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Acupuncture for Arthritic Animals

08 Oct 2013 by Holly

Winter is the season for blustery dog walks followed by crumpets in front of a roaring log fire, isn’t it? Well, it’s also the time of year when our ageing pets may start to suffer with their creaky, aching, arthritic joints.

In this blog post we explain how acupuncture treatment can help your pet to stay comfortable and mobile during the winter months.

According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, physical ailments are seen as a reflection of what is happening in the environment around us. Thus, in winter, stiff and aching arthritic joints mirror the cold, damp weather outside.

These winter-time weather conditions are believed to cause the energy flow in the channels (meridians) to slow and then block. Pain is viewed as a blocking of this energy (or ‘qi’) flow. Hence, acupuncture, which is treatment by the insertion of hair-thin needles into specific points on the body, is an effective way of treating arthritis and providing pain relief for achy joints as it helps the qi to flow freely again.

Acupuncture treatments were traditionally done at the change of seasons.

As well as acupuncture to help relieve the aches and pains of arthritis, it’s also crucial to make sure that you dry your dog off properly after wet and muddy winter walks, as arthritic joints can flare-up and become painful if your dog has to sit around with wet paws and soggy ears! You can combine a toweling down with some gentle physiotherapy and massage to both boost the circulation and to help relieve muscle tension.

Acupuncture used to help the stiff joints has the added benefit of stimulating the bodies immune function, helping your pet to adjust to the winter weather more successfully.

To find a veterinary acupuncturist near you visit the Association of British Veterinary Acupuncturists.