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Integrative & Holistic Medicine

Integrative medicine combines alternative holistic treatments with conventional Western medicine for a complementary and inclusive approach to your pet's health.

What is Holistic Medicine?

Holistic medicine considers each patient to be the sum of its parts and treats the whole animal, rather than conceptually breaking down the body into component systems. Acupuncture and Homeopathy are the most widely practiced methods of Holistic Medicine.

What is Acupuncture & Homeopathy?

Acupuncture is part of an ancient Chinese method of diagnosis and treatment called Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). TCM is a comprehensive approach to health which views the patient as an organism with interrelated energetic parts, rather than breaking the individual down into separate systems and symptoms.

Homeopathy is based on the belief that the body can heal itself if only it is gently nudged in the right direction by gentle substances (remedies), which stimulate the immune system in the direction of self-cure. 

How do Acupuncture & Homeopathy Work?

Acupuncture works by correcting imbalances in the flow of Qi (sometimes translated as "vital energy") within the body. The Qi moves throughout the body via a system of channels called meridians, which are connected to internal organs. The Qi can be accessed by points along the meridians into which needles are inserted.

Sometimes these points are stimulated by the use of mid electric current, warmed with herbs (moxa) or stimulated by application of a low intensity laser.

Homeopathic remedies are high dilutions of plant, mineral or animal substances. One benefit of homeopathic remedies is that the substances are so highly diluted that they are entirely non-toxic. With the correctly chosen remedy, a trigger effect will ensue, whereby the body is able to return to balance and heal itself.

When is Holistic Medicine an Appropriate Treatment?

Both acupuncture and homeopathy can have effects on all major physiological systems. While not appropriate for major emergencies like broken bones or overwhelming infections, holistic medicine can be a wonderful alternative to western medicine for certain diseases and conditions for which the conventional treatments have unwanted side effects. 

Conditions addressed using homeopathy and acupuncture include:

  • Pain
  • Behavior Disorders
  • Muscle Spasms
  • Arthritis
  • Spinal Disease
  • Chronic Infections
  • Chronic Gastrointestinal Disorders
  • Incontinence
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Autoimmune Disorders
  • Diabetes
  • Epilepsy
  • Allergies

What Can I Expect from Treatment Sessions?

If this is your first holistic appointment, please know Dr. Godfrey will walk you through every step.  Just a brief overview of the appointment may include: 

  • Acupuncture needles are inserted into specific points and left in for 10 to 20 minutes.
  • Most animals react very little to the placement of the needles and many get relaxed or even fall asleep during the treatments.
  • It is normal for some patients to be sleepy for several hours after a treatment.
  • With most patients, herbs, supplements, vitamins or dietary changes are also discussed.

If acupuncture is going to help a patient, it can take up to eight treatments before results are seen. Most patients respond within the first four visits, so pet owners should commit to at least four treatments initially.