ISSN 2398-2942      

Acupuncture: overview


Tim Couzens

M V Dale


  • Believed to have originated in Tibet or India and considered to be one of the oldest therapies in the world - practised from as far back as 2000-3000 BC.
  • One of the main aspects of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).
  • Useful to consider acupuncture (as with other aspects of TCM), within a holistic framework (in terms of its action and properties), as opposed to western medicine that tends to consider the body (and thus health and illness), as distinct individual components.
  • Use has been mainly confined to China. However, in recent years (since 1920), its use has gained in popularity in the west as a viable method of healing.
  • Its use within a veterinary context has grown rapidly since the 1950s and is now widely accepted as a form of treatment and therapy.

Concepts underlying acupuncture

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Scientific explanations of acupuncture

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Further Reading


Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Habacher G, Pittler M H & Ernst E (2006) Effectiveness of acupuncture in veterinary medicine: a systematic review. J Vet Intern Med 20 (3), 480-488 PubMed.
  • Schober K E & Baade H (2000) Comparability of left ventricular M-mode echocardiography in dogs performed in long-axis and short-axis. Vet Rad Ultra 41 (6), 543-549 PubMed.
  • Bossut D F (1996) Veterinary clinical applications of acupuncture. J Altern Complement Med (1), 65-69 PubMed.
  • Panzer R B & Chrisman C L (1994) An auricular acupuncture treatment for idiopathic canine epilepsy - a preliminary report. Am J Chin Med 22 (1), 11-17 PubMed.
  • Yu C, Zhang K, Lu G et al (1994) Characteristics of acupuncture meridians and acupoints in animals. Rev Sci Tech 13 (3), 927-933 PubMed.
  • Janssens L A (1993) The role of acupuncture in analgesia. Tijdschr Diergeneeskd 118 (Suppl 1), 11S-12S PubMed.
  • Altman S (1992) The incorporation of acupuncture into a small animal practice. Probl Vet Med (1), 223-233 PubMed.
  • Altman S (1992) Techniques and instrumentation. Probl Vet Med (1), 66-87 PubMed.
  • Dill S G (1992) Acupuncture for gastrointestinal disorders. Probl Vet Med (1), 144-154 PubMed.
  • Durkes T E (1992) Gold bead implants. Probl Vet Med (1), 207-211 PubMed.
  • Hwang Y C (1992) Acupuncture atlas. Probl Vet Med (1), 16-33 PubMed.
  • Hwang Y C (1992) Anatomy and classification of acupoints. Probl Vet Med (1), 12-15 PubMed.
  • Jaggar D (1992) History and basic introduction to veterinary acupuncture. Probl Vet Med (1), 1-11 PubMed.
  • Janssens L A (1992) Trigger point therapy. Probl Vet Med (1), 117-124 PubMed.
  • Janssens L A (1992) Acupuncture for the treatment of thoracolumbar and cervical disk disease in the dog. Probl Vet Med (1), 107-116 PubMed.
  • Klide A M (1992) Acupuncture Analgesia. Vet Clin North Am Small Anim Pract 22 (2), 374-379 PubMed.
  • Limehouse J B (1992) Oriental concepts of acupuncture. Probl Vet Med (1), 53-65 PubMed.
  • Lin J H & Panzer R (1992) Acupuncture for reproductive disorders. Probl Vet Med (1), 155-161 PubMed.
  • Rogers P A, Schoen A M & Limehouse J (1992) Acupuncture for immune-mediated disorders. Literature review and clinical applications. Probl Vet Med (1), 162-193 PubMed.
  • Schoen A M (1992) Acupuncture for musculoskeletal disorders. Probl Vet Med (1), 88-97 PubMed.
  • Schwartz C (1992) Chronic respiratory conditions and acupuncture therapy. Probl Vet Med (1) 136-143 PubMed.
  • Smith F W Jr. (1992) Acupuncture for cardiovascular disorders. Probl Vet Med (1), 125-131 PubMed.
  • Smith F W Jr. (1992) Neurophysiologic basis of acupuncture. Probl Vet Med (1), 34-52 PubMed.
  • Janssens L A (1991) Acupuncture in thoracolumbar disk disease. J S Afr Vet Assoc 62 (1), 2 PubMed.
  • Robinson C (1990) Getting started in acupuncture. Aust Vet J 67 (10), N423 PubMed.
  • Janssens L A & Rogers P A (1989) Acupuncture versus surgery in canine thoracolumbar disc disease. Vet Rec 124 (11), 283 PubMed.
  • van Niekerk J & Eckersley N (1988) The use of acupuncture in canine epilepsy. J S Afr Vet Assoc 59 (1), 5 PubMed.
  • Klide A M, Farnbach G C & Gallagher S M (1987) Acupuncture therapy for the treatment of intractable, idiopathic epilepsy in five dogs. Acupunct Electrother Res 12 (1), 71-74 PubMed.
  • Schoen A M, Janssens L & Rogers P A (1986) Veterinary acupuncture. Semin Vet Med Surg (Small Anim) (3), 224-229 PubMed.
  • Williams B M (1986) Acupuncture treatment of paralysis. Vet Rec 119 (13), 340 PubMed.
  • Craige J E (1985) Acupuncture for fleabite allergic dermatitis. JAVMA 187 (2), 127 PubMed.
  • Altman S (1981) Clinical use of veterinary acupuncture. Vet Med Small Anim Clin 76 (9), 1307-1312 PubMed.
  • Wright M & McGrath C J (1981) Physiologic and analgesic effects of acupuncture in the dog. JAVMA 178 (5), 502-507 PubMed.
  • Janssens L, Altman S & Rogers P A (1979) Respiratory and cardiac arrest under general anaesthesia - treatment by acupuncture of the nasal philtrum. Vet Rec 105 (12), 273-276 PubMed.
  • Rogers P A (1978) Veterinary acupuncture. Vet Rec 102 (17), 387 PubMed.
  • Altman S (1977) Acupuncture - taking a closer look. Mod Vet Pract 58 (12), 1003-1006 PubMed.
  • Freeman A (1974) Veterinary acupuncture. JAVMA 164 (5), 446-448 PubMed.

Other sources of information

  • Schoen & Wynn (1997) Complementary and Alternative Veterinary Medicine. Mosby.
  • Schoen A (1994) Veterinary Acupuncture. Ancient Art to Modern Medicine. Mosby.
  • Maciocia G (1989) The Foundations of Chinese Medicine. Churchill Livingstone.
  • Kaputchuk T J (1983) Chinese Medicine - The Web That Has No Weaver. Rider.

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