Acupuncture is a wonderful technique that stimulates specific points in the body to rectify imbalances, originated some 3500 years ago in China. According to legend, thousands of years ago someone noticed that lame warhorses, when wounded by arrows in certain spots, would stop limping. (Another legend tells a similar tale about humans.) The same spots were stimulated in other lame horses, who also stopped limping.
After the energy pathways of the body were discovered and mapped, it was concluded that any disruption of the energy flow, qi (or chi), caused disease. Placing small needles along exact points on these energy pathways was found to enhance the flow of qi and promote a state of health. So, in essence, acupuncture is simply another means to help the body heal itself. Originally, stone needles were used.Today acupuncturists may choose from among metal needles, heat, pressure, massage, electrical stimulation, injections, (injections can include those prepared in saline from homeopathic remedies), magnets, gold beads, lasers, or any combination of the above.
Human and veterinary acupuncture began separately, using different charts.The human charts show a system of inter-connected pathways (meridians and collaterals) through which flows the energy of the body. Hundreds of acupuncture points are spread throughout these pathways. Identification of animal meridians was less complete, and their points were usually given different names, even when their location and function seemed identical to human ones. Charts were developed primarily for farm animals, especially horses, chickens, pigs, and water buffalo. Today in China, though cats and dogs are treated with acupuncture, the emphasis is still on farm animals. Today acupuncture is frequently made available in veterinary clinics but it was not always that easy to find.
The American Veterinary Medical Association became impressed by research and clinical results and sanctioned further study of acupuncture as a valid method of treatment in 1989. Many holistic veterinarians now embrace this technique in their practice.
The Chinese advocate the holistic approach as a means of preventing disease. They resort to acupuncture and herbs when their preferred methods—meditation, exercise, diet, and massage—have proved insufficient. Although acupuncture, like Western medicine, may be used to treat symptoms alone, the best approach is to correct the underlying imbalances that created the conditions fostering specific diseases.Therefore, most contemporary acupuncturists emphasize a total approach to health which includes first and foremost a natural organic, raw meat and raw bone diet, which is species specific for carnivores.
The basic theory behind this comprehensive system is that the fundamental energy fields that compose the body (as well as all aspects of the universe) manifest two poles which are actually expressions of one whole. The Chinese refer to these poles as yin and yang. They are opposites, not looked upon as good or evil. (Yang is masculine and active, and yin is feminine and passive.) For good health, we need to achieve a proper balance between these two extremes.