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How Fish Acupuncture Made Katy Perry and Neil Patrick Harris’ Sushi Taste Better

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This article originally appeared on Dr. Mahaney’s Pet-Lebrity News column on Pet360.com as How Fish Acupuncture Made Katy Perry and Neil Patrick Harris' Sushi Taste Better .

A hot piece of celebrity news recently caught my attention. According to UK Daily Mail, Katy Perry recently shared a sushi dinner created by Chef Antonio Park with Hedwig and the Angry Inch star Neil Patrick Harris and his husband David Burtka. The three dining together at Montreal’s Park restaurant doesn’t seem like an extraordinary occurrence, but the procedure performed on the creatures served to the trio is definitely unique.

When Perry, Harris, and Burtka partook in their recent sushi dinner, the fish they consumed received acupuncture before ending up as the stars’ dinner. Such a pre-serving procedure definitely increases the strangeness quotient of the meal.

Although Perry and Harris have high profile lives and are frequently seen performing on stage, we often don’t know what happens behind closed doors. Such insider views are often revealed via the wonder of Instagram, Twitter, or other social media sites.

Perry took to her @KatyPerry Twitter handle to share her experience in saying: Had the best sushi/wagyu from @ChefAntonioPark The wagyu was flown in this morning from JPN & the fish had previously had acupuncture #fancy

It seems that Perry’s palate hadn’t previously experienced such as speciality, as she posted this follow up tweet crediting her dining companions for bringing her to the restaurant: Also foodie kings @ActuallyNPH & @Davidburtka brought me here so durh.

Harris also took to his @ActuallyNPH Twitter profile to post about their meal, yet he left out the acupuncture part in stating: Had a spectacular meal @ChefAntonioPark ‘s restaurant Park in Montreal. Do whatever you can to savor his creations.

What is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is an ancient Asian (Chinese, Japanese, and Korean, among other nationalities) art of healing involving insertion of needles into body tissues in specific locations called acupuncture points. These points have scientifically been proven to exist and are located near the convergences of blood and lymphatic vessels, nerves, and other tiny tissues/organ systems vital to whole-body function.

When these points are stimulated through the insertion of needles, injection of liquid, or the application of pressure (acupressure), electricity (electrostimulation), heat (moxibustion) or laser, a variety of energetic changes take place to promote blood circulation, nervous system stimulation, and the release of anti-inflammatory and pain relieving hormones.

Why Would Fish Get Acupuncture?

For fish having their destiny on the dinner plate, the point of performing acupuncture is to calm the fish down so that they’ll be less active during transportation, put less stress on their muscles and organs, not die from lack of oxygen during travel, and ultimately taste better to the consumer. This “piscine”-acupuncture technique is called kaimin katsugyo, which translates as “live fish sleeping soundly.” Sounds like a pleasant means of reducing the un-pleasantries leading to the grim outcome of being filleted.

Acupuncture can be use to treat a variety of conditions in animals and people. As a certified veterinary acupuncturist (CVA), my patients primarily have diseases associated with inflammation and pain. Such conditions include:

Arthritis- joint inflammation common to pets of varying ages, but especially in adult, geriatric, and overweight and obese animals

Degenerative Joint Disease (DJD)- the progression of arthritis to where joint surfaces are irregular and range of motion is limited

Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD)- decrease in size or mineralization of the discs that support the backbones (vertebral column) that cause the spine or its off-shooting nerves to be pinched and potentially less able to conduct nervous signals

Cancer- Pets having cancer suffer from a variety of secondary health problems, but enlargement of cancerous masses or spreading of cancer cells to distant sites (metastasis) often causes pain.

Musculoskeletal pain- Animals having undergone surgery, incurred acute trauma (hit by car, fight with another animal, bad fall, etc.), or sustained muscle/tendon/ligament damage (cruciate ligament tear, etc.) definitely are in need of pain relief that can be enhanced by acupuncture so less medication may be needed.

Others- behavioral problems (which often are associated with pain and inflammation in side the body), digestive tract upset, immune system diseases (food and environmental allergies, etc.), etc.

How Do Fish Get Acupuncture?

According to the G4TV video Fish Acupuncture, the fish is placed laterally (on the side) on a table where four needles attached to the table penetrate locations on the body corresponding with acupuncture points extrapolated from human acupuncture models. The needles create a calming effect that lasts for an extended time during transportation. There’s another technique discussed in the video involving a single acupuncture point, but this special method is a trade secret that can’t be revealed.

Make sure to check out the link to the above video, as it’s quite remarkable to see the fish remain in a calmer and seemingly sedated state that permits them to remain floating on their backs with their bellies breaking the water’s surface.

As a Veterinary Acupuncturist, Have I Ever Performed Acupuncture on Fish?

In my veterinary practice I exclusively treat cats and dogs. I’ve not yet have a client with a fish that may need acupuncture for a medical issue or for sedation to keep its muscle tissues fresher to yield tastier sushi. Yet, I do live and practice in Los Angeles, where celebrities like Perry and Harris also live, so one never knows what can happen in this town.

Have you or your pets ever undergone acupuncture treatment? If so, please feel free to share your experiences in the comments sectiom.

Thank you for reading this article. Your questions and comments are completely welcome (I’ll respond).
Please feel free to communicate with me through Twitter (@PatrickMahaney) and follow my adventures in veterinary medicine by liking Patrick Mahaney: Veterinarian Acupuncture Pain Management for Your Pets on Facebook.
Copyright of this article (2014) is owned by Dr Patrick Mahaney, Veterinarian and Certified Veterinary Acupuncturist. Republishing any portion of this article must first be authorized by Dr Patrick Mahaney. Requests for republishing must be approved by Dr Patrick Mahaney and received in written format

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