Acupuncture is increasingly used to aid in joint and muscular-skeletal problems. Developed in China over 3,000 years ago, acupuncture involves stimulation of key points in the body causing a systemic reaction in the body. Acupuncture treatment removes blockages and balances energy throughout the body, relieving muscle soreness and stiffness which may be causing a variety of health issues including lameness and disease. The history of acupuncture:
In traditional Chinese thought each human or animal is born with a fixed amount of Vital Essence (Jing) at birth. Jing is spent in the work of living. The Jing is supported and expressed by the movement of Qi (Vital Energy) throughout the body via a system of channels or meridians. Qi is replenished by food and air. These meridians flow on the surface of the body and also deep within the body connecting all organs and tissues in a vast network. Disease can arise when there is an imbalance or disruption in the flow of Qi through these meridians. Certain areas along the meridians that travel the surface of the body provide access to the energy carried in the meridians and allow a trained acupuncturist to affect the flow and quality of Qi in the body. These areas are the acupuncture points. By stimulating these points, sometimes located far from the site of symptoms, the veterinary acupuncturist can assist the body to heal itself by balancing its own vital energies. This balancing is now known to be mediated primarily via the nervous system, but other physiological mechanisms including hormonal and humoral factors are also involved. This balance in turn may be used to adjust blood flow, nervous and muscle tone, hormone levels or the function of the organs.
Acupuncture is based on the discovery that certain areas ("points") on the surface of the body are related to specific internal body organs and functions. This discovery has since been confirmed by many western studies. By meticulously studying different disease states, the Chinese were able to develop a whole model of the relationships between the superficial "points" and the internal organs as they related to normal body function.
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