Our hospital offers Acupuncture Services for your pet and it may be recommended as a preventative measure or to help treat disease. Acupuncture is a form of traditional Chinese medicine that is believed to stimulate the flow of energy forces that nourish tissues, stimulate blood flow, and enhance body systems. According to ancient Chinese medical theory, the life force (called qi or ch'i) flows through the body via 14 invisible channels known as meridians, regulating all physical and mental processes. Opposing forces within the body (called yin and yang), must be balanced to keep ch'i flowing properly. The meridians run deep within the body's tissues and organs, surfacing at some 360 places identified as acupuncture points. Stimulating these points is said to balance and restore the flow of ch'i. Stimulation of the points is performed by inserting thin, smooth, solid needles. The depth of insertion, type of stimulation, and duration of treatment vary according to the disease or the condition being treated. Veterinary acupuncturists may use needles alone, needles with electrical stimulation, or stimulation using a specific type of laser. Gold beads, surgical staples, or magnets are sometimes put into acupuncture points to provide permanent stimulation. Research studies on acupuncture are limited, but anecdotal information suggests it may be helpful in the treatment of pain, hip dysplasia, chronic digestive disturbances, lick granuloma, epilepsy, and other miscellaneous conditions in pets. Ask your veterinarian if acupuncture may be right for your pet.