Acupuncture is the ancient medical art of inserting needles into specific points on the body that correspond to energy channels or meridians. Its most popular use is for pain relief and can help address chronic pain like arthritis, joint disease as well as acute pain like back pain, intervertebral disk disease, traumatic injury, or post-surgical pain.
Even though acupuncture is thousands of years old, modern medicine has proven its positive effect. Studies have shown, each acupuncture point has a high density of free nerve endings, mast cells, blood vessels, and lymph vessels. Stimulation of these points causes the release of beta-endorphins (our body’s own pain reliever), serotonin (promotes feelings of well-being and happiness), and other neurotransmitters. Acupuncture has also been shown to promote a positive response from the immune system.
Acupuncture is a great tool for use in our geriatric pets. In addition to helping with pain, it can assist with appetite and GI function (treating vomiting or diarrhea). As stated earlier, acupuncture stimulates serotonin release and will often just make these patients “feel better”. This has a positive impact on their overall quality of life.