What is Acupuncture?


A healthy body is said to be in “homeostasis” or in “balance”. Illness and/or injury can cause the body to become unbalanced. Acupuncture is a key therapy used to bring the body back into its proper hemostatic state and is known to affect all major physiological systems.

Acupuncture works primarily through the central nervous system affecting musculoskeletal, hormone, and cardiovascular systems. It does more than just relieve pain. How it works depends on what condition is being treated and which points are used.

Acupuncture increases circulation, relieves muscle spasm, stimulates nerves and stimulates the bodies’ defenses, such as the immune system. It also causes a
release of many neurochemicals and hormones at both the local and central nervous system levels.
Some of these neurochemicals, called endorphins, are the bodies’ “natural pain killing” hormones.

Acupuncture can work well for:6be94005-7f00-0001-1c8f-c207536aebad

  • Arthritis/DJD (degenerative joint disease)
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Intervertebral disk disease
  • Post-operative orthopedic surgery
  • Lick granulomas
  • Chronic Allergies
  • Asthma
  • Laryngeal Paralysis
  • Speeding wound healing
  • Seizures
  • Nerve and spinal cord injuries
  • Diarrhea

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Does it hurt?

Most animals don’t even react to needle insertion. The needles are very thin and glide into tissues easily. If a particularly sore area is encountered, needles are not placed in that area until the tissue relaxes. It is very common for small animals to become relaxed and some even fall asleep. Many horses drop their head, plan their feet and stand quietly.

Is it safe?

Acupuncture is one of the safest therapies we have if performed by a competent acupuncturist with an in depth knowledge of animal anatomy. Side effects are rare. Because acupuncture balances the body’s system and stimulates the body to heal itself, no chemicals are used and complications seldom develop.

How many treatments does it take

Some animals respond immediately after the first treatment, but it more commonly takes 2-4 treatments to get a response. Dr. Johnson likes to do at least 3-4 treatments (usually a week apart) to fully assess the response to acupuncture. Acute problems may be cured after 4 treatments, but chronic conditions such as arthritis may need ongoing treatment at intervals determined by the animal’s response.

What animals benefit from acupuncture?

All species can benefit from acupuncture. Dr. Johnson has experience with dogs, cats, horses, cattle, sheep, goats, llamas, alpacas and a few exotic species such as turtles, birds and pocket pets (rats, hamsters , guinea pigs, rabbits). She is also willing to treat other species, so call with any questions.