WHAT IS MEDICAL ACUPUNCTURE?
Medical acupuncture is a therapeutic method that usually involves the insertion of fine, sterile needles. Modern medical practitioners developed medical acupuncture as an adaptation of Chinese acupuncture. We employ current knowledge of anatomy, physiology, and pathology, all in keeping with evidence-based medicine. A myofascial palpation exam allows the doctors to determine the location and sources of discomfort and dysfunction.
WHAT CAN MEDICAL ACUPUNCTURE DO?
Treatment with medical acupuncture and its related techniques of laser therapy and forms of message help promote healing and wellbeing, by preventing illness and addressing a variety of medical conditions and pain problems.
WHAT ARE SOME SPECIFIC BENEFITS?
Research on acupuncture is continually building and strengthening the scientific and evidence-informed basis of medical acupuncture. In addition to its well-known effects on acute and chronic pain, medical acupuncture addresses a wide range of medical issues including:
• Digestive ailments, including inflammation and motility problems
• Respiratory issues, such as sinusitis and recurrent infections
• Neurologic problems such as peripheral neuropathy, sciatica, spinal cord injury, disk disease and nerve based pain problems
• Musculoskeletal complaints, knee pain, arthritis, tendinitis, back pain, neck pain and much more
HOW DOES ACUPUNCTURE WORK?
The main therapeutic effects of needling begin with activation of nerve fibers near a point. These stimuli then bring about changes that help to balance nerve signaling and neurotransmitter activity from the “periphery” (i.e., the acupuncture point) to the central nervous system (the brain and spinal cord) and autonomic nervous system centers (that govern processes like glandular activity, immune status, digestion, mood, and more). Acupuncture also releases tension from the muscles and enveloping fibrous network called “fascia”.
HOW MANY TREATMENTS WILL BE NEEDED?
Each session lasts 1 hour and needles are in place for up to 30 min. The number of treatments needed differs from patient to patient. For difficult or long-standing conditions, the patient may need treatments weekly or twice weekly, for several weeks. Usually, however, once one sees a change in the patient within the first three treatments acupuncture is going to make a meaningful difference.
WHAT SIDE EFFECTS AND RISKS MIGHT THERE BE?
Uncommonly, an acupuncture patient could experience a temporary worsening of the condition. Veterinary patients might try to use their mouths to pull a needle or eat a needle. It is imperative to monitor patients during treatment so this does not occur. Usually, however, most side effects are mild and even pleasant, with a sense of relaxation, an improvement in sleep, or an improvement in digestive tract transit. If something concerns you, contact the patient’s doctor or practice right away.
WHO DOES ACUPUNCTURE?
Companion Pet Care is lucky to work with Dr. Meghan Fowler who performs acupuncture for our patients.
Dr. Meghan Fowler- Veterinary Acupuncturist
Dr. Meghan Landen-Fowler grew up in Omaha, Nebraska in a family full of pets of all sizes, from hamsters to dogs to horses.
Her ambition to become a veterinarian started at a young age when the family vet, also a family friend, promised her a job at his clinic as soon as she could drive. He made good on that promise, and she worked with him all through high school and college. During that time, she learned about small-animal patient care solidifying her desire to become a veterinarian herself.
She graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with a bachelor’s degree in veterinary science, from Kansas State University with a doctorate in veterinary medicine, and earned her certificate in veterinary medical acupuncture from Cura Core in Fort Collins, Colorado.
She completed her small-animal internship at the VCA Emergency Animal Hospital and Referral Center here in San Diego, in 2005 and has since been practicing in San Diego North County.
She enjoys time with her husband and daughter, their two dogs, chickens, and Western Pleasure horseback riding. She looks forward to meeting you and your pets and answering questions you might have regarding how integrative medicine might help their health.