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Veterinary acupuncture began in ancient China over 3,000 years ago. It is based on observations that pressure, when applied to specific points on a dog's body, will reduce pain and signs of generalised ill health. It was later discovered that a better effect was produced if these points were penetrated with a thin needle.


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When the first veterinary schools were started in Europe, acupuncture was on the curriculum and was widely practiced in both large and small animals until the early part of the 19th century. Advances in veterinary medicine rendered acupuncture obsolete.

Over the past 30 years or so, veterinarians in Europe, America, and Australia have returned to the use of acupuncture—with considerable success.

Acupuncture is a European term—coined by the Dutch physician Willem Ten Rhyne when he introduced acupuncture to Europe following a two year stay in Nagasaki, Japan in 1683.

The basic principle of acupuncture is that of Yin and Yang. The Chinese thought all things have two opposite aspects—opposite yet interdependent. Yin: cold, passive, night, female. Yang: hot, moving, bright, hyperactive, male.

Each different organ has an element of Yin and Yang. Some are mainly Yang (the liver), others mainly Yin (kidneys). The balance of Yin and Yang is maintained in a healthy body because the sum total of Yin and Yang is balanced.

In traditional Chinese medicine, disease is an imbalance of Yin and Yang. The aim of acupuncture is to define the exact organ that is causing the imbalance, and then to correct the imbalance by altering the flow of Qi—or vital energy.

In the U.K., only a licensed veterinary surgeon can perform acupuncture. Our veterinarian, Richard Chamings of The White House in Malvern, has also taken extensive acupuncture training. We have made special arrangements for him to offer acupuncture to our doggie guests.

A referral from your veterinarian is necessary. The form can be downloaded here.

If you would like more information, please visit the website of Phil Rogers MRCVS of Dublin.

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