Find out more about acupuncture treatment

Acupuncture involves the stimulation of certain points in the body, usually by the insertion of very fine needles.

The Chinese and other cultures have used acupuncture for thousands of years. The traditional Chinese approach to acupuncture is very holistic and explains it by altering and balancing the flow of energy or Qi. The Western approach focused initially on pain relief and endogenous endorphin release but more recent studies have shown effects on other systems such as the nervous and hormonal systems.

Acupuncture is extremely safe and generally very well tolerated, but it is not effective in all cases. It must be administered to animals either by trained vets or by other qualified practitioners in the presence of a vet. It is offered by top referral practices such as Willows and Fitzpatrick Referrals. Most good insurance companies also cover it.

In our surgery Paula Bentley mainly uses it for pain relief and musculo-skeletal or neurological problems such as osteoarthritis, back pain and paresis, and also for lick granulomas.


"I took an introductory course in Traditional Chinese acupuncture in 2006 and followed it with ABVA Western courses on chronic pain management and use in the geriatric dog, so I use a combined approach.


Over the years I have offered acupuncture as an adjunct to traditional veterinary medicine and have been delighted with some of the responses seen. I have regularly used it to cut down drug doses or in some cases of back/neck pain it has allowed me to withdraw medication. It is very useful in older arthritic animals that are on maximum doses too and owners often report a general improvement in demeanour. I have treated dogs, cats and rabbits and even the occasional guinea pig. It is also useful when traditional non-steroidal anti-inflammatories cannot be used, for instance in gut ulceration or kidney failure.

Generally I start with three or four weekly treatments and then reassess to see whether to continue and if so at what interval.”             Paula

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