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What is holistic or alternative veterinary medicine?

Sophi with acupuncture needles in.
Sophi with acupuncture needles in.
Darla Rewers, DVM

Holistic veterinary medicine consists of the following types of therapies and treatments which are not generally part of allopathic, or "regular" veterinary clinics. Following are the most common alternative therapies with their descriptions. Note that good physical exams and laboratory tests as needed are still imperative to making sure the best diagnosis and care are accommodated to your pet.

  • Acupuncture: Used for thousands of years for both people and animals to help the body heal through the autonomic nervous system; natural pain relievers, mood relaxant and anti-inflammatory chemicals are released when tiny needles are used in specific acupuncture points. muscle spasms smooth, pain and anxiety are alleviated
  • Aromatherapy: Enlisting the most ancient part of the brain, the limbic system, to moderate health changes through smell and active aromatic medicinal constituents from plants. very concentrated, must be used with care, especially in pets
  • Flower Essences: “Teas” or vibrational remedies (no odor) that heal the subtle energetic layers of the body—very easy to administer to pets in water, food, or topically
  • Herbal Remedies: Chinese Herbal Combinations and Western Herbs—be sure to source through companies that secure organic herbs whenever available, and routinely test for heavy metals and pesticides, and identify accurate botanical species
  • Homeopathy: Ultra-dilute chemicals from plants or minerals that alter a body’s reaction to disease process through vibrational resonance
  • Homotoxicology: Combinations of micro concentrations of substances that detoxify and rebalance the body, specifically targeting the intercellular space-- where clean up, storage, and communication happens primarily in the body
  • Lab work: Includes blood work, fecal checks, cytologies (lump analysis), allergy testing
  • Nutritional & Behavioral Consultations, Food Therapy (TCVM): Food is medicine, and the basic building blocks for our cells in our bodies. Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine also takes into account the energetics of warming and cooling foods to help balance health and behavior
  • Physical Exam: Thorough examination of all the physical body systems; eyes, ears, nose, mouth/teeth, lungs, heart, circulation, skin, abdomen, joints, muscles, spine
  • Qi Gong Tui Na: Traditional Chinese Medicine form of massage, energy work, and physical therapy; can be used as a “needle-free” acupressure technique instead of acupuncture
  • Reiki: Japanese lineage of channeling healing energy on emotional & physical layers
  • Understanding the Human-Animal Bond/Familiar Medicine: Understanding how our own energy affects that of our pets, understanding breed-specific needs and how to meet those needs with our active contemporary urban lifestyles

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