Acupuncture has been used for more than 3000 years for the treatment of multiple ailments. It relies on the stimulation of specific points on the body (acupoints) by inserting very thin, painless needles (usually about the thickness of a strand of hair), resulting in a therapeutic response. Scientific research has validated that most acupuncture points correlate with areas of high-density nerve fibers, arteries, veins and lymphatic vessels. When these points are stimulated, a physiologic reactions results in local release of beneficial neuro-chemicals that help alleviate pain.
In addition to this local effect, the systemic benefits of acupuncture result from the release of hormones and neurotransmitters in the brain, such as beta-endorphins and serotonin – these chemicals are responsible for the feel good effect of acupuncture. The benefits of acupuncture can be immediate, or they can be realized over several days and/or treatments, depending on the underlying condition. Overall, we know that acupuncture broadens our ability to treat certain ailments in your pet.
In our rehabilitation setting acupuncture has been proven effective in the treatment of musculature problems such as arthritis, back pain/disk diseases and other neurological problems like paresis.
Massage is a non invasive method to treat the muscle tension secondary to spinal and joint diseases. In neurological patients, massage can improve muscle tone and sensory awareness. Various techniques can be used to increase blood flow/oxygen to an area, and remove metabolic waste. Lymph and venous return can also be increased, and tightening of fibrotic areas, called adhesions, can be reduced. These mechanical effects can accelerate muscle recovery and therefore increase joint and muscle function. Pets can also benefit from the release of endorphins that massage stimulates, which will results in pain relief and also decrease anxiety. Overall, massage therapy is another tool that we use to help manage musculoskeletal, orthopedic, and neurologic conditions. It is very therapeutic and enjoyable for pets and often serves to strengthen the bond between our patients and physiotherapists.