Traditional Chinese Medicine
Acupuncture is part of the traditional Chinese medical paradigm. From the TCM perspective, which can be hard to fathom with the Western ‘scientific’ mind, it seeks to harmoniously balance the flow of energy through the body. Disease, they maintain, is the result of blockages of the circulation of energy. Acupuncture addresses these blocks. Stimulating carefully selected points on any of the body’s energy meridians stimulates energy flow.
I like the poetic descriptions of the ebb and flow of energy in the body and it can be useful in point selection. The bottom line is that TCM is a tool, like the Western acupuncture approach, to allow appropriate point selection; a bit like asking a cartographer and a poet to describe a landscape – neither are right or wrong and both bring their own value to the narrative to help you traverse the land.
Stimulating the skin, nerves and myofascia at certain points stimulates the nerves supplying that area. This induces biochemical and nervous changes in the spinal cord (with reflex effects in the brain in the ascending/descending tracts) controlling that area, be it the hip or, say, the bladder. These immediate changes bring about more long-lasting, healing, changes in the neurotransmitter environment at that segment of the cord, leading to changes in blood flow.
The needles I use are ultra-fine single use, sterile Japanese Acupuncture needles. As you can see on the photograph at the top of this page, they are only a hair’s breadth wide, and yet are very strong and very flexible.
Treatments are 25-30 minutes while the needles remain in place in the skin for 10-15 of these. Animals often feel very relaxed and sedated and will fall asleep with needles in!
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Dr. Nick Thompson
BSc (Vet Sci) Hons, BVM&S, VetMFHom, MRCVS.
Tel: 01225 487778
Fax: 07092 233930