Acupuncture has been used by the Chinese to ‘heal’ patients for over 2000 years. Science has proven it’s effectiveness to release endorphins, decrease inflammation, improve circulation to move blood and lymph, support the immune system, and even likely, stimulate stem cells to help heal tissues, and decrease pain. Soon it may be getting the FDA’s formal approval as a method to treat pain.
At The Cooke Veterinary Medical Center, we have been healing dogs and cats with acupuncture since 2005. Dr. Cooke finished her certification in veterinary acupuncture (CVA) in 2008 from the Chi Institute in Florida. Since that time, Dr. Denette Cooke has helped patients with conditions such as: arthritis, disc disease, pinch nerves, back and neck pain, immune mediated disorders, unspecified pain, various forms of cancer, endocrinopathies, and allergic conditions. Acupuncture can stand alone as a treatment or be combined with specific herbal therapies, veterinary medical manipulation (think chiropractic for pets), food therapy, diet manipulation, and Tui Na (which is ancient soft tissue massage) techniques. Each patient and case presentation is different. The beauty of a holistic approach is that all treatment recommendations are unique to each individual patient in it’s own unique environment and situation. There is no ‘one size fits all’ treatment like in Western medicine.
The FDA is now taking the first steps to formally recommend acupuncture and chiropractic care for humans for pain management. With the opioid epidemic worsening, Western human medicine is having to check it’s practices for prescribing pain medications to humans. The research to support acupuncture and chiropractic, along with evidence-based case studies, has been available to the medical community for a long time. It is now time for physicians to learn about and recommend these alternative treatments. It is time for them to ‘think outside the Western box’ of medicine.
We are fortunate in veterinary medicine in that we are freer to ‘think outside of the Western medicine box’ because often our patients need alternatives when Western medicines and treatments don’t work. Also when surgery is recommended but the age and condition of the patient makes that procedure more risky to the patient. Instead of throwing up our hands and saying, “we have done all we can”, we look for alternative ways based on evidence, scientific data, and clinical experiences of success in the areas thought to be outside the norm of clinical practice such as acupuncture, herbals, food therapy, veterinary medical manipulation (akin to chiropractic), Tui-Na massage, and more.
At The Cooke Veterinary Medical Center our patients don’t worry about the science behind the treatment or the stigma associated with trying it! They just feel better! And not because they want their owners to be happy…they feel better because it works!
Check out our recent interview on acupuncture for pets with Tim Pandajais of 13Newsnow and his beloved Golden Retriever Bentley. Watch Bentley begin to chill with his endorphins!