Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine (TCVM)
What is Traditional Chinese Medicine?
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is a complete medical system that has been used to diagnose, treat, and prevent illnesses for more than 2,000 years. TCM is based on a belief in yin and yang defined as opposing energies, such as earth and heaven, winter and summer, and happiness and sadness. When yin and yang are in balance, you feel relaxed and energized. Out of balance, however, yin and yang negatively affect your health.
Practitioners also believe that there is a life force or energy in every body, known as qi (pronounced “chee”). In order for yin and yang to be balanced and for the body to be healthy, qi must be balanced and flowing freely. When there’s too little or too much qi in one of the body’s energy pathways (called meridians), or when the flow of qi is blocked, illness results.
The ultimate goal of TCVM treatment is to balance the yin and yang in our lives by promoting the natural flow of qi. In an interesting analogy, often used to explain its nature, qi is described as the wind in a sail; we do not see the wind directly, but we are aware of its presence as it fills the sail. Those who practice and understand TCVM believe in helping an animal to heal by correcting imbalances in the body. The practitioner seeks to discover the true basis of the disorder that is affecting an animal, not just how to suppress the symptoms. Correcting the imbalances of the body allows the animal to heal itself.
How does TCVM work?
Disease (alterations in the normal flow of qi such that yin and yang are imbalanced) is thought to have three major causes: external or environmental factors, your internal emotions, and lifestyle factors such as diet. Through the use of its therapeutic modalities, TCVM stimulates the body’s own healing mechanisms. Practices used in TCVM include:
- Acupuncture and Acupressure
- Moxibustion (burning an herb near the skin)
- Herbal Medicine
What should I expect on my first visit?
Your doctor will ask questions about your pet’s medical history and conduct a physical exam to look for signs of imbalance. He will examine your pet’s tongue, skin and hair coat, as well as check your pet’s pulses. Your doctor will then try to correct any imbalances in your pet’s body by providing a combination of the therapies discussed above.