At Harmony Veterinary Center, we integrate a wide range of therapies with conventional medicine and surgery to offer your pet the very best in disease prevention and treatment. Here are some of the complementary medical therapies we provide:
This ancient Chinese system involves inserting needles into the skin and tissues at certain points along energy channels, or meridians, which run through the animal’s body. The placement of these needles restores energy flow and causes the release of many hormones and other biochemicals by the body, allowing it to heal itself. Acupuncture is very helpful for pain relief, especially joint pain. It stimulates the immune system and promotes detoxification. Acupuncture can also be used for disorders of internal organs such as the gastrointestinal system, kidneys, and lungs.
Related therapies include medical acupressure, which is done with the hands and fingers; aquapuncture, which involves injecting a mild stimulant (usually Vitamin B12) into acupuncture points to increase the duration of action; electroacupuncture, which applies a low electrical current through acupuncture needles to enhance their effect; and Qigong, an ancient form of Chinese medicine which formed the basis of acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine.
Medical Qigong is the oldest of the four main branches in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) which include acupuncture, herbal medicine, and massage. Pronounced “chee” (Qi) “gung” (gong), Medical Qigong is a comprehensive system based on differential TCM diagnostics that cultivates the vital energy of the patient to improve or restore overall health. Medical Qigong is a wonderful adjunct therapy to correct the bio-energetic imbalances, or blockages, in the patient’s system so as to strengthen and regulate internal organs, the nervous and immune systems, ease emotions or anxiety, and relieve pain.
Veterinary rehabilitation uses non-invasive techniques to help reduce pain, restore function, and improve quality of life in animals. It is especially useful in recovery from injury, surgery, degenerative diseases, and age-related diseases. Physical rehabilitation techniques include therapeutic massage; exercises to improve range of motion, balance, coordination, strength; swimming therapy, and underwater treadmill.
Massage involves applying patterns of pressure to different parts of the body. The specific pressure will depend on the size of the pet, the needs of the pet, and the type of injury. Massage can be useful for arthritis and other joint problems, torn or over-extended muscles and ligaments, and healing from injury and surgery. Massage improves blood flow as well as muscle and joint flexibility. Manipulation of the muscles strengthens them, releases adhesions, and improves function. Massage should be performed by a trained and certified companion animal massage therapist, but you may also be given techniques that you can safely apply at home between massage sessions.
Low-level or “cold” laser therapy uses laser light to reduce pain and inflammation and promote tissue repair. Laser therapy has been scientifically shown to reduce inflammatory mediators and oxidative stress. It is used mainly for healing inflammation associated with injuries, arthritis, and other chronic pain. Cold laser therapy has been in use for more than 30 years and is extremely safe.
VOM (Veterinary Orthopedic Manipulation)
VOM focuses on improving communication within the nervous system, thereby promoting healing. VOM is different from chiropractic care; it has similarities to some of the chiropractic modalities. VOM delivers its force with a hand-held device called a spinal activator.
Nutraceutical medicine uses micronutrients and other nutritional supplements as therapeutic agents. For example, fish oil supplements provide powerful anti-inflammatory action that is known to benefit pets with arthritis, kidney disease, heart disease, and skin and coat problems. Harmony Veterinary Center carries a wide variety of nutraceutical products to help your pet heal naturally from the inside.
Also called botanical medicine, herbal medicine uses plants and plant parts such as roots, bark, or flowers, to create a specific physical effect. Herbs have been used to treat illness and injury throughout human history, and animals will often self-treat by consuming certain plants when needed. Plants and herbs contain many active compounds, including antioxidants and other bioactive substances. Some of today’s most common pharmaceutical drugs are derived from plants, including aspirin. Herbs can be used to treat a wide variety of conditions, such as inflammation, infection, fever, pain, nausea, anxiety, and many internal disorders.
Homeopathy is a system of medical treatment that follows the theory that “like cures like” proposed by Aristotle. For example, the substance Ipecac in large doses will cause nausea, salivation, and violent vomiting in a healthy person, but Ipecac prepared homeopathically can cure those same symptoms in a sick patient. Homeopathy also uses the principle of the “minimum dose”. Homeopathic remedies are made from natural substances such as plants and minerals that are highly diluted, which eliminates any toxic effects of the natural substance.
This is an offshoot of homeopathy that focuses specifically on detoxification, organ support, and alleviation of symptoms. Homotoxicology typically uses low potency combinations of homeopathic remedies that are broadly applicable yet extremely safe.
Flower remedies are specially prepared extracts of the flowering parts of certain plants. They work through energy fields to heal stress and disease from the inside. Essences heal underlying negative emotional states by “flooding” the patient with the opposite, positive quality. Behavior problems such as chronic barking, litter box avoidance, obsessive-compulsive behaviors, separation anxiety, and inter-animal conflicts usually have an emotional component and are amenable to flower essences. Since physical diseases also have a deep energetic component, flower essences can be used to help resolve these imbalances and aid the animal’s recovery.
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