Acupuncture history, theory and practice
|The Three Emperors
|from 'The Yellow Emperors Classic of Internal Medicine' - Veith
Main Site (over 600 pages of information and opinion): www.alternativevet.org
Acupuncture originated in Ancient China, possibly about 4,000 years ago. The oldest known medical text book, the
'Huang-Ti Nei-Jing Tsu-Wen', which outlines the theory and practice of acupuncture as a part of Traditional Chinese
Medicine (TCM), was written in Q & A format.
Sharpened spikes of bone were probably the first acupuncture 'needles'
but early experiments might have been with the effects on pain and illness of finger pressure in certain places,
possibly a chance discovery at first (acupressure). Needling would probably have developed from there on.
The model of the world and of the body is different in Traditional Chinese Medicine from that accepted in modern times
in the UK. However, using the constructs that were worked out then can still result in reliable predictions of responses.
There is more than one way to explain natural phenomena.
The theory upon which we base our veterinary
acupuncture work at the AVMC is that energy (balance of yin and yang - negative
and positive) flows throughout the body, following definable routes known as 'channels' or 'meridians'. The
rhythmical flow of energy follows a 24-hour cycle (circadian rhythm). If the normal balance or the normal and regular
flow is interrupted or disturbed for any reason, whether through trauma or other 'pernicious influence', then disease
(dis-ease) will follow.
The Ancient Chinese worked out charts of these acupuncture channels or acupuncture meridians
in humans. Along each of these meridians are situated a series of acupuncture points. These have been well-established for
humans and there has been broad consensus, down the years. In animals, however, there are horse acupuncture charts
and dog acupuncture charts but these and the horse acupuncture points and dog acupuncture
points are less broadly agreed.
The work of the acupuncture vet is to restore
energy balance, flow and rhythm to the body, to enable it to carry out its healing processes. Any potential obstacles
to recovery must be removed and diet must be optimised for the patient. The ancient practitioners also used spinal manipulation,
as an integral part of their treatments.
In the interests of best hygiene and disease control practice, we use
pre-packed, disposable, sterilised needles. This is especially important now that 'bluetongue' has reached the
Equine Acupuncture - Canine Acupuncture - Feline Acupuncture - www.alternativevet.org/acupuncture.htm
The veterinary acupuncturist
must attempt to restore balance, flow and rhythm to the
patient's body, to enable it to heal itself. Needling (or other point-stimulation) may be performed at places in the body
that are far removed from the perceived site of the problem. Acupuncture point stimulation is rarely done alone at the AVMC
. We also use of internal medicine, whether using herbs or integrated homeopathic
medicine and make such alterations to lifestyle and diet as are necessary to remove healing obstacles and appropriately
nourish the body. Chiropractic manipulation
, done at the same time, also appears to be an essential bed-fellow. This is clearly a truly 'holistic' practice,
rooted in a culture thousands of years old.
Some Western interpretations of acupuncture use simple needling,
without the holistic foundation that was an integral part of this ancient form of medicine. Whether using ancient philosophy
or modern holistic practice, we believe it to be essential to explore diet, lifestyle and internal medicine, along with chiropractic
manipulation and needling, for best results.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, some of the ancient remedies
do not fit in with the philosophy of the AVMC. At the AVMC,
we avoid animal-unfriendly or ecology-unfriendly remedies or methods. Whatever the perceived medical benefits of body
parts from rare animals, for instance, we do not use them. However, we do otherwise admire the very exhaustive holistic approach
that is embodied in TCM.
Christopher Day is a holistic vet and acupuncture vet
with more than 40 years of experience in the field of holistic veterinary practice.
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Alternative Veterinary Medicine Centre
Stanford in the Vale
Oxfordshire SN7 8NQ
Fax: 01367 718243