Alternative medicine isn’t just for people anymore. More and more pet owners are singing the praises of traditional Chinese veterinary medicine (TCVM), which includes a range of treatments from acupressure and acupuncture to Chinese herbs.In the right circumstances, employing TCVM treatments can complement more conventional veterinary medicine much in the same way acupuncture has been used in tandem with traditional medicine to treat back pain and other conditions. Animals can also suffer from chronic conditions. English Bulldogs and German Shepherds, for example, are famous for suffering from hip dysplasia. If there are options owners can employ that can help avoid surgery or long-term medication, it is in the pet’s best interest to do so. Veterinary acupuncture also has no known negative side effects. Blending western and eastern veterinary approaches can give pets the benefits of both disciplines in the treatment of a current problem and a wellness program to prevent future illness. Since a majority of your pets’ health issues only get diagnosed during later stages, prevention through wellness programs is particularly important. Veterinary acupuncture works on the same principles as human treatment—self-healing through metabolic balance. The procedure prompts the body to release its own anti-inflammatory chemicals. This is important because more and more research suggests that inflammation is a primary cause of many conditions from arthritis to heart problems. In addition, acupuncture also stimulates the release of hormones that relieve pain, resulting in both localized and generalized relief. Veterinary acupuncture has also been shown to increase blood flow and oxygenation, as well as help the body more efficiently remove metabolic wastes and toxins. Despite the instruments involved, acupuncture will not cause your pet pain. Even jumpy breeds like Chihuahua pups can handle the treatment with ease. The practitioner inserts needles at well-established points where nerves and blood vessels come together. These points are part of a network through which energy flows. Sometimes the veterinary practitioner will use pressure instead of needles for hard to reach points or for pets too nervous for the needles. It is advised that pet owners consult with a veterinarian knowledgeable in TCVM before starting any treatment.