Dog acupuncture and it’s sibling, dog acupressure, are both tools you have available to help your dogs live their best lives. Acupuncture is performed by a trained professional. Acupressure follows the same beliefs and methodology but is done by using your hands. You can learn to do it yourself. Both are useful for helping your dogs.
Why dog acupuncture or acupressure?
Having dogs with chronic pain issues has caused me to investigate alternative methods of pain relief since the pills don’t always help. I’ve taken my dogs to vets and asked tons of questions as well as researched on the internet to find new ideas. Some of these methods have helped more than others.
Acupuncture and acupressure help stimulate blood circulation, relax muscles and remove wastes from the body. They can also help manage stress, depression and other mental disorders. Read my post here. And since they don’t involve chemical substances being put into the body, there are very few side effects. Plus, organs aren’t loaded with potential toxins that could cause damage.
The differences between acupuncture and acupressure
- Dog acupuncture is performed by a trained professional, usually a vet, while acupressure can be done by anyone with a little training.
- While acupuncture for dogs uses needles, often a dozen or more at a time, acupressure can only effectively be done in one or two places at a time since you are using your fingers to activate the points.
- Acupuncture generally stimulates a stronger response than acupressure since it goes more deeply.
Do these therapies work with traditional veterinary medicine?
I am far from an expert. I’ve talked to vets trained in acupuncture and I’ve read a couple of books. From what I gather, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has a much different take on wellness than we’re used to here in the U.S. TCM works more with the idea of preventing illness than curing illness after it’s already started. Sounds like a good practice to me since once a problem occurs, not all problems can be returned to normal.
Only licensed vets can perform it on pets.We have a couple of vets within driving distance that perform acupuncture. The nice part about that is that those vets who also practice acupuncture are able to balance the ideology of both TCM and western medicine so that they work together more completely. And since they know both methodologies, they’re very likely to be aware of and prevent any conflicting treatments.
What do the they think of dog acupuncture?
We’ve had a couple of rescue dogs that really got a lot of relief from dog acupuncture. You’d think the needles would be painful, but it doesn’t bother them at all. Distraction by food (definitely works with my chow hounds) keeps them standing still while the needles are placed in the exact locations that are supposed to help give relief.
We can’t really go to the vet as often as some of the dogs need help, so I’ve been studying acupressure to try to fill in between appointments. Since I’m just learning, they’re my guinea pigs, but they don’t seem to mind at all. I get the impression they really enjoy our sessions!
After either method, the dogs move more freely and seem generally more relaxed. Life gets much more normal.
Is it worth the expense and effort?
Acupuncture and acupressure for dogs is getting much more main stream here in the U.S. You can usually find a vet within a reasonable distance that’s trained in it. And in my experience, the fees are pretty reasonable. Most dog owners would be able to take advantage of this therapy without breaking the bank. For these reasons, it’s gaining momentum since it seems to be helping.
I have so much to learn since TCM is so very different from what I know. Things like Yin and Yang, time of day, seasons related to conditions, “dry” and “wet” conditions; terms that are completely foreign to those of us who aren’t familiar with it.
While I don’t understand much of the theory at this point, it does seem like a really good idea to prevent problems from occurring in the first place instead of waiting until there is a problem and then trying to fix it. And overall, my dogs are doing much better because of it, so I would say it’s well worth the effort.
Have you had acupuncture or acupressure done on your dog? What did you think of it? Tell me about it in the comments below.