Traditional Chinese Medicine is a global phenomenon. Traditional and complementary/alternative medicine is widely used in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of an extensive range of ailments in humans. One-third of the world’s population and over half of the populations of the poorest parts of Asia and Africa do not have regular access to essential drugs. In addition, TCM is more affordable, more closely corresponds to the patient’s ideology, and is less paternalistic than allopathic medicine.
The World Health Organization (WHO) listed a number of conditions in which they say acupuncture has been proven effective:
high and low blood pressure
chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting
some gastric conditions, including peptic ulcer
reducing the risk of stroke
According to the WHO website, its strategic objectives for 2015-2023:
building the knowledge base and formulating national policies
strengthening safety, quality, and effectiveness through regulation
promoting universal health coverage by integrating T&CM services and self-health care into national health systems
In other words: WHO is promoting Integration in Human Medicine and Veterinary medicine needs to follow their example!
When it comes to TCM history, we must start at the cradle of civilization. Most ancient civilizations understood the states of health and disease as a balancing act. Traditional Chinese medicine has been practiced in China for over 3,000 years. There are ancient needles discovered as stone fossils from 5,000 years ago. TCM was developed empirically from clinical experience, and documented in many classical texts. The Yellow Emperor’s Internal Classic (Huang Di Nei Jing: 475–221 BC) systematically documented human structure, physiology, pathology, diagnosis, treatment, and preservation. The famous mummy from the Italian Alps named Otzi is dated from 5,400 years B.C. He has over 50 tattoos that coincide with acupuncture points. Interestingly, DNA analysis shows that he suffered from Lyme disease and osteoarthritis. It is fairly logical to suppose he was being treated with acupuncture.
When it comes to Traditional Veterinary Chinese Medicine (TCVM), Bo Le is considered to be the father of veterinary acupuncture. He was an equine expert that lived 659-621 BC and wrote Bo Le Zhen Jing (Bole’s Canon of Veterinary Acupuncture ). This is one of the first veterinary books ever written.
Research has increased exponentially, especially in the past 15 years.
In the U.S. National Library of Medicine PubMed (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed) there were over 25,995 acupuncture references (April, 2017) and 406 veterinary references. These studies support the effectiveness of acupuncture for many different disorders in many different species.
The use of acupuncture can:
Integrate with conventional drugs
Reduce the dosages of conventional drugs
Reduce the side effects of conventional drugs
Reduce the duration of conventional drug treatments
Avoid conventional drugs
Avoid surgical procedures
Avoid surgical risks
Avoid surgical expenses
When it comes to what to expect after treatment, we can see the effects immediately or within a few days. These effects are cumulative but the patients often need multiple treatments( 5-7 are typical) for most disorders. Acute disorders might need to be seen every 2-3 days whereas chronic disorders can come in every 1-2 weeks. Maintenance treatments are scheduled monthly.
In summary, TCVM can treat conditions untreatable by conventional methods and is, therefore, an effective alternative treatment.