Pet of the Month – September 2013

by on September 2nd, 2013

Category: Pet of the Month, Tags:

MungoThis month’s Pet of the Month is the delightful Italian Spinone Mungo who received acupuncture at the practice for some months as an ancillary aid to control his epilepsy.

The use of acupuncture in China dates back at least 3000 years however it now seems clear that therapeutic techniques involving piercing the body developed independently in many communities around the world up to 7000 years ago. The mammalian system incorporates a complex system of sensory modulation. In childhood, we all learn to take advantage of this when our parents teach us to ‘rub it better’.

This soon becomes conditioned behaviour and in adult life as we suffer more chronic muscular pains and aches we often massage deep into our aching muscles in an attempt to relieve pain. It does not take a great leap of the imagination to see how such behaviours may have progressed in certain communities until the skin was pierced at sites of tender muscle. This was observed to be a very efficient therapy and before long maps of the body describing the common sites of tenderness would have been produced.

At Fitzalan House we use Western Medical Acupuncture as a therapy following orthodox clinical diagnosis predominantly, although not exclusively, in the treatment of musculoskeletal disorders and chronic pain states in animals. Points are chosen based on the principles of nervous system function and the identification of trigger points – tender points in a taut band of muscle which can cause referred pain. Science and acupuncture no longer represent opposing poles of medical opinion as more and more evidence is found to support and explain the mechanisms by which acupuncture achieves its results.

The specific effects of acupuncture needling are achieved through stimulation of the peripheral nervous system (the part of the nervous system that excludes the brain and spinal cord) and neuromodulation (the process in the nervous system in which several classes of chemicals called neurotransmitters regulate diverse populations of nerve cells) of the central nervous system, which occurs as a consequence. Acupuncture also stimulates the release of pain-relieving chemicals in the brain and spinal cord such as endorphins, which produce more generalised analgesia. These effects, combined with local needling of painful trigger points, result in exceptional pain relief.

Although primarily used for analgesic purposes acupuncture is used for many varied reasons including epilepsy, enhanced wound healing, control of vomiting, stroke rehabilitation and influence on the immune system, to mention just a few.

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