Conference room

Acupuncture In Practice: Chronic Disease

Welcome to acu in practice…posting live from the IVAS Congress in Breckenridge, Colorado! This morning our focus is on preventing and treating chronic disease. Chronic disease is becoming more common in our patients (and in people) as we are exposed to more pathogens and pollutants in the environment. In addition, vector spread diseases, spread by ticks and mosquitos, are also on the rise (for example Lyme). Cynthia Lankenau, a veterinarian, certified veterinary acupunctu rist and certified herbalist is sharing strategies with us (other integrative veterinarians) on how to prevent chronic disease by catching the invasion or exposure to the pathogens when it is first starting to effect the body, and then modifying strategies when the pathogens have made their way deeper into the body.

In TCM, the first stage of disease is at a level known as the Tai Yang. This is the level that is effected when you or your pet first feels the very early signs of infection/invasion/exposure – such as scratchy throat, runny nose or eyes, and body aches. At this stage, the veterinary acupuncturist still has a chance to prevent true internal imbalance. We can use acupuncture, herbs, and food therapy. Here are some of the strategies that can be utilized at this stage :

Acupuncture points:
BL 12 – influential point for expelling Wind pathogen
BL 13 – controls cough and regulates breathing
BL 64 with GB 20 – dispels Wind Pathogen and relieves fever
SI 3 with BL 62 – relieves muscle aches, expels wind
ST 36, harmonizes immunity (Wei Qi)

Herbal suggestions: *Use only when acute and for a short period of time:
Kudzu root, Wei Ling San, other Sweet and Spicy herbs.
Gui Zhi Tang is also safe and can be used for a slightly longer period of time to prevent the pathogens from invading the deeper channel, Tai Yin.

Food Therapy:

Just as with herbs, focus on Sweet and Spicy combinations, helping to harmonize the body and expel pathogens. For example, sweet rice, dates, honey cured licorice (western herb), cinnamon, and wild ginger root.

The IVAS Congress, held annually, is a fantastic forum for learning, mind sharing, and progressing in practice. Next year, we are looking forward to attending in Wroclaw Poland and hope to see you there!

This post is created by Nell Ostermeier, DVM, CVA and is intended for informational use, not to replace medical advice.