Cascade Animal Clinic

Ancient Chinese Acupuncture

Cascade Animal ClinicWhat Is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture may be defined as the stimulation of a specific point on the body with a specific method, resulting in a therapeutic homeostatic effect.

The specific point on the body is called "Shu-xu" or acupuncture point (acupoint). The ancient Chinese people discovered 361 acupoints in human beings and 173 acupoints in animals.

Modern research shows that acupoints are located in the areas where there is a high density of free nerve endings, mast cells, small arterioles and lymphatic vessels. Most acupoints are motor points.

A great number of studies indicate that stimulation of acupoints induce release of beta-endorphin, serotonin, and other neurotransmitters. Therefore, acupuncture for pain relief is well supported by scientific studies.

Dr. Rosen has been treating 15-year-old Nimbus (pictured above) with acupuncture for over nine years. As a result, Nimbus is able to live a pain-free life, and his family enjoys watching this happy dog live his life to the fullest.

Vital Energy, or Qi

Cascade Animal Clinic - AcupunctureThe ancient Chinese discovered that the health of the body depends on the state of Qi (pronounced chee). Qi is the life force or vital energy. There are two opposite forms of Qi: Yin and Yang.

Physiologically, Qi flow throughout the body 24 hours per day, maintaining a balance of Yin and Yang. When the flow of the Qi is interrupted by any pathological factor (such as virus or bacteria), the balance of Yin and Yang will be lost and consequently a disease may occur.

Pain is interpreted as the blockage of Qi flow (or no free flow of Qi). Acupuncture stimulation resolves this blockage, freeing the flow of Qi and enabling the body to heal itself. Homeostasis is restored when Yin and Yang Qi are in balance.

Questions & Answers

Acupuncture for cats - Dr. Kelli Rosen - Cascade Animal ClinicWhat Is the History of Acupuncture? Acupuncture has been practiced in both animals and humans for thousands of years in China. The earliest veterinary acupuncture book "bo le zhen jing" (Bole's Canon of Veterinary Acupuncture) is believed to have been written by Dr. Bo Le in Qinmu-gong period (659 B.C. to 621 B.C.). Veterinary treatment protocols using acupuncture were well documented in this textbook. Since then, acupuncture was and is still a part of the mainstream veterinary medical system in China.

What Are Acupuncture Methods and Goals? Acupoints may be stimulated in a variety of ways. These techniques include dry needling, moxibustion, aqu-acupuncture and electro-stimulation. Whichever method is used, the goal is the same: To restore the flow of Qi and allow homeostasis to return.

Can Acupuncture Be Used To Treat Sinus Issues? Yes. Blue, a feline with sinus problems (pictured), does very well with acupuncture treatment at Cascade Animal Clinic.

How Safe Is Acupuncture Therapy? Acupuncture is a very safe medical procedure when administered by a qualified practitioner. Very few side effects have been found in clinical cases.

How Long Does Each Treatment Take? Each session may take 20 to 60 minutes.

How Many Treatments Are Needed? It depends upon the nature, severity and duration of diseases. A single treatment may be enough for an acute condition. A series of 3 to 10 treatments can resolve many chronic problems. Some degenerative conditions may need monthly treatments over time.

Does Acupuncture Hurt? A proper acupuncture therapy may induce distention, and a heaviness sensation along with contraction of local muscle. Over 95% of patients are comfortable with acupuncture therapy. Some animals will fall asleep during acupuncture treatment. Sedation is not recommended before acupuncture treatment as it may interfere with the acupuncture effect.

What Physiological Effects Are Induced By Acupuncture? Numerous studies show that acupuncture stimulation induces these physiological effects:

When Is Acupuncture Indicated? Clinical trials indicate that the acupuncture therapy can be effective in the following conditions:

Why Is Acupuncture Frequently Combined With Herbs? Sometimes the application of Chinese Herbal Medicine is chosen by the knowledgeable veterinarian as a support for the acupuncture, or on occasion, in lieu of it. Herbs are frequently used in situations that have not responded to traditional western veterinary medical practices.

What About Chiropractic And Massage? The veterinarian may also choose to use Tui-na, which is an ancient Chinese method of chiropractic/medical manipulation that enhances the other methods and can be taught to the animal owner to be done at home. This helps move energy past blocked points and eases muscle tension, thereby offering comfort and an energy lift to the patient.


(Some information on this page was provided by the Chi Institute of Chinese Medicine brochure)