Exotic Animal Acupuncture in Bedford Hills, NY
Acupuncture is a part of an integrative approach to human and veterinary medicine. It can be used as part of the treatment for numerous diseases in veterinary patients. The goal of adding holistic treatments to our western medicine approach here at the Veterinary Center for Birds and Exotics is to establish balance within the patient. This is achieved through exotic animal acupuncture and other treatment modalities (Tui Na – medical massage), proper nutrition, exercise, herbal remedies and appropriate lifestyle.
Which Patients Benefit from Acupuncture?
Exotic animal acupuncture can be performed on any of the patients we see here at the Veterinary Center for Birds and Exotics, particularly rabbits, guinea pigs and medium-sized to large parrots and reptiles. Dr. Amanda Marino has recently completed the small animal veterinary acupuncture course at the Chi Institute, the leading school for veterinary acupuncture in the United States.
How Does Acupuncture Work?
When performing acupuncture, very small needles are placed into specific points on the body. This produces a physiologic and energetic response along special pathways (meridians). These meridians are interconnected energetic pathways that spread Qi (vital life force or energy) to the entire body. The goal of acupuncture and needle placement is to restore normal Qi flow throughout the body.
Research on the effects of acupuncture have been documented in both humans and dogs. Acupuncture points typically occur in areas with increased nerve endings, small blood vessels and inflammatory cells. Placing needles in these acupuncture points causes the body to release natural pain relievers, stimulates circulation and decreases inflammation.
Different Acupuncture Techniques
The use of needles (dry needling) to perform acupuncture is not the only technique that can be performed. Aquapuncture involves placing a small amount of vitamin B12, blood or sterile saline at an acupuncture point to provide a longer acting stimulus. This technique may also be beneficial for non-cooperative patients that may not tolerate sitting still with needles for 15 minutes. Electroacupunture can also be used to elicit a stronger stimulation than dry needles alone. In this technique, a small electronic current is run through the needles and typically provides greater pain relief to the patient in the short term. Moxibustion, or the burning of moxa (Chinese herb), can be used by itself or in combination with needles. It is typically used in severely ill patients that may not tolerate needles at all or only a small number of needles.
When is Acupuncture a Good Treatment Option for Exotic Animals?
At the Veterinary Center for Birds and Exotics, our clinical applications to exotic animal acupuncture include adding an acupuncture technique as an adjunctive therapy for everything from pain management to treatment of systemic diseases. Exotic animal acupuncture is effective for many acute and chronic disorders and is typically combined with Chinese herbs and proper nutrition to achieve the greatest effect. This and more will be discussed in depth when you schedule an integrative medicine appointment with Dr. Amanda Marino.