If you’re new to all of this, the whole idea of acupuncture, herbs, food therapy, etc. may seem a little “woo-woo.” I was a bit confused about how it all worked at the beginning, too. As I learned more, I realized the utter genius of the ancient people for figuring out how physiology works by using only keen observation.
Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine (TCVM) has been used in China for thousands of years to treat people and animals. It’s based on using the senses (sight, smell, taste, hearing and touch) for diagnosis and treatment of disease. TCVM differs from Western Veterinary Medicine (WVM) in its focus on balance rather than control. When the imbalance that caused disease is identified, one can work to restore balance and health by helping the body heal itself.
- Food therapy
- Herbal therapy
- Tui na
The practice of TCVM uses many guiding theories including yin-yang theory, five-element theory, eight principles, meridian or channels in the body, zang-fu organ physiology, six channels, four stages, etc. These are all different ways of looking at the body as a whole and how it is functioning in the world. The goal is to identify a disease pattern.
Both TCVM and WVM utilize physical exam and history-taking to make a diagnosis. WVM also uses testing such as bloodwork and radiographs to help characterize disease. TCVM includes pulse evaluation and palpation of certain points on the body to refine a diagnosis. Both styles of medicine have strengths and weaknesses.
TCVM, in my experience, is not a bunch of unintelligible, mystical inventions. It’s a different way of looking at the same diseases we strive to heal in conventional veterinary medicine. Using the two approaches together allows us to get better results for the animal.
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