Just when some science-based skeptics and critics admit acupuncture renders a placebo effect or chill out a little debunking acupuncture, along comes some bit of news concerning veterinarian acupuncture.
Yes, you read that right. veterinarian acupuncture is now a popular (and getting more so by the day) treatment for pets, and a few veterinarians have had the foresight to undergo training in order to perform these treatments on pets whose health issues have failed be resolved with Western conventional approaches.
Because they don’t have a Western medical explanation for how acupuncture works, some so-called medical experts will merely attribute the efficacy of this treatment to a placebo effect.
They aren’t interested in truly understanding the principles behind TCM or Traditional Chinese Medicine, which are so much different than the viewpoint underlying biochemical- molecular Western medicine.
These experts would be having great difficulty explaining a placebo effect on animals. Maybe Agnes the pet cat knows that the vet is there to fix her lower back so she can walk properly once more. And when her vet sticks needles into her back, maybe Agnes knows that the needles are meant to make her pain go away which would make her walk and run the same way she did before her injury. She may have read an article about acupuncture and believe that it truly works.
One way or another, these “science-based skeptics” will find a way to link the placebo effect to the success of veterinarian acupuncture. These people are unable to go beyond their present erroneous paradigm regarding acupuncture.
Reading about or seeing actual cases of acupuncture cures for pet health conditions that Western conventional medicine deems incurable or made even worse by pharmaceutical drugs can be quite a strong convincing evidence of acupuncture’s powers for a lot of people.
One fascinating story about a veterinarian who considered dropping out of acupuncture training after just the first session of class; he thought that the type of science the treatment followed was just too weird for him.
A few days later, he found that his pet English bulldog couldn’t stand up. He went to a vet who failed to better the dog’s condition. In desperation, the pet owner approached his acupuncture teacher who is also a practicing veterinarian acupuncturist and asked him if he could do something about his pet.
The teacher was only too glad to help. So he brought the dog over to his clinic. The teacher-vet did some diagnostic examination on the bulldog and then started inserting a few needles into its body. Within a couple of hours, the bulldog was standing. Needless to say, the pet owner was so much impressed that he decided to continue his acupuncture training.
Washington Post science writer Marlene Cimmons, wrote an article about her pet Labrador Retriever’s urinary incontinence problem that was recently featured in WaPo’s “Health and Science” section. She discussed how acupuncture was able to completely cure her pet’s wetting problem.
After drugs for her senior-aged Lab (who was 11-years old then) led to even more problems, the vet recommended that Marlene try vet acupuncture. As she had a successful acupuncture treatment before, Marlene felt that the treatment may also work for her dog. So she went to a vet acupuncturist where, as she had hoped, her Lab was cured and no longer woke up in her doggie bed wet with urine.
A Few Backgrounds on Veterinary Acupuncture
Veterinary acupuncture may have begun as an offshoot of traditional Chinese medicine circa 1130-770 BC. This was around the time of the Zhou dynasty. The treatment was aimed at war horses and farm animals. This type of acupuncture began to emerge right after its “introduction” in the United States during the 1970s.
The method for precisely diagnosing what acupoints and meridian map to use is quite thorough despite the fact the acupuncture is categorized as a complementary or alternative type of treatment. The vet may ask the pet’s owner a number of questions, perform some rudimentary movement tests on the animal, and even smell the animal’s nose or mouth.
Being a holistic therapy, TCM looks at the whole health picture to find out the underlying problem causing the symptoms rather than merely taking prescriptions designed as a “one size fits all” treatment that furthermore comes with potentially nasty side effects.
Animals show no pain or discomfort when thin needles are stuck into their skin. Cats and dogs, unlike humans, aren’t required to remain still for 20 minutes during treatment. It may not be a cure-all but acupuncture certainly has a lot to offer both animals and humans. And the best thing about it is that it does not come with adverse side-effects.
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