It's hard for me to believe, but I have been certified in veterinary acupuncture for 8 years. It feels like just yesterday that I traveled to Colorado to learn from one of the great veterinary and human medical minds of our time, Dr. Narda Robinson.
During my time in CO, I learned the basics of acupuncture and how I could integrate it into my practice at the time. On my return home to regular practice, I found that all I wanted to do was acupuncture and I was fascinated and hugely impressed with how much acupuncture for animals could be integrated as a complementary treatment with traditional western medicine.
In the subsequent years, I have acupunctured horses, dogs, cats, and myself and I have found it to be an incredible treatment modality. And to add to that, I have discovered the beauty of acupuncture using my cold therapy laser.
Instead of using needles to mechanically puncture the acupuncture points, I instead use the laser's light energy to stimulate or "puncture" the same acupuncture points.
I love using the laser to acupuncture cats especially. Cats do surprisingly well with needles usually, but they do so well with the laser that I rarely use needles on them anymore. Cats can be so quick to react that I always worry with needles that they will pull the needles out and ingest them! With the laser, I never have to worry about this. The same goes for dogs for that matter.
I also love this treatment modality for my older patients that have so much muscle soreness but also a concomitant loss of muscle mass. It makes it difficult to acupuncture these patients with needles even if they are very small. I feel so much better knowing that the laser is non-invasive, non-painful, and just as effective.
This is such a wonderful way to acupuncture animals that have the following conditions and so much more:
- needle phobias
- muscle atrophy/decreased soft tissue mass
- high sensitivity in certain areas due to pain, neurologic dysfunction, etc
- areas of the body that can be sensitive for any patient-hands, feet, face, abdomen, etc
- can be used in areas that hold a little risk with needling-on the abdomen, over the chest, on the face, mouth, etc
- pets that are very active and needles would fall out of readily
It is so nice to have options for treatment of my patients and this is one of my favorite tools in my "toolbox"!
Feel free to reach out with any questions about this!
And if you have an animal that seems like they would benefit from this, ask your local veterinary acupuncturist! Many have a cold therapy laser that can perform both modalities on your pet to get them to their most comfortable and happy selves!