Acupuncture involves the insertion of fine metal needles into specific points on the body to treat or prevent disease.
The use of acupuncture in the treatment of human and veterinary patients dates back at least 5,000 years. Although generally considered to have originated in China, archeological evidence suggests that acupuncture was practiced in India, Tibet and Korea as early as 3,000 B.C.
Over the past three decades, numerous scientific studies have been conducted in an attempt to explain how acupuncture works. Proposed mechanisms include the stimulation of free nerve endings near acupuncture points, the release of substances such as hormones and neurotransmitters into the bloodstream, and the generation of bioelectrical impulses, affecting the movement of ions (charged particles) across cell membranes. Many researchers believe that a combination of these and possibly other, as yet unidentified, mechanisms may be at work.
Acupuncture is generally painless and well tolerated by most animals. The duration and frequency of treatments vary depending on the patient and the condition being treated. Whereas an acute problem may resolve after one or two treatments, chronic conditions often require more time. A minimum of 4-5 weekly treatments is usually recommended.
Biopuncture involves the injection of therapeutic substances such as vitamin B-12 or homeopathic remedies into acupuncture points. This allows for stimulation of the points as the substance is absorbed by the body. The use of homeopathic medicines may further augment the acupuncture effect with an additional treatment modality.