What Should I Know about Acupuncture and Rehabilitative Care?
Last week, Hollywood Feed employees had the chance to learn about acupuncture and rehabilitative therapy from Dr. Kathy Mitchener, who is with the new facility Angel Care. Angel Care provides holistic and natural healing for pets and they are located at 1017 Oakhaven, Memphis, TN 38119. The phone number is 901-385-9172. They have some exciting treatments to check out!
A wonderful service that Angel Care offers is acupuncture! Acupuncture has been around for thousands of years. This is not some new trend that started recently. Part of the mystery surrounding acupuncture and it’s effectiveness is that it comes from ancient China, and when Western doctors are exposed to treatments they don’t understand, they tend to dismiss them despite the supporting evidence.
How It Works
The way acupuncture works is that a pin (or multiple pins) is stuck into a specific part of your body to stimulate specific nerves. The nerves receive this stimulation, and go running to the spinal cord with this message, and then the spinal cord carries the message to the brain. The brain then analyzes what is happening and sends a signal back out telling the body to decrease pain in the areas in question. This is called neuromodulation.
Neuromodulation is a way to modulate pain, but not a cure for the disease causing the pain. Acupuncture works in a way similar to aspirin, which helps to lessen pain as well. The main difference is that aspirin can have side effects while acupuncture has none. Acupuncture, in combination with exercise and diet changes for your pet, can be really great for maintenance of pain and extending your pet’s quality of life without lots of medications and their side effects. There are no medical risks involved with acupuncture if it is used hygienically, but it may help stimulate labor, so you may not want to use it on a pregnant dog or cat (or human!!).
Acupuncture Can Be Used to Treat
- Anxiety/aggression (if caused by underlying pain issue)
- Compensatory pain
- Degenerative disc disease
- Hot spots/other self trauma
- Immune system failure
- Intestinal issues
- Nerve paralysis
- Nervous system pain
- Organ failure
- Pain from ANY other cause
- Many other problems
Dr. Mitchener said that about 15% of dogs don’t respond to acupuncture in the first few sessions, but given more time there is a chance they will be responsive. She has also been able to use acupuncture on cats with long, soothing sessions to calm down the cat’s nerves!
Another service offered by Dr. Mitchener at Angel Care is rehabilitation. Rehab can be used alone or in combination with other treatments to help dogs lose weight, to help train agility dogs, and to help with difficulty walking and running. Some of the physical rehabilitation services offered include manual therapy, stretching, movement, balance, conditioning, and core strength. Dogs get to “play” with wobbly toys and blow up toys and work through obstacle courses to help with their rehab. Dr. Mitchener and her team use positive reinforcement through treats and praise to get your dog to do the hard work!
An exciting part of the rehabilitation services offered is Angel Care’s underwater treadmill! Dogs have a lot of fun using this, and the water helps to take the dog’s weight off of his joints so he can move around much more easily and start to use body parts that he has not been working as much due to pain. And dogs really seem to love it!!
Underwater Treadmills Can Help With
- Degenerative Myelopathy
- Surgical recovery
Other Services Available
- Laser therapy
- Herbal and nutritional treatment
Another great feature of Angel Care is that the clinic offers a calm and quiet space in which they will treat your pet. Dr. Mitchener said that their appointments take longer than at other facilities, simply because they want to try to make the dog feel comfortable in his surroundings before jumping right in with treatment. Most sessions also take place right down on the ground where your dog is most at ease.
- Jessie Isbell