Acupuncture is an ancient technique of placing needles into special points called acupoints in order to affect the flow of qi (pronounced “chee”). Traditional Chinese Medicine describes qi as energy in the body. Qi flows along channels or meridians similar to how a car moves along a winding highway, and these pathways have been identified in modern medicine as tracts within the Central Nervous System that are interconnected to organ systems.
Studies have shown that the insertion of a needle initiates a cascade of biochemical events that stimulate with the body to invoke a positive change. These events cause increased blood flow and oxygenation to the area of insertion, improve healing, relax muscles, release serotonin and endorphins, and stimulate local and systemic analgesia and immunity. Many scientific studies have proven the benefit of acupuncture in human cardiovascular disease, endocrine disease, and orthopedic disease, as well as painful conditions. The most common purpose for acupuncture in veterinary medicine, and the most evidence-based, is for the treatment of pain.