What is acupuncture?
The term acupuncture is from the Latin, “acus” meaning ‘needle’ and “punctura” meaning ‘to prick’. Acupuncture, in its simplest sense, is the treatment of conditions or symptoms by the insertion of very fine needles into specific points on the body in order to produce a response. Acupuncture points can also be stimulated without the use of needles, using techniques known as acupressure, moxibustion, cupping, or by the application of heat, cold, water, laser, ultrasound, or other means at the discretion of the practitioner.
Specific acupuncture points have been well charted for both humans and animals, and were conceptualized by ancient Chinese scholars to be connected with each other and various internal organs via meridians or channels. Many of these channels trace the paths of the body’s major nerve trunks.
Each acupuncture point has specific actions when stimulated. Combinations of points are often stimulated to take advantage of synergistic reactions between them. Which acupuncture points are stimulated, the depth of needle insertion, the type of stimulation applied to the needles, and the duration of each treatment session depends on the patient’s tolerance, the experience and training of the practitioner, and the condition being treated.
To learn more about veterinary acupuncture, download our Veterinary Acupuncture Client Information Sheet (344kb pdf).