVM.

TCM was developed more than 3,000 years ago through observation of people and their surroundings. The observations and techniques were applied to animals, and TCVM developed.

TCVM and TCM still are being used successfully in China. Sometimes, they are used in conjunction with Western medicine, and, sometimes, Chinese medicine is used alone when everything else has failed.

In China, some hospitals have Western medicine on one side and Traditional Chinese Medicine on the other. Traditional Chinese Medicine has been gaining recognition as another modality to treat people and animals and is gaining in popularity in the United States.

TCM and TCVM use several modalities to treat the patient. These include acupuncture, Chinese herbs, Tui-Na, food therapy and Qi- Gong or Tai Chi.

One basis of Traditional Chinese Medicine is the meridians that run along different parts of the body. Meridians are like highways that run along the body and carry energy or Qi (pronounced "chee"). Qi constantly is moving throughout the body.

If Qi is slowed down, stagnation or a blockage is formed. This can be manifested as pain or a growth as in a tumor. Pain is the blockage of Qi, and the greater the blockage the greater the pain. Along the meridians are special points called acupoints where Qi can be altered or influenced. Some acupoints are connected to major organs in the body, and the Qi or energy of the organs can be affected.

There are several methods to stimulate acupoints. Acupuncture is a way of stimulating the acupoints to influence Qi. Acupuncture uses needles. Acupuncture also can be done using vitamin B12, sterile water, air or gold implants. Sometimes, electrodes are attached to the dry needles for a stronger or longer-lasting effect. The pet is not anesthetized and in most cases relaxes with the treatment. …

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