Complimentary medicine is becoming more and more widely used in human medicine as its benefits are becoming clear in study, after study. We understand that the use of complimentary or alternative medicine has its in place in veterinary practice, also.
Traditional Chinese medicine has been for at least 3,000 years, and had its roots in an understanding of balance. In Veterinary Medicine, we use acupuncture and herbal medicine, which are two aspects of TCM, to treat diseases in pets which are seen as imbalances. The goal is to return unbalanced systems to harmonious function. In contrast, the Western medical view of disease is primarily due to causes that can be eliminated, cut out, or somehow contained.
Acupuncture is the use of fine needles to stimulate exact points on the exterior of the body in order to have therapeutic effects. Some of the acupuncture points have the ability to adjust the regulatory mechanisms of various organs, while others have more broad ranging physiological effects. The needles are virtually painless, and often induce noticeable relaxation.
TCM herbal medicines include some of the most advanced, tried-and-true uses of plants today. As with modern drugs, herbal medicines have exact indications, precautions, and contraindications. But, in contrast to modern drugs, herbal products are chemically complex and commonly have nutritional as well as drug-like activity in the body. Since most of our companion animals co-evolved with plant life as some part of their food supply, the absorption, metabolism, and elimination of these products occur rather naturally in the body.
As with Western medicine, Traditional Chinese medicine should only be used by those appropriately trained, like our veterinarian Dr. Ann Cook. Dr. Cook is able to meld her understanding of TCM with the knowledge of Western Medicine which she as accumulated over the past 15 years.