Along side our acupuncture services we also offer Aqua-puncture, and Herbal Medicine. Dr. Russo completed the Basic Acupuncture course and will be attending Advanced Acupuncture Course at the Chi Institute. We are now an integrative practice utilizing Traditional Western Medicine and incorporating Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine (TCVM) increasing our ability to treat our pets! During my lessons at the Chi Institute we were introduced to Herbs and Tui-na massage techniques which we have utilized with great success.
Acupuncture in our Pets! Acupuncture has been around for over 2000 years! Ancient people used it for themselves as well as their horses, cows, and dogs. They figured out where to stick a needle on a nerve bundle to stimulate an effect! They did this before they even started learning internal anatomy via dissection. Now western science is confirming and showing us the exact mechanisms behind it with technology. They dissected down and put under the electron microscope these acupoints and found a special nerve bundle with extra vasculature and mast cells and they lined up along the meridians described by Chinese medicine. They also did MRI with Manganese dye so that when a particular acupoint was needled the Manganese in the brain MRI would light up! Then they would try another acupoint and Ta-Da another area of the brain would light up. We know thru dissection that nerve bundles coming off the spinal cord branch out and affect all parts of our body in sections. Basically we could not function without our nervous system. A signal (electrical impulse) goes up and down nerves to make an effect on every aspect of our physiology. So we have learned to manipulate the nervous system. Medicine in general is all about manipulating something to bring it back to health – to balance – to what we medical nerds call Homeostasis.
How is it done? The pets, even cats, allow it! Ok most allow it. We have a personality test for animals too and the Fire (Chihuahua) and Wood (Rottweiler) constitution animals may not let you put in as many needles as an Earth (Golden Lab). The needles are smaller than insulin needles and we place anywhere from 5-20 needles per session. Upon insertion a De-Qi happens, a reaction that says that’s the point and you may see the pet react. The sensations of the needle insertion range from momentary pain to nothing to tingling to a warm melting feeling and of course sometimes instant pain relief! The needles can be non-retaining, where I may peck at a sight like the top of nose for appetite stimulation or retaining needles, the ones you leave in. Retaining needles stay in for 10-20 mins, sometimes we use electrotherapy with it and then sometimes we use aquapuncture with B12 or medications to give a longer lasting stimulation. Acupuncture is great and acupuncture with Herbs last longer! Depending on the disease process sessions can be 1 -2 weeks apart initially, then 3-6 weeks apart then eventually 3-6 months apart to done. Herbs are often used for a period of time, can be adjusted according to the disease pattern just like any medication. Most are used for up to 3 months, some longer and sometimes we can wean off western medications.
The best news is that there is virtually no side effects with acupuncture. So for our older babies or those with kidney or liver problems where traditional medications can be harmful acupuncture is a great option as it is very safe.
There are some U-tube video so you can see what it is like: