This is a sponsored post by veterinarian Elizabeth Arguelles, owner of Just Cats Clinic at Lake Anne Plaza. She writes weekly on Reston Now.
In efforts to continue our theme of helping your cat “Live Beyond 9 Lives,” just like laser therapy, acupuncture can be a great non-invasive addition to your cat’s health care plan. By incorporating eastern and western medicines, you can help your cat be more comfortable and increase the quality of years. We are proud to offer acupuncture services at Just Cats Clinic starting in July.
Acupuncture can be useful on its own or as incorporated into your cat’s overall treatment plan. Your vet might suggest it in conjunction with long-term pain, arthritis, asthma, allergies, chronic kidney disease and liver problems. Or it can be useful for acute problems like a sprain or an isolated gastrointestinal issue. As it does with humans, acupuncture can also ease the side effects of radiation and chemotherapy in cats that require cancer treatments. For our aging feline friends, acupuncture can provide comfort and relief from pain and stiffness, increasing the quality of life and even their energy level.
So, how exactly does acupuncture work?
An acupuncturist uses tiny needles to stimulate healing by normalizing nerve function and circulation. Those needles are inserted into various pressure points on your cat’s body, depending on the particular ailment. Though the word “needles” may send a shiver down your spine, acupuncture is actually a painless experience for your cat. When a properly trained acupuncturist inserts the needles, no pain signals are sent to the brain. Sometimes the process is so relaxing that your cat will even fall asleep during the treatment.
Since acupuncture stimulates the nerves and circulation, your cat might be more energetic, social and relaxed after just one to two sessions or sometimes patients feel sleepy and relaxed afterwards. For acute issues, even one to two sessions may be helpful and all that is needed. Conversely, cats that are older or suffering from more chronic ailments might need more continuous treatments for maximum benefits, sometimes even for the rest of their lives to help minimize any discomfort or pain they may have.
Each acupuncture session can last up to 30 minutes, and you can be present during the entire appointment. The number and frequency of the treatment sessions depend, of course, on your cat’s condition and should be discussed with the veterinarian.
When looking for a veterinary acupuncturist, always make sure they are a licensed veterinarian and that they have had formal training in veterinary acupuncture. While acupuncture is incredibly safe, it must be done by a practitioner that has completed training to ensure it’s being done correctly.