The guiding principle of Eastern (aka “Traditional Chinese”) medicine is that a body in balance is healthy. It is when the body is out of balance that disease conditions arise. It is therefore the goal of Eastern medicine to identify any imbalances and correct them. The result is that disease processes will then correct themselves.
Several tools can be used by the Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioner, and many can be easily taught to pet owners who would like to help their pets:
- Acupuncture is probably the best-known Eastern medicine technique. Needles inserted into specific points along pathways (called meridians) running over the body like interstate highways can have profound effects on just about every organ system and physiologic process. Chronic conditions like arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, allergies, kidney disease, thyroid disorders, and epilepsy can be manged using acupuncture. More serious conditions like cancer can also be managed.
- Herbal supplements are also used — typically in combination with acupuncture, but certainly on their own — especially in pets for whom acupuncture is not an option (the extremely fearful or aggressive). The plant-based formulas we utilize are very similar to the recipes developed thousands of years ago in China, and are available in a number of preparations (powders to mix into food, and tablets or capsules to be given orally).
- Nutritional support is another tool used by the Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) practitioner. By manipulating food components (meats, fruits, and vegetables) many imbalances in a pet’s system can be corrected, and most adjustments can be achieved with commercial diets already available over-the-counter!
- For at-home treatment, pet owners can be shown how to use acupressure and massage. While not as potent as inserting a needle, applying pressure on, or massaging along meridians can have similar effects to acupuncture, and is a great way to boost the effectiveness of in-office treatments at home.
It’s exciting to be able to integrate Eastern treatments into our services at LUVC — so often pet owners are forced to decide EITHER traditional Western practices OR an Eastern approach. Utilizing the strengths of BOTH practices gives our patients the opportunity for the best outcomes.
Curious? Want more information? Email us today! We look forward to discussing how we can help your pet!