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American Academy of Medical Acupuncture - This is a human medicine, but is a great resource of news articles, published data, and physician written summaries. 

Short National Geographic Clip on Veterinary Acupuncture-  this is a short video on acupuncture in veterinary medicine. 

Medical Veterinary Acupuncture 

It is becoming increasingly common that integrative practitioners on both the veterinary and the human side are incorporating acupuncture into their practices to enhance patients response to treatment.  Very frequently our clients are seeking acupuncture for their pets after they experience the benefits for themselves, or sometimes vise versa! Fundamentally, acupuncture is the placement of very small filamentous needles into very specific locations on the body known as acupuncture points.  There are very specific characteristics of these points that make them therapeutic targets.  It may be that they are associated with a specific nerve, nerve root, or section of the spinal cord and we are using the needles to achieve neuromodulation, or changing the nervous systems response to a stimulus like pain or discomfort.  These points can also be closely associated with a trigger point, muscle belly, fascial restriction, or tendon.  Needle placement can help change blood flow in the region, improve soft tissue mobility, and provide pain relief.  There are also acupuncture points that can impact other body systems like the immune system, the GI tract, the endocrine system, and more. More often than not acupuncture is incorporated into our treatment plans at Red Sage.  It has been a powerful tool in our pockets for over 10 years.  Both Dr. Rychel and Dr. Fry speak frequently on the topic to a variety of audiences including veterinary students, veterinarian, as well as owners and human practitioners.  

What does a treatment look like? Do dogs like it?

It may surprise you, but most dogs are very tolerant of a treatment and will often sleep through it!  There are some animals who prefer to stand or walk and we can accommodate all preferences.  It is critical that there is a trusting relationship between the practitioner and the patient and we will take the time to build this trust to make sure we have treatment success.  We often introduce a patient with only a few needles of a small size.  Often even just a few needles can make a profound difference for the pet.  Needles are often placed with the help of a small tube or can be inserted alone.  They are then twisted slightly to engage with the tissue in the region of the acupoint. Needles can stay in from anywhere from a few seconds to 20-30 minutes.  They will often loosen and fall out as they are no longer engaged with the tissue.  We can also enhance the affects with the addition of electrical stimulation where a current is run between two needles, effects are similar to those with TENS.  Benefits from a treatment can be felt instantly, but can also take a few days to reach full effect.  Treatments are also cumulative, so we see added benefit from multiple treatments. 


Conditions Commonly Treated with Acupuncture: 

  • Pain (associated with injury, chronic disease, cancer, surgery, or as a primary issue) 

  • Osteoarthritis Pain and other joint disease like dysplasia or degenerative changes 

  • Muscle spasm or tension 

  • Intervertebral disc disease or other spinal cord injury 

  • Trauma 

  • Weakness or ataxia 

  • Appetite or other GI issues 

  • Immune system modulation 

  • Athletic performance/maintenance 

  • Many more...

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