Understanding Veterinary Acupuncture

Acupuncture is a method of health care with roots in ancient China. For at least 3,000 years both humans and animals have benefited from its healing effects. Acupuncture is defined as the insertion of thin needles into specific points on the body to cause the desired effect. According to Chinese philosophy, the disease is the result of an imbalance of energy in the body and acupuncture is believed to balance this energy and thereby assist the body to heal. Because acupuncture prompts the production of neurochemicals called endorphins by the brain, and the release of hormones including cortisol by the pituitary gland, it helps boost the body’s own defenses against pain and inflammation. Therefore, acupuncture is a great adjunct tool for the treatment of chronic conditions such as arthritis, intervertebral disc disease (back problems), and other musculoskeletal injuries.

Acupuncture is safe and painless when performed by a trained veterinarian. In order for a veterinarian to successfully perform acupuncture, they must receive extensive training and pass a rigorous certification process. The International Veterinary Acupuncture Society (IVAS) teaches veterinarians from all over the world about alternative veterinary medicine including acupuncture. We are lucky at Northwest Neighborhood Veterinary Hospital to have an IVAScertified veterinarian acupuncturist, Dr. Becky Prull.Dr. Colleen Flaherty has also begun her training this year and will be certified by next spring. Our doctors and staff have seen the benefits first hand that alternative veterinary medicine such as acupuncture can provide our pets. If you have a question or would like to meet and discuss alternative forms of veterinary care for your pet, please call our office at (503) 505-7576.