Reaching The Point Of Acceptance: What Can Be Treated?

Acupuncture, in conjunction with traditional Chinese medicine or the body of Western medicine, may be considered supportive or adjunct therapy for a vast array of other conditions. Notice of the procedure’s versatility was boosted with tests of its effectiveness in humans. The University of California, Los Angeles, conducted the Acupuncture Research Project from 1973 to 1980. When the study began it was viewed as little more than a curiosity-until the findings started trickling in. At the outset, medical opposition was high and resolute, especially from orthopedic surgeons. Public acceptance was more immediate than acceptance by the medical community. Satisfied patients referred friends, and eventually the waiting list was six weeks for an appointment.

The UCLA Acupuncture Research Project found various forms of acupuncture were effective for: pain relief for various orthopedic, obstetric and surgical procedures; treatment of chronic pain; sensorineural hearing loss; compulsive disorders such as over eating and tobacco and drug addiction; and bronchial asthma. In other studies conducted on both humans and dogs, acupuncture was found to be beneficial in cases in which analgesics and anti-inflammatory medications had been ineffective or had demonstrated side effects and in cases in which surgery was not recommended.

For example, many practitioners claim they are pleased with the results of acupuncture in the treatment of arthritis in both humans and canines. One study’s very interesting finding was that acupuncture enhances the efficacy of antibiotic treatment for canine otitis crises. Favorable acupuncture results have been reported in the treatment of many other canine conditions, including the following: cardiovascular disorders, chronic respiratory conditions, dermatologic disorders, gastrointestinal disorders, gynecological disorders, immune-mediated disorders, male reproductive disorders, muscloskeletal disorders, neurologic disorders, reproductive disorders, thoracolumbar and cervical disc disease. Deciding if your dog should be treated with acupuncture therapy often depends on the dog itself and the condition afflicting it. “My attitude is that with each and every animal with each and every condition, you look at what the best comprehensive integrative approach is and develop a therapeutic plan for that animal,” explains Allen Schoen, D.V.M., co-editor of “Complementary and Alternative Veterinary Medicine: Principles and Practice” (Mosby 1998). “Sometimes acupuncture is used as a last resort, other times it may be chosen as the first approach [for example] ifsurgery would have potential complications, and only if acupuncture didn’t work would you consider surgery.” According to Schoen, before you decide on any treatment approach, it is important to get a good diagnosis and then look at all the options, including acupuncture and those offered by conventional medicine. He suggests obtaining a traditional veterinarian’s opinion and diagnosis before deciding if acupuncture should complement the treatment of veterinary disorders. Schoen explains there are some situations in which acupuncture may not be effective or should not be used. For example, extremely anxious pets sometimes can be so excitable that the release of their own adrenaline counteracts acupuncture’s benefits. Owners also should be aware of specific medical complications. “[Acupuncture] normally does not interfere with other conventional approaches,” he explains, “but certain medications, such as corticosteroids, can decrease the effectiveness of acupuncture. [In addition,] you want to be exceedingly careful in using acupuncture with cancer because selecting the wrong points can actually accelerate the cancer growth.” Because of this, in Schoen’s opinion, only someone who is trained in both veterinary medicine and veterinary acupuncture should treat your pet if you are considering acupuncture as an alternative therapy.

Reaching The Point Of Acceptance:

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