Traditional Chinese Medicine is a type of holistic, natural health care system that dates back at least 2,000 years to the year 200 B.C. TCM stimulates the body’s healing mechanisms and takes into account all aspects of a patient’s life, rather than just several obvious signs or symptoms. TCM practitioners view the body as a complex network of interconnected parts (part of a larger concept known as Qi), rather than separate systems or organs. TCM includes the practice of acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine.
Acupuncture is designed to help balance the body’s own energy to facilitate healing. Acupuncture points are along Meridians, or channels of the energy of the body, and often trace the paths of major nerves and vessels. These points have been well established in humans for centuries, and have been mapped in animals so that our pets can benefit from acupuncture as well. Acupuncture is generally safe in the hands of a trained veterinarian. Proper diagnosis of the problem is critical to the safety and efficacy of the treatment. Dr. Castle and Dr. Smith are both certified in Veterinary Acupuncture. Acupuncture is used to treat several health issues including joint problems (hip dysplasia and arthritis), neurologic issues, behavioral disorders (obsessive-compulsive licking), cancer and the side effects of chemotherapy, allergies. gastrointestinal problems, reproductive disorders, immune system regulation, and urinary disorders. Also, Acupuncture is used for pain management and can help reduce or eliminate the need for costly medications which can have adverse side effects.
The treatment plan is developed after the Certified Veterinary Acupuncturist has evaluated your pet and established a diagnosis. Plans usually include weekly or bi-weekly acupuncture sessions for 4 to 8 weeks. Some positive response is usually seen within the first 4 treatments. Once a response is observed, treatments are spaced out to the longest interval that keeps the condition under control.
We try to use acupuncture in addition to other therapies to obtain the maximum benefit for your pet. The approach will vary based on the pet’s medical condition. If your pet has a doctor other than your acupuncturist, it’s important to let both doctors know what treatments are used and any changes to the treatment plan.
Chinese Herbal Medicine
Herbal remedies have been a part of healing pets for centuries.
Most of our traditional medications come from or are modifications of plants. The biggest difference between Chinese herbals and traditional medications is that supplements and herbals are often gentler and come with fewer side effects. On the flip side, their effects are more subtle and may take longer to perceive. However, this doesn’t make them any less valuable. When used correctly, they can greatly improve medical conditions and benefit overall health.
That being said, herbals and supplements can be quite harmful if used improperly or for the wrong conditions. Because herbs can be dangerous on their own, it is strongly recommended to only use and purchase them under the guidance of a properly trained veterinarian. Ordering from a company or individual that is not careful about the content and origin of their herbs can potentially create serious problems.
Our source for Chinese herbals uses TLC (thin layer chromatography) and HPLC (high-performance liquid chromatography), special procedures which ensure potency and test for active constituents. Every batch of herbs is tested before, during and after processing.
They obtain their herbs from a trusted source that not only verifies their authenticity but also ensures they are toxin-free and environmentally friendly. This is done through chromatography to guarantee accuracy and safety. All their raw material and herbal products comply with the new stringent Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP). GMP certification means that the site and methods employed in the production of our herbs have been subject to a thorough quality control investigation and is certified to comply. Tests for moisture content, dissolution, heavy metals (lead, arsenic, mercury, cadmium) and microbial content (including bacteria and fungi) are performed on every batch of the finished product.