Acupuncture for Cats
What is Acupuncture and how does it work?
Acupuncture is the stimulation of special points on the body to achieve a physiologic response. In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), the life force is called Qi (pronounced “chee”) and it flows continuously through the body in specific channels that connect the acupoints. In disease, the Qi becomes stagnated and doesn’t flow freely. Acupuncture is used to relieve the stagnation, thereby allowing the Qi to flow smoothly and allowing the body to heal itself.
Acupuncture is an ancient form of medicine – it was first practiced on the Chinese Emperor’s horses in 659 BC. Only in the last 40 years has it been used in the US and only in the past 20 years has it been used on dogs and cats.
Modern research has demonstrated that acupoints are located in areas of the body that are physiologically active. Studies have shown that acupuncture increases endorphins and other natural neurotransmitters. Science is now becoming able to explain how acupuncture works.
What is acupuncture used for?
Acupuncture can be used for almost any pathologic condition. Most commonly it is used for arthritis, pain, constipation, renal failure, behavioral problems, and other chronic conditions.
How big are the needles and do they hurt?
Acupuncture needles are very tiny. They are approximately one-third the size of the smallest hypodermic needle we use in cats. Your cat may feel a slight sensation as the needle is inserted, but it is not typically painful.
How do you acupuncture a cat?
Quite easily! Most cats tolerate acupuncture very well. Acu-points that calm the cat are used first in order to relax him or her.
How long does it take?
An acupuncture session takes about 30 minutes. You may be present or you can wait in the lobby or drop your cat off for the procedure.
How many treatments are required and how soon do you see a response?
Acute conditions can be treated in 1-2 sessions, but most conditions require at least 6-8 treatments. In some cases, a response is seen the next day. More commonly, and especially with long-standing conditions, improvement may not be seen for a couple of months.
How did Dr. Nixon learn acupuncture?
Dr. Nixon trained at the Chi Institute in Reddick, Florida, completed her internship at a holistic practice in Winter Park, Florida, and achieved her Certified Veterinary Acupuncturist (CVA) designation in July 2010.