By Dr. Joy Bolynn

Have you ever wondered how acupuncture got started? “My head hurts. I think I’ll stick a sharp object in my hand for relief.” The whole concept of acupuncture seems odd to many of us. When you talk about it, people fall into two distinct categories of opinions. One is that acupuncture is a valid, effective, natural treatment option. Another one is that it’s pure quackery, reserved for flaky, granola-eating, Birkenstock-wearing older hippies.

Although I do eat granola, I don’t own any Birkenstocks, and I consider myself a fairly logical person. Yet in our practice at Town N Country, I’ve seen acupuncture work when traditional solutions failed. The World Health Organization and the National Institute of Health have performed controlled studies and have proof that acupuncture is effective for a long list of ailments including hypertension, pain, nausea and vomiting. This list of diseases and clinical conditions to which the WHO and NIH believes acupuncture are effective for goes on and on.

While I was mildly interested in the concept, my perception changed abruptly when pain became a constant part of my 15-year-old Golden Retriever’s life. Pain management is my specialty so keeping my dog Hunter pain-free in his senior years was incredibly important to me.

At the time, our boy was on up to 7 oral medications, multiple CRI’s of injectable pain medication, and multiple fentanyl patches to help with the pain and weakness in his back legs. Even with this variety of pain management medications, he still lost control of his back legs and was unable to walk or stand for much of the time. I thought euthanasia was inevitable, but there was still so much life in his eyes. He still couldn’t wait to get to his tennis ball or his food bowl.

That is when I had an acupuncturist, Dr. Perrin Heartway, begin treatment. The morning before Dr. Heartway came, Hunter was unable to walk or stand. He had to be supported with a sling.

The afternoon after Hunter’s treatment, he was trotting through the back yard and doing his “happy roll” in the grass. We had our boy back! I had exhausted everything Western medicine had to offer and was grateful that acupuncture could literally save Hunter’s life.

We have so many clients who ask for options other than giving their pet daily medication for arthritis, anxiety, or urinary incontinence. It can be so frustrating when the medications stop working effectively or completely.

At Town N Country, we believe that every case is individual and responds to each treatment differently. We want to be able to offer our patients and our clients the very best options, and this is why we’ve opened our medical library to include Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Therapy.

If you would like more information or would like to discuss your pet’s case with one of our vets, contact us at Town N Country. We want to help you find the solution to improve your pet’s life.

Remember, this month’s special gives you 30% off of your first Chinese medicine consultation or $20 off your first acupuncture appointment. Offer is good for clients new to our alternative medicine services only.